New Blogs
You Suck At Craigslist: a look at the hilarious and mistifying posts on Craig's List.
Stuff White People Like: posts about the interesting and diverse activities and items white people gravitate towards. Since most of the people I know who read this are white, I suppose I should say that you should not take yourself too seriously when reading this blog, or you might be offended.
Cute Overload: After living in Japan for two years, I can safely say that I've had enough cute to last several lifetimes. If you have not yet had your fill of cute, this website can provide.

These will be added to my blogroll soon.


written by Ruthie @ 8:45 AM   2 comments
Things I Miss
Flowers year-round
Quiet neighbors
My big apartment
Sleeping on the floor
Speaking Japanese
Sea Mall
Looking out over Kanmon Warf
A nice salary
Fairly reliable public transportation
Cheap health care
Shibata-san's bread
Watanabe-sensei's jokes
Okonomiyaki (especially from Kawamoto)
100-yen movie and CD rentals
The adventure of living abroad.


written by Ruthie @ 2:09 PM   5 comments
Input Threshold
I have read about 300 pages of scholarly readings on music theory and ethnomusicology in the last week. Looking ahead at my course syllabi, this amount of reading will be the norm for the next 12 weeks or so, on top of writing reaction papers and reviews. I tried to pace myself during the school week by reading at least one article a day, but even then I ended up having to cram 7 15ish-page readings into the last two days. What I have learned is that I hit a wall after about three hours of reading. I can only absorb so much of the material after an extended period of slogging through and taking notes on very wordy, abstract journal articles and book excerpts. However, I have also learned that when I take away some distractions (namely, the television), I can work pretty steadily for three hours and get a lot accomplished. This is good to know.

This entry is probably not very interesting to mos of my readers. It does, however, represent a crucial part of the life of a grad student: reading. As an undergrad I half-heartedly, distractedly read through textbooks. I banked on really absorbing and understanding the material during the lectures-- and usually that paid off. In grad school, however, when a teacher assigns a reading, she intends to discuss it as a class, not give the class bullet points about what the authors said. If I don't do readings for class, the potential for making a complete fool of myself by not knowing what everyone else is talking about increases greatly.

My aim in writing this entry is not only to give my readers a taste of grad school. I hope the act of writing this down will help me remember the hard work I've done this past week. I also hope that I will look back on this entry in later weeks to find that I'm working even harder to read and retain course material.

And, I'm blogging now because I have hit the three-hour mark for today. I've hit input threshold and can no longer read and retain any more information. But I'm not worried about it-- tomorrow is another day.


written by Ruthie @ 10:08 PM   1 comments
Passion Fusion
I think I have finally found a way to marry all my various passions: East Asia (specifically, China and Japan), ethnomusicology, learning languages, music theory, and traveling. I'm thinking about doing some sort of comparative study of Chinese and Japanese music: how Japanese culture has borrowed from the Chinese music tradition, how various folk styles are similar and/or different in the two countries, what impact a pictorial language has on music-making, etc. I'm going to graduate from my current program with a master's in music theory and a minor field area of ethnomusicology. The next step might be a doctorate in ethnomusicology. I don't know. But I'm excited about all these possibilities.

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written by Ruthie @ 7:48 PM   1 comments
Petit Kat
Chi-chan recently sent me a package from Japan and, knowing all too well about my obsession with Japanese versions of Kit Kat, included a bag of fun-size regular Kit Kat and a box of "Petit Kit Kat." Though I saw it in the stores a lot, I never bought Petit Kit Kat because I figured it was just a smaller version of Kit Kat. I wasn't disappointed when I opened the package to find that I was right. However, the cute smallness of Petit Kit Kat was so funny to me that I decided to do a little size comparison with the fun size bars.

The Petit Kit Kat is, of course, the one on the bottom. Isn't it just the cutest lil' thing?! And the Japanese were kind enough to include the caloric intake in each package.

Just in case the smaller, one-serving fun-size Kit Kat isn't small enough for your diet, one-bite barely-satisfying Petit Kit Kat might be the size for you.

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written by Ruthie @ 11:52 AM   0 comments
Christmas Discoveries
I learned (or re-discovered) a lot of things about myself over break. Here is some little things:

I like venison steak.
I have an unnatural fear and suspicion of canned soup.
I hate, HATE when other people do my hair.
I hate when my hair is rain straight.
I know very little about perfume.
I actually don't hate omelets anymore.
I can tolerate certain cats.
I don't exercise enough.
I'm a lot cleaner than I previously thought.
I'm a pretty good wiier.
My skin care regimen needs to be updated.
I might just prefer sleeping on the floor to sleeping in a bed.
I have awesome family.
I have awesome friends.


written by Ruthie @ 2:48 PM   1 comments
Leftover Creations
I have three different kinds of chili in my fridge and I wanted to get creative with them, so here's what I tried tonight:

Chili Salad
  1. Tear two large leaves of green lettuce into manageable pieces.
  2. Spoon hot chili over lettuce.
  3. Add cheese or crushed crackers as desired.
  4. Enjoy.
It was quite good. I don't know what else I can do with chili, though, apart from pouring it over a hot dog (shudder). Any ideas?


written by Ruthie @ 8:29 PM   2 comments

Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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