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made by liana ^__^

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of Hell. Don't mind the brimstone, I've been redecorating.

Your generic college student balancing school with art. A self-proclaimed pyro dragon, I scare everyone in my dorm with the evil things I hang on the door and my reclusive nature. No need to fear, I dont bite without reason. Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings; all you risk is my unbounded rage.

Please check out my art and give me feed back. I'll offer to do trades as well. PM me if interested.

My DeviantArt Conglomeration o' Insanity

The Dragons' Quote Hoard Help us add to it; send us quotes! (Updated: July 15)

current music: mortal kombat

“If you walk with the grace of a warrior and the confidence of a king, those you do not impress you will intimidate.”

hey look!: commissions!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

home sweet home!
finally home! man, 5 months is a long time away. actually got back saturday, just havent gotten around to saying anything. its so nice to be back in my own bed with my own dog. i missed that little guy. heehee, and it was so very nice to get back to familiar food that i havent had for 5 months. (mmmm ham sandwhich)

so! the trip with my parents was great fun. we saw so much awesome stuff. the great wall, the terra cotta army, the li river, the forbidden city and summer palace, so on and so on. good stuff. i dont really feel like typing up all the details.

well this was pretty much just a short "yay im home!!" kinda public announcement. carry on then!


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

   its over
so ive totally neglected myO lately. sorry 'bout that. not that anyone still reads this anyway.

holy crap, its really over. i just finished a semester-long study abroad in china. had my last test this morning. its done. my parents will be arriving here sunday and staying for a few days. then were all heading out to travel for 2 weeks. in just over 2 weeks, ill be back home. i swear this has gone by so fast. it was just march, or at least april.

overall, this has been a great trip, and i wouldnt have missed it for anything. sure there have been problems (lost passports and stolen ipods), but it could have been so much worse. ok, im going to basically summarize my trip and have a little "what i learned on this growing up experience", so feel free to stop reading now.

i arrived in beijing speaking very minimal chinese. id studied for a year and a half in the US, but it was pretty pathetic. while in beijing, we went to the forbidden city, beihai park, and the houhai district. my passport was lost on the night-train up to harbin, but i got it back 3 days later. once we got to heilongjiang university (hereafter refered to as heida), we took the placement test and started classes. ive been in the second level (out of 5). during my stay here, ive left harbin and been to dalian (a beach town) and mudanjiang (a small city). both were great trips. the traveling has been the best part so far. theres really not too much to do in harbin. i like the city, just because its so different and its absolutely fascinating to wander down the streets, but i just dislike large cities as a rule.

harbin is a little back-water city by chinese standards. its as far north as you can get and has 9million people. yeah, million. small town. other than central street (big shopping district) and sun island (big park), theres really not much to do. but again, its so different its most interesting.

i find it so odd that chinese people will be polite, forgiving of poor language and very respectful of the elderly, yet theres no concept of holding the door for someone, saying thank you, or letting the people on the elevator get off before shoving on. waiting in line is another foreign concept, as is personal space. we joke that we checked our personal bubbles on the west coast and will pick them up with our luggage. there are so many people here; pictures cant even begin to describe. this little american from a small city is a bit overwhelmed.

Another thing, this is the first time in my life ive ever been in the extreme minority. im from southern US: tall, pale, blonde hair/blue eyes. i stand half a foot taller than the majority of the population, and im amazingly visible. the stares are usually funny now. sometimes we make faces at the people staring at us. little kids think thats hilarious.

one good thing communism has done for china, theres a very strong sense of community and "our" country, "our" people. the sichuan earthquake united the country in a way ive never seen. the only thing i could compare it to was 9/11 back home. and now the olympics are the biggest thing to happen since the cultural revolution. the whole country is gearing up for it. i remember the couple times the olympics have been in the US, but even when it was near my state, we heard little about it. there was little promotion or anything outside of those cities. here, theres olympic stuff everywhere. ive already bought some keychains of the little olympic mascots http://images.beijing-2008.org/20070709/Img214108291.jpg and some tshirts. (good gifts, this stuff). the names of the mascots are beibei, jingjing, huanhuan, yingying, nini. beijing huanying ni. beijing welcomes you. kinda cool huh? (in chinese, doubling words like that is an affectionate thing. some of my friends here go by yanyan and chenchen for that reason)

