UPDATE: You can follow blog posts containing "JULIA NUNES" here. Still a trickle, but trust me: soon it will be a flood!
Considering my recent experience with Really Silly US High School and College Boys, I will indulge in Julia Nunes, a Really Sweet American Young Lady as a pleasant change in mood (from pissed-off to happy!):
It's really funny how the net takes you to never thought of places:
1) I got a letter from Mr Nibs (HisNibs.com) a couple of days ago when he recommended the Uranus '2018' Multifunction pen
Did I want one ??? YES! But then it's sold out (as Norman wrote in his letter). Can I wait? NO!
2) So I searched for this pen on Google, but it's seems like there are no other dealers than Norman. Nevertheless I took a look at Ruminations, a blog publish in Western Australia writing about New Toys, including this pen. Nice, but not fair. Me too. Wouldn't have rejected the Speeno pen, either.
3) Took a look at the The Fountain Pen Network. Saw that one was for sale at http://www.sharpclaw.com/. Was seduced into looking at Sheryl's wish list and got stuck drooling over handmade Japanese paper at DanielSmith.com ('merely' $6.14/sheet).
4) Found another blog at The Fountain Pen Network, which I got interested in merely for "amish" in the name. Sort of not many Amish around in my neighborhood: Amish Guitar, right in the middle of A Mid Life Crisis :-)
5) And there I got interested in a girl called Julia Nunes, merely because of the nice things Mr. Amish. WOW! I spent an hour or so watching all the funny and cute videos she has produced for YouTube and got totally hooked! Not only is she cute, but what talent! There are really no similarities between what she does and what Eva Cassidy did, but it's the same straight channell from heart to singing/playing. Ukulele too! No walls whatsoever! Just look at the way she treats All My Loving, The Beatles, All Love, Little Respect and Pure Fun from eine WunderMädschen!
This gal can get as far as possible. I missed her T-shirt contest in April so here are my suggestions for the next one. Since Julia is going to play in Tokyo, July 2009, and Beijing January 2010 (other dates not possible since she has to Write Essays!) she really needs to print up T-shirts in advance. Japan and China are a little bit edgy towards each other so some sort of T-shirt diplomacy will do good to:
All those bored of Japanese and Chinese should note that Julia is playing in London/UK this week, in case you are close. Go there. I would do if I was just a tiny bit closer.
I admit that the colors above are perhaps too ... ahem ..."vulgar", but you have to admit that they Really Shine! The Message Is Seen. But I really prefer Chinese characters in red on a black background; that is the incarnation of Chinese signs etc. so I made another sample using different fonts:
The Chinese font in the middle can be slightly hard to read for the Western Eye, but admit that it really impressive with tons of weight! I actually have more fonts than I can handle and even remember. The white one above was totally new when I found it today. It's fittingly cute when you zoom in:
So what about Julia's name in Japanese and Chinese? The Japanese version - top - is very easy since they use a special script for foreign names: Katakana. it simply says ju-ri-a--nu-ne-su (since there is no plain s in Japanese). Easy as apple pie. The extra -- tells us that these syllables are longer juulia nuunes (and it wouldn't surpirse me if Nunes is pronounced in some silly way so I have to remake my design!)
Names in Chinese is an entirely different matter since the use only Hanzi - Chinese Characters to write all foreign names. Here is what New York City and London look like:
These characters are not usually choose because they mean so much in common with what they are said, i.s. they are merely sounds. The first character (niǔ) means button etc. The second one means something like appoinment (yuē), but the finale means CITY. So when the Chinese say New York City they will say niǔyuēshì and most of us will just not understand -hear - what they are talking about. ("Meet Mr Butt in the City"???) London is a much more straightforward lúndūn, something that most of us Westerns will recognize when said.
We are all rather sure that Julia isn't too willing to fall into the too common trap of using characters meaning weird and "wrong" things - think crazy tattoos!!! - so I'll add links to the nciku dictionary here:
举ju - means "raise" - compare weightlifting in 举重
黎 li - means multitude (not in nciku) on it's own, but is part of 黎明, dawn
啊 a - means exactly that "ah", "oh" "aaaahhhh"
努 nu - means "make an effort", but Julia doesn't have to :-)
呢 ne - isn't really much more than a sound and a particle used for stuff like questions etc.
素 su - can mean vegetable and is part of the word for vegetarian, something Julia ought to be, if she isn't yet (all of us should stop eating meat from cows and pigs polluting the air with their farts!)
That's it. Since I choose the character more from a looking nice point of view, I very much ignored the tones, so vital in spoken Chinese. Perhaps a Chinese reader will think the name sound a bit odd, but I don't think so. The sounds are absolutely OK per se.
So now it's time folks, to dig out your calender and make room for Julia in Tokyo and Beijing! And Julia, in case you read this: Don't feel any sort of PRESSURE! (And don't start to pack your bags. Yet.) This is merely some New Year's predictions from an old star gazer. Predictions DO fail, but sometimes they are right on the spot!
PS I forgot:
Julia's Brand New CD "I Wrote These"
and her debut CD "Left Right Wrong" are available here