Archive for February, 2009

“If you don’t know what to do, Update it.”

(…I said that in my singing voice, BTW…)

I can’t believe I’m not done yet!  I’m so impatient–I just want to start learning real Japanese already!

…just had to get that out of my system 🙂 Thoughts like that have been plaguing me 4EVER.  But, thanks to some cool kids over at Twitter, I’m feeling all better now.  I just pretty much stopped learning new Kanji for a while (a week/a bit more-ish) because I was frustrated and overworked with school.  I’ve started learning again now though since the folks over at Twitter had some AMAZING encouragement waiting for me.  So, enough of the sappy stuff.  The end is in sight.  I am approaching the next stage of Kanjibeast!  Soon, those puny little Kanjis will all bow before the mighty Kanjiwulf!

Anyways, I also think I forgot to mention something in my last post where I talked about the podcasts.  If you’re into this sort of thing, I found a few Christian podcasts on iTunes Japan.  My favorite one is one that has the words Bible in rainbow colors over a white backdrop for the picture.  I don’t really know the name.  I think it’s 礼拝の聖書メッセージ(説教)〜音声ポッドキャスト 毎週更新–if that helps.  I can’t really read it.  I can Heisig quite a bit of it, but that’s about it.  But it’s easy to find.  Just look for the bright colors.  Even if you’re not into the Bible or whatever, still listen to the opening part of the podcast.  It’s so cute!  They have this cute music and voice that comes on to introduce it.  Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.

That brings up another thing.  For the past few weeks/month I kind of left the world of drama and (mostly) anime for news, news podcasts, and other podcasts (like the JUNK one).  I really can’t understand anything.  I can pick up a few words, word endings, and sounds, but it’s mostly strange to me.  I think I’ve hit a wall that I won’t be able to pass until I graduate Heisig and start sentences because I just don’t have enough vocabulary.  And the vocabulary that’s used in the news and random podcasts isn’t as reccurring (if that makes sense) as the vocabulary in anime.  

So, here I am, happily marching down the hallway, completely oblivious to everything around me (in many ways).  Suddenly, I decide that I’m tired of listening to podcasts so I put the music on random shuffle.  You know what comes on?  The ripped track of the second episode of Bleach the anime.

Holy.  Moley.  I could understand like 60%.  WTHeck?  I quickly put on RahXephon, another anime that I hadn’t listened to in a long time.  Same thing.  My understanding seems to have skyrocketed.  Or maybe I just notice my understanding more?  I think it may have to do with that whole idea of taking a break in another language that Khatz talked about.  For me, news podcasts were like another language.  When I returned, wow.  That was incredible.  

Granted, that still implies ignorance of the other 40%.  And believe me, when I say ignorance, I mean complete ignorance.  Cluelessness.  But it’s still a great feeling to finally see how much I understand.  

I think I’m forgetting something…oh yeah!  Kanji!

 

1761

1761

Fillin’ in nicely, ne?

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Chinese People and Wicked ne?!

Remember those Chinese people at that Chinese take-out restaurant I told you about?  Yeah, well I’ve been eating there a lot lately.  I’ve finally reached the stage of my addiction to where I eat there once a week.  The only thing is…I feel kind of like a stalker.

Like, I know for a fact that they don’t speak English.  They can’t even say simply numbers correctly (no offense, Chinese people, you’re still awesome :D).  It’s just that, the other day, I started having suspicions.  Like, what if they think I’m a creeper.  Or what if they think I’m stalking them or something.  I mean…am  I?

Of course I’m not.  I just like their food.  But I swear, when I walked in the other day, I heard the guy tell the woman, “It’s that guy again.”  Do any of you know any Chinese that sounds remotely like that (I don’t know if it’s Mandarin or some other version)?  I’m pretty sure it’s not English.  But you never know…

Whatev.  Time to put my paranoia to rest.

