Stop. Rethink. Re-jig. Start Again.

Things that are working at the moment:

  • UBJG Anki Deck – getting through most-to-all of my reviews every day. Enjoying the slow but constant increase in recognising grammar patterns. I’m a grammar nerd at heart.
  • All things 嵐. I’m watching old episodes of まごまご 嵐 and loving them. Had the first volume of C X D X G の嵐 playing on a loop this weekend. When I relax and go with the flow (rather than trying to understand everything), I get a pretty good idea of what’s going on. The only weird bit is that my brain latches on to certain phrases, translates them to English and starts an internal monologue, explaining why it’s funny to a non-Japanese speaker. Hoping this will pass soon.
  • J-music – in the car, on the iPod on the computer. With the exception of leaving iTunes running when I leave the room, English language music doesn’t factor into my life any more.
  • Writing practise on Sundays – yeah, it should be every day, but quite frankly I have neither time nor inclination during the week. Other than in lulls during department meeting at work, of course. *cough* I was having a lot of trouble producing even the kana a month ago, though my recognition was okay. But by drilling myself through both syllabaries, I’m finding that (a) I can read them faster in manga/websites/magazines, (b) I have fewer mental blocks when writing – today it was only ら and ネ that stumped me – and (c) my writing is getting better. Seems obvious, but I had to think about how I got my English handwriting to compliment-worthy levels in order to sort out my Japanese. I remember the hours of hand-cramping slog I put in between the ages of about 10 and 15 tweaking my handwriting, just because I wanted to. It paid off, too. I figure the same commitment to my Japanese handwriting will lead to the same outcome. Fingers crossed.

What’s not working:

  • Kanji In Context – it’s boring me. Boredom is the enemy. Hence, it shall be put aside for a while. Still need to figure out what will fill the hole…
  • Aimless internet browsing – especially 嵐 related stuff, which will pop up in English as often (if not more so) than Japanese. Also, fanfic addiction. A more-than-decade-old habit that’s a bitch to break. It lies dormant at times, then rears its ugly head. And I can’t find a Japanese equivalent to replace it with at present. Is there such a thing as Japanese fanfic? I know things are translated into French, German, Spanish and Russian from time to time, but I’m not sure that Asian languages figure in the equation (or if they’d be any good, if they did exist).
  • Japanese Accelerator – lost access earlier in the week, and lost mometum by the time Kevin and Aaron fixed it for me. Must give myself a kick up the arse tomorrow night to continue. I know it’s fun once I get into it.
  • Aussie TV – Not watching every night, but if I get home in time, there’s a good chance I’ll start watching Master Chef with my dad. And that’s dangerous, especially on Tuesdays, when it feeds into Talking ‘Bout Your Generation and NCIS (the latter of which is a double-header most of the time). I can lose a whole night to veg-ing if I’m not careful, all in the name of not closeting myself away in my immersion bubble bedroom.

Good things that happened this week:

  • Found the copy of Spirited Away my sister gave me for Christmas (birthday? They’re only a week apart, presents kind of blur into each other…). Was disappointed when I put it on and copped an American-dubbed Chihiro and Co., but soon realised that you can set it to Japanese as well (with English subs that can’t be turned off, dammit). Have watched it half a dozen times (well, watched twice, listened the rest of the time) and pick up more and more on each repeat.
  • The good people at J-List confrmed that my よつばと set (Vols 1-7) are on the way! I was pretty fed up and just about ready to cancel the order, too. Looking forward to a manga series that I should be able to understand. Hopefully, after finishing with よつば, I’ll be able to tackle 花ざかりの君たちへ and ラブひな with a bit more speed! (Disclaimer: I enjoy them at the moment, but there’s a lot I don’t really “get”. Looking forward to more things clicking very soon.)
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