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current status

I am, fortunately, doing much better than I was a month ago. The leg/back problems have improved a lot: shortly after writing that post, I went on a nine-day course of steroids, and those had an immediate huge effect. I do indeed have a pinched nerve, and have an MRI to prove it; it was […]

2136 down, 0 to go

I’ve been putting the standard “jōyō kanji” in my collection of items to memorize, adding seven a week; this week, I finally reached the end of the list. I’ve skipped the occasional week, but not very many; that suggests that it’s probably taken me about six years. Long enough, in fact, that the list was […]

japanese lessons

It has been clear for a while that I would benefit from Japanese lessons: I’ve been getting a lot out of self-study (with assistance from books and JapanesePod101), but that self study means that I’ve never been in a situation where I actually had to produce Japanese. Which isn’t the end of the world—there’s nothing […]

taking stock of time

Every so often, I get somewhat dissatisfied with an aspect of how I’m spending my time; these days, it generally involves rethinking the way small actions fill time. I’m in the middle of one of those periods right now; it was kicked off by me running into a thought-provoking article about (temporarily) quitting Twitter right […]

two-thirds of the way through the textbook

I’m now two-thirds of the way through my Japanese textbook, and the second third went much more smoothly than the first third did. All but one of the chapters took two weeks each; that one took three weeks and, if you throw in the two vacation weeks, it only took me 23 weeks to go […]

217 down, 1728 to go

I’ve now hit the 200 kanji mark in my quest to memorize all 1945 Joyo Kanji. Where by “memorize” I mean that, if my memory is working well (which it usually is), I can write down the first 200 characters (actually, the first 217 characters: I’ve been procrastinating on writing this blog post) in the […]

over a hump

I’ve been going through some changes recently in my Japanese study. I finished the Manga-based grammar I’d been reading sporadically, and finished going through the characters in Read Japanese Today. Which I recommend (both of them, but I’m thinking particularly of the latter here): in my experience, you need as many methods as possible to […]

a third of a way through the textbook

Sorry I’ve been so quiet recently; I spent most of my evenings for about three weeks playing Mass Effect. (Which I quite recommend, incidentally.) But I’m done now, so I finally have a bit of time to get back to blogging. (And to catch up with reading the things.) I’m a third of a way […]

miranda, age seven

Miranda’s reading rather more comfortably now than she was in the past; at least partly because of this, she’s noticeably expanded the range of her desired sphere of competence. Examples: We’re finally letting her play Animal Crossing, because she’s reading well enough that she won’t constantly be nagging us to help her play. And she […]

go, netflix

Some random comments, after four weeks of Netflix membership: One movie at a time works if you’re sure you don’t want to watch more than one movie a week, and if you don’t mind missing occasional weeks due to shipping vagaries. Neither of those proved to be the case for us, so we’ve switched to […]

amazon prime

A month and a half ago, I was toying with the idea that maybe signing up for Amazon prime would actually save me money. I still don’t really believe that, but the general idea of not buying books until right before I’m going to actually read them seems sound to me. I’m going on a […]