so did i learn anything? i can fumble along in chinese well enough now. cant say too much, but what i can say, i can say well. i could go into the expected "i learned to be more tolerant of different cultures and habits", but i could also just say asians are kinda weird. (sorry guys, but its true) i think in the future ill be a better student and not slack off so much. i also know now that i can handle this real-world, away from mommy and daddy thing. i also learned that i dont appear to suffer jet-lag, and that i surprisingly miss my dog more than humans (hey, i can talk to the humans. cant pet the dog), and that i miss the food more than anything. you have any idea how badly i want a cheeseburger, bbq and a waffle? (not, ya know, at once) but i will miss the chinese food. (mmm noodles) tho i could do without ever seeing white rice again. holy crap do they eat rice. fried rice is wonderful, white rice is good, but i cant handle it at every meal of everyday.

ok, i think ive babbled enough now and likely no ones still reading this. (if you are, do you really have nothing better to do but listen to my rambling?)


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Saturday, March 29, 2008

nimen hao
(hey everybody)

so! been in china over a month now. the classes are coming easier, but still obviously hard. foreign language classes in that language are so hard, but so good for you. im still functionally pretty incompetant, but i know enough to get around. i can get food, i can get stuff at the grocery store, i can take a cab and a bus. i just cant have a decent conversation with people. but really, if youve heard people say immersion is the best way to learn a language, theyre right. its amazing.

not really much to tell. once you get past the whole "holy crap im in freakin' china!" thing, its just school as usual. the focus is different here than what im used to. here the focus is more on rote memorization instead of learning things and extrapolating on it. the class routine gets old pretty fast. were in the same classroom, the same seat for (on my long day) 8 hours. a silly complaint, but man the desks arent designed for someone tall. raaather cramped.

something cool tho, found out im going to be teaching a small group of kids english. theyre ages 6-8 and have never had english before. i met with the parents yesterday, and ill be having class tuesday nights for about an hour. heh, wasnt intending to get a job when i came here, but cool! we already get a stipend from the school for food. we get 1000 yuan a month, and for this month i spent maybe 150 of it. hurray for saving! (you can eat cheap in the cafeteria)

in my endless free time (meaning after ive gone to bed), ive been trying a little more world-building in this wanna-be scifi plot in my head. youve already seen three of the aliens: ( the chaedan'kai , the sunifee and the erda). besides those three there are the saurian ta'an, the otter-like sri, and the disturbingly humanoid svyati. theres at least one more species lurking out there somewhere, but i cant really see them too well (and im not sure i want to. somethings not right about them). ive written a small series of very short stories about the chaedan'kai, which im going to submit for publishing to a magazine. might put them up here tho, or at least the first couple. trying to figure out the full story here. its out there somewhere.

so! those are the tales from china. likely going to go out this afternoon and wander around. theres a lot to see.


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Thursday, March 6, 2008

im still alive, i swear!
this will be long. youve been warned.

lets see, a brief recap. arrived in the country feb. 20, spent a few days in beijing and then came to harbin by night train. got settled in at heida (the university) the...23rd i think. classes just started this last monday the 3rd. yeah, you people are getting ready for spring break and we just started classes.

anyway, so far classes are going alright. a bit frantic since its all in chinese and i have a hard time understanding what the teacher is saying, but its getting better. picking up a ton of new vocabulary, well over 100 words in the first week. we met up with all our friends from heida that came to our school in the us, and theyve been really helpful. theyve been treating us to dinner like every night o.O so yeah, chinese food. real non-american chinese food. maaaan i like it. weve had dumplings twice, hotpot twice (chinese fondue), korean, oodles of noodles, fried rice, chinese bbq (good!!) and all manner of odd things. for example: congealed duck blood in hotpot, chicken hearts at bbq, chicken livers by accident in the cafeteria, pineapple-on-a-stick on the street and octopus taquitos in hotpot. i actually really liked it all but the livers. too chalky. and the blood was kinda tasteless jello. id recommend the hearts tho and i loved the octopus rolls. were going t dinner somewhere tonight with one of our friends and his parents.

