link love

Kinosaki town, Hyogo pref manhole cover(兵庫県城崎町のマンホール)
( MRSY )
These Japanese manhole covers are incredible! You can see all of MRSY’s collection here

I love digging through the deep, dark recesses of the Internet to find exciting articles and whatnot (though I suppose it’s less like digging and more like meticulous cutting and pasting things I find throughout the week!). This week is no different, and I’m so excited to share them with you guys today!

5 Life Lessons from Gala Darling
The Jane Austen Novels ranked – everyone has their own ranking, but I’m pretty similar to this with my own. How do you rank them?
♥ On a similar note, Literary Inklings has listed her top 10 book-to-film adaptations which has bulked up my Netflix queue a little more!
♥ The dresses from ModCloth’s Make the Cut contest are stunning! I love seeing the original sketches and what they turned into!
Tackling stress from Hello Giggles
♥ Prepare to have your mind blown with The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Then and Now
Everyday words that were invented by famous authors. Oh, Shakespeare.
♥ Just in case you needed a refresher as to what Hamlet is about, Facebook style.
♥ Andrew Black on Why Loki Won in the Avengers. I’m a sucker for villains who have got it all planned out from the start, and Loki’s got that down, you can’t deny it.
Watchmen and Intertextuality: How Watchmen Interrogates the Comics Tradition – a brilliant read, if not somewhat heavy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s list of things to not to worry about in a letter to his daughter Scottie.

Any fun links you’ve found lately?

“Ganbatte, ne!”

Niji

This is the phrase I love to hate the most out of the entirety of the Japanese language. What kills me is that, despite sometimes being incredibly and ironically discouraging, more often than not it expresses the exact sentiment that is needed – “do your best!”

With the anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami earlier this month, this phrase just came to mind. It blows my mind that the same sentiment is so versatile to cover such an enourmous catastrophe as well as just the day to day. I tell my host sister “ganbatte” in regards to her schoolwork; our class is acknowledged for our hard work in learning the language with “ganbarimashita”; and now, especially of all times, it feels most relevant in my life. Just a few more weeks, a few more months to hang in there and give it my all so I can lean back one day and say 「あぁ疲れた。がんばりましたね。」and feel completely content from giving it my all.

And to Japan
頑張りつづけてください!

Organization: Filofax Love

Filofax 

In middle school and high school, teachers were on our backs constantly to keep track of our assignments and academics in a flimsy little school planner, a tedious task that everyone complained about incessantly. I didn’t mind too much, per say, but there wasn’t much incentive for me to use mine – it wasn’t really equipped with the layouts and pockets I wanted to organize with, and frankly, it was ugly xD Now that I’m older and have significantly more things in my life to juggle and keep track of, my hot pink Filofax planner is my best friend; it’s in my purse without fail!

Filofax

The pages themselves are fairly customizable; Filofax has a number of different layouts for your calendar (monthly, weekly, daily, etc.) and a number of different inserts such as to-do lists, address book pages, and daily schedule sheets. This is my second year with my lovely Filofax, and I think I’ve finally nailed down a plan that works for me. The best part is, if my general organizational lifestyle changes in 2013, all I have to do is change around my pages!

I keep the whole year’s calendar at the front on a month-by-month basis. Maybe it’s just habit, but I like being able to see the whole month at a glance, which makes planning blog posts and getting a big picture view of what events I have coming up that month.

Calendar

One of my favorite parts is the to-do list pages! Now, just because I have an “official” to-do list spot doesn’t keep me fromt making to-do lists everywhere else, but it’s nice to put the sort of big picture tasks all up front. At the beginning of the term, for instance, I put a list of all of my assignments here. Though I usually make up my daily to-do lists with “do this assignment today”, etc. I know that everything on the master to-do list needs done at some point, like discussion board posts and final papers. So no matter how I ultimately divy up the workload, I have a master task list. Things like “buy birthday card stash” and “clean iTunes library” also get written down here, as there’s not usually a major due date for them.

To Do List

I’ve got a few clear pockets in the front to stash business cards I’ve collected and a few spare of my own, as well as notes and loose papers that I need to hang on to or file. Not to mention a few inspirational goodies, like a Matt Cooke hockey card, Yoda quote, and expected graduation date xD Gotta have something to cheer you on each time you open up your planner!

Pocket of Inspiration!

I splurged on the little daily schedule sheets this time around, but so far haven’t found a good way to use them. There aren’t quite enough to use daily, yet there are days where I have so little planned I have no reason to use them. They’re nice to toss in by the ‘today’ tab if I do have a jam packed day, but I find I tend to use my Google calendar/Teux Deux to sort those kinds of daily things since they’re easier to drag-and-drop around.

Now this is really the meat of my Filofax. The bulk of the planning is laid out week-to-week; on one side I’ve got my weekly schedule such as classes and office hours, work schedules and payday. Doctor appointments go here, dinner dates, etc. Since I’m only taking a few classes this term, I’ve got them colored coded in my schedule to match their assignments on the next page. Sometimes I even get fancy and doodle accompanying pictures to things!

This week is a little weird looking since it’s Spring Break and I basically don’t have anything planned except getting some school work done and going to work. Normally it looks like it does below, instead of this week’s skimpy-looking schedule. The flip side of the page is a big open space for notes. Currently, I use the top portion to write down my assignments for the coming week – what needs read, what needs emailed in, and big project due dates as well. They’re all checklist style so I can mark them off as they’re complete, as well as color-coded to match what class they’re for.

Weekly Schedule
Weekly Schedule
Little notes get scribbled around there too, though lately I’ve been testing out jotting down my little daily tasks down bottom. I just cross them off as I go, and it’s not like those things need done exactly that day, but based on my schedule and what things are looking like I like to come up with a game plan of what I should and/or can do. Normally I scribble these down in the margins of notebooks, so it’s nice to keep them on me at all times. This is probably overkill (this is basically just a hard-copy of my Teux Deux list) but I’m addicted to writing things down xD

The back contains a little notepad; an address book that I don’t use much, but would like to convert my contacts into to have a physical copy that’s not on my phone or in my computer (might as well not have a separate address book either, since that’s an extra book to store!); and some divided pages that I keep my blog ideas, dinner ideas, notes for class, and little fun lists (like travel ideas and favorite songs, etc.) in.

Tabs

And there you have it! This is just how I keep my life organized, and I’m sure it’ll change as I go along, but I love working towards finding a way of keeping things on task. All in all, it works for me, and what doesn’t, well, I just have to keep playing around with things to find out!

Filofax

How do you stay organized? Do you have a planner? How do you keep on task?

Hogwarts

Great Hall

I just now realized that I have a whole tag dedicated to ‘Harry Potter’ and have to wonder how much do I bring this up on a daily basis…

Every time the new term rolls around, I step into the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt’s campus and gawk at how much it looks like Hogwarts. And it doesn’t end there – with most of my classes and departmental to-do’s taking place in the building, every time I’m in it I’m fairly certain that I send out a tweet regarding how much the Cathedral looks like Hogwarts. It’s captivating apparently to the point where I forget that I mention it to someone every single day. Usually the same person. Twice.
But it is! Just look at it!
Cathedral of Learning

Cathedral of Learning Passageway

There are gigantic fireplaces on the main floor, hidden staircases tucked away in the corners, and just stepping into the main hall reminds me of, well, the Great Hall!

Cathedral of Learning
Cathedral of LearningCathedral of Learning
Window

Too bad there’s no enchanted ceiling. And I still can’t find the entrance to Dumbledore’s study.