***

Wicked.  Wicked.  Wicked.  I saw Wicked.  It was on tour in English, and I saw it.  Wicked.  It was in wicked.  I mean, I already had half the songs memorized before I went, but it was Wicked.  Wicked.  Wicked.  Wicked.  The most Wickedly Wickedest musical named Wicked you’ll ever Wickedly have the Wicked pleasure of Wickedly seeing.  Wicked.

I felt kind of bad for breaking out of my immersion environment.  Though, that’s a bit a weird since I break out of it all the time anyways…but, regardless, I still had this huge guilt trip.  Then I remembered that when I was in Japan I saw a bunch of posters on the train advertising Wicked. 

It turns out they released a Japanese version of the Wicked soundtrack on iTunes Japan.  I listened to the little 30 second clips and was impressed, so I watched a few of them on YouTube.  Dude.  It was awesome.  It’s a little difficult to digest at first if you’re used to the Engrish version (like me), but some of the songs are pretty good.

***

I’ve also been poking around other parts of iTunes Japan.  It turns out that the podcasts section is really a thousand times more awesome than I originally thought.  Check out the video podcast section.  There’s this one called ワールドリポート.  Flipping awesome.  5 minutes-ish, slightly educational, fun, and just plain awesome.  And the two host(esses?) are awesome.  After the end of one episode that was about some food/treat shop thingy, they commented on it.  I have never heard so many ’s in my whole life.  Seriously.  This ne?  That ne?  おいしいね! Wow, ne.  Ne, like, that was so cute, ne?!  Let’s count how many times we can say ne is a sentence, ne?  Ne, I could totally like beat you, ne.  Ne, like, I win ne, you silly ne!…

Wow.  Sorry.   But there are all kinds of different podcasts.  For me, I really wanted to watch the news for half an hour in the mornings, but, because my internet sucks, I was forced to find podcasts.

Anyways, that brings me to my next point.  Have you heard of that Steve Pavlina guy that Khatz always talks about?  Well, I read a few of his articles on waking up early.  I never thought I could do it, but I’ve been waking up at 6am ever since.  I have anki reps done w/o fail by 7:30 am.  The discipline and other benefits gained from waking up early everyday are just awesome.  I love them.  I can get all kinds of things done.  You should do it, too.  I had always generally ignored advice on getting up early to do stuff on a regular basis because “I’ve tried that and me and mornings just don’t mix.”  Ignore that feeling and just do it.  It’s pure exhilaration.

***

I’ve read that a few other people use Anki for school stuff, so I started doing that for two classes at the beginning of this semester.  It worked for a while, and I was really getting a kick out of whipping out random dates in history class to impress my classmates (that’s a big motivational boost).  But…it didn’t work out.  I’ve quit doing it.  They’re in separate decks than my kanji, and I don’t have enough motivation to keep up with it.  Every day, I’m like “hmm, looks like I have a bit of history and weather/climate to do…PSYCHE!  Let’s do Kanji!”  So I quit.  Plus, I had a lot of trouble trying to format information into questions, etc.  Whatev.  I’ll just study stuff the “normal” way and review my notes every week or something.  It was an interesting trial run.

I’ll give you an update on “the kanjiposter” later.  I’m in History class right now, so I don’t really have access to my camera or poster 😀

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Videos, videos, who’s got the videos

I’ve wanted to do a video post for a long time.  I’d like to go on and on about why I’m doing this, but I can’t because it’s saturday night and I am severely procrastinating.  So here you go.

The first is an awesome song by Namie Amuro.  I’m pretty sure I have a huge 3rd grade crush on her.  Officially, I can’t officially recommend any of her other videos since sometimes she’s a bit….indecent?  Maybe that’s too strong of a word.  She’s still awesome.

I got the idea from Khatz to look up that one song from Mulan (“I’ll make a man out of you…”) in Japanese.  I watched the Cantonese one too (by Jackie Chan?!).  They’re good.  My favorite part is near the end.where he goes “むりだ。つよくなれぬーーー!”  (I’m sorry for the romaji…)

There are other cool disney songs in Japanese, too.  You should check ’em out.  BTW, I couldn’t find the opening sequence to Disney’s Robin Hood in Japanese.  Major brownie points to anyone who can find it.

