Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Quick note on some more Kai craziness...

Tomorrow we have a lovely new verb form to learn, which means we got a Dropbox video to watch; once again its sole purpose is to explain the conjugation rather than providing any information on what the form is for (a little research indicates it's for passive voice, and the examples suggest it's going to be a bit of a mindbender). This term, though, in addition to the video -- all of six minutes, almost all of it a slow list of examples -- we have a worksheet assigned to go with the video. Which is, yep, just conjugating a list of verbs.

I can actually kind of see the utility this time, only because the extra 10 minutes in class (I'm cutting out a lot of the time the worksheet took since it was pretty much unnecessary) will be nice with this particular verb form. Still, though, the timing is terrible...

...because, for tomorrow, we have sixty-six new vocabulary words to learn.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New Zealand x America: Weekly Craziness and a New Form of Government

A while back I made a good friend from New Zealand. He's been in Japan for a very long time and is a genuinely great guy; he's a happy family man, but also a bit of a party animal. So every Saturday (which usually gets moved up to Friday, but the plan is Saturday), we go out on the town, which typically means Ginza.

Last weekend we reached our pinnacle: While pre-Ginza dining at a kushiyaki (skewered meat) restaurant in Shibuya, we devised what may be the perfect society.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The pace in Kai level 3 is absolutely ridiculous

Granted, this was just the first week, but still... it started too strong and hasn't let up. The grammar so far hasn't really been that bad, which is a change from level 2; the vocab, however, is off the charts (I looked back to my previous level 3 entry and found the same phrase used; I'm leaving it here to denote my agreement with myself).

Premade, uncooked pork and veggie stirfry

When you're feeling lazy but not real-fast-food lazy... grocery stores often stock premade but uncooked meals like this. Veggies and pork in a garlic soy sauce, ready for the wok... it was just shy of too much for one meal for me, which is pretty good for about $3.20 (if I'd eaten rice with it it'd have easily been two meals).


It was pretty good. The sauce was mild and the pork was quite nice (pork belly or, if not, a really fatty cut that fried up very well); the not-quite-green-beans were... OK. But hey, veggies.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

(probably unofficial) Gunslinger Litany t-shirt (Stephen King's Dark Tower series)

Despite having fallen out of love with Stephen King after re-re-reading the Dark Tower, I still love most of the series, and ordered one of these when it was up for sale (no longer available). It should arrive next week. Exciting!


It's a mantra the gunslingers (basically Old West style lawmen with six shooters) recite as part of their indoctrination training. Looking forward to walking around Tokyo in this and seeing if anyone gets the reference.

Also hoping it fits...

Hotaru ika (firefly squid), a seasonal delicacy!

Mistake #1: I don't think these are intended to be eaten for breakfast (i.e. without some kind of alcohol).

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kai level 3 has begun (ominous music here)

Thanks to a great deal of attrition and a fair number of people moving from afternoon classes to morning, we're down from having three different afternoon level 2 classes to just one afternoon level 3 class. However, instead of the 9 people my class had in level 2, we now have the maximum they'll put in one class, 15.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

One of the most twisted and impressive music videos I've ever seen (animation)

THIS IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK. The following video contains ridiculous quantities of nudity, plenty of violence and more than a little gore, and aside from that, may cause unexpecting viewers' heads to explode, resulting in considerable mess.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pork for breakfast, lamb for lunch...

...and a sensible dinner.


Clear Asahi is kind of upscale happoshu, not-quite-beer that's very cheap because of a loophole in the legal definition of "beer."

The chips, on the other hand... yeah, apparently this is a crossover between a big potato chip maker and KFC. Which had me pretty excited, at least for some really interesting flavor, but they're quite mild. Just sort of a black pepper normal-chip flavor... oh well, next time I'll try something else.

I've understood a bit more of my troubles with Japanese

Outside of conversations with close friends, when I'm in a situation where I need to (or even want to) speak Japanese, I try to wait until I can make myself understood. Not at a native level, certainly, but to the point where a sympathetic listener won't have to translate "what the hell did he just say" in his or her head before attempting to request clarification or simply drop out of the conversation.