lets see, in beijing we did all the tourist stuff: forbidden city, tian'anmen square, houhei (bar district), beihai park, temples, etc. our guide was an alum from our school whos lived in china for 12 years. so he took us to the non-tourist places too and helped us figure out how to order food, catch a cab, take the bus, etc. daily things. my little adventure coming up to harbin was losing my passport and wallet on the train. that was a horrific few days, but someone found it and turned it in. so i got everything back except my cash, which is of less than no importance when weighed against a passport and visa.

lets see, harbin is bloody cold. its gotten warmer since we got here, but the first few days it was in the teens by day and below 0 by night. (dude. im from freakin' arkansas. anything below 50 is cold to me) to prove this, look at the pictures in the last post from the the annual international snow and ice festival. were talking snow sculptures 100+ft tall and twice the length of a football field. and then an entire city of internally lit ice. dude. it was amazing. couldnt feel my extrematies when we left, but it was worth every bit of the cold. ive never seen anything like it in my life. i mean, when will a little southern american girl get to go down a huge slide made of ice from the top of an ice acropolis? or go through an ice version of the emperors palace? or hold a snow fox? (i did! it was fluffy and adorable!!) so yeah. its been above freezing the past few days, so its been fine. hat and gloves are nice, but not vital. (and liana, the fluffy scarf has been a life-saver)

the dorms are very nice. for the foreigners at least. think hotel. we have our own bathroom, and a lady comes in every day to clean and changes the sheets on wednsdays. the beds are less than comfortable tho. weve put heavy comfortors to use as matress pads. its always very wamr in our room, so we dont need them. half the time we open the window to cool it off. weve got 2 radiators, and the one in the bathroom is amazingly strong. always freakin' hot in there. we only get hot water three times a day for about an hour and half each time. theres a little store downstairs for snacks and drinks, and a hot water machine on the next floor. you cant drink the tap water (it looks nasty), so you get bottled or boiled water. restaurants always serve hot water with the meal, and bottled drinks are usually room temperature at best. weve been getting drinks and putting them on the window sill to cool them off. usually water, but you can easily find coke and sprite and pepsi and such. and i was reminded how much i like orange soda. (who loves orange soda?)

what else, what else...were the only americans on a campus of 30,000. almost the only westerners. found and australian, so i guess he counts. most of the foreign students are korean with the rest being mostly russian. have a couple africans in my class. weve determined (by what weve seen) that eastern russians are mean. (no offense to the russians out there, but the ones here are jerks). weve said hi to them several times, and they dont even acknowledge us. they just strut around in their hideous neon-colored fur coats, hooker boots and giant purses. and smoke in the halls (and elevator) right under the 'no smoking' signs. we dont like them. on the other hand, koreans really like us, me in particular. ive been told they think im "chic". clearly they define this differently than we do, since im always schleping around in a tshirt, jeans and dirty tennis shoes.

oh, if for whatever reason you really want to see the pictures ive been taking, say something in the comments. if i think i can trust you with pictures of me, ill send you the link and password.

ok, i took enough of your time. hope you found that worthwhile.


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Monday, February 25, 2008

still alive
whoops, kinda forgot about this. well everyone im still here. more or less settled in in harbin. classes dont start til next monday, so were still on vacation.

man, my big adventure so far was loosing my passport and wallet on the night-train. when we went back for it, it was gone. i was all ready to go to the nearest consulate to apply for a new one when someone found it and turned it in. so i got it back! *happy*

ok, ill share some pictures with you guys.
Tiananmen - the gate in tiananmen square
Forbidden City - part of the forbidden city (aka imperial palace)
Imperial Garden - more forbidden city
Snow Soldier - snow sculpture
Snow Palace - complete with slides!
Snow Hair - this thing is longer than a football field.
Snow Man - didnt expect that, did ya?
Ice Gate - ice festival!
I has a snow fox! - whatever, you can have one picture of me being cold.
Eiffel State Building - eiffel tower or empire state building? dunno.
Ice City - amazing, hm?

ive never seen anything like it. amazing. anyway, thats the big stuff for now. enjoy!


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