And now for the best Japanese artist on the face of the planet.  YUI.  This song was already awesome, but this video made even awesomer (<—–I retain the copyrights to the word I just invented).  And yes.  I can wholeheartedly recommend any video by YUI.  She is awesomeness incarnate.  

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キターーーーーーーーー!

Mother father.  I forgot.  I’ve been holding out on y’all.  Snaps, I knew I’s forgettin’ sumthin’ in the last post!

Prepare for the drum roll:

*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!(this is the drum roll)!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*…

…DA-DA-DUM! (<——grand finale)

 

The Matrix

The Matrix

It finally came.  This movie has been on back order for me since around Christmas/New Year’s-ish, and it finally came.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I love this movie so much.  Like, Morpheus and Neo are cool and all, but they could totally make a movie just about Mr. Smith.  He’s awesome.  

The sad thing is, this movie came in the mail over a week ago, and I’ve been too lazy to blog about it or anything else (sorry >_<).

Anyways, I’ve already watched it somewhere around 3-4 times-ish, and I’ve ripped the audio and listen to it on my mp3 player iPod.  Yeah, I’m pretty psyched.  The only problem is that, surprise, surprise, the subs aren’t exact (sad face), so it’ll be sort of useless once I start sentences.  Whatev.

Wake up neo…the matrix has you…

I can’t wait until I can say that and quote the rest of the movie in Japanese :)

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Neglect.

I’m not emo, I promise.  Perhaps you can forgive the melancholy nature of this post’s title.  I have been neglecting so many things now that second semester started.  The laundry.  This blog.  Friends.  Japanese.  And, most of all, Kanji 😦 😦 :(.

I am still only at 1575:

 

1575

1575

…And it’s not getting much better.  With my insane amount of homework and reading, I just don’t have enough time to even keep up with reviews, much less learn new kanji.  I mean, the reading is fun, I guess.  I’ve met a few nice chaps named Booker T., Beowulf, and Chaucer (his middle English double-entendres are quite hilarious…).  Unfortunately, I just attended the Beowulf’s funeral (again, 😦 😦 :(:( 😦 :().  Once I achieve the rank of Kanjibeast, I will don the name Kanjiwulf in honor of the late great warrior.

I’ve been using Anki for my classes though.  It seems like it’s going pretty well, although the overall success of the process remains to be seen.  I’m having a bit of trouble formatting questions from the information and deciding what I should and should not memorize.

So, right now, I’m shooting for finishing the beast by the end of February, but that’s being really, really generous.  I barely have time to do reviews every day, much less learn new kanji.  There have been quite a few days where I skipped reviews one day and opened up Anki the next day with 250+ reviews.  Snap.

Also, I’ve officially divorced the RTK forum.  LOL.  It was fun, and once in a while I’m bored I look at what’s being discussed, but I just can’t maintain the obsession any longer.  I figured that a recent ignorant post on my part that spawned another off-topic religious/political debate might be a good opportunity to leave, so I did.  Harsh things were said by both sides (including myself), and that was awkward.  Whatever, no hard feelings. 

I don’t know if any of you have seen Alyks’ amazing list of recommendations for movies, manga, and anime, but I have (see link on right).  And it’s AWESOME.  The only problem was that I couldn’t find a majority of the manga anywhere.  All I could find from retailers online were random Chinese versions (although, this difficulty that I  had is very likely the result of my own stupidity).

But then I found this.  Mangahelpers.com is the bomb.  Just like Grendel’s mom, it’s got it goin’ on…  They’ve got all kinds of raw manga that you can download or read online for free.  They have several of Alyks’ recommendations.

And tha’ll do ‘er, folks!  

PS. I don’t know if I already told you, but I got a new laptop!  Score.

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