Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cars and Japanese

Rob's bonus came in. For the first time in his working history, this does not mean "Woot! Let's take the family out for pizza and blow it all!", but actually involves a noticeable amount of money. He's hoping to replace his current car with a nicer, newer, though still well-used one. Right now he's having an absolute blast looking through all the local cars for sale and deciding what he actually wants. - shopping is always his favorite part of buying a car. We'll see what he finally settles on, but right now he's just loving the drooling. For example, he will be looking today at a Porsche 944 that was new when he was in high school (theoretically in running condition - once it's put back together). I doubt he'll bring it home, but he's getting an enormous kick out of the idea that he could. It's the first time he's been able to buy a car without the entire consideration being "how cheap can I get something that I can keep on the road myself?" I'm having a lot of fun watching him enjoy himself, and for the fact that the cars that he's most enjoying drooling over look like the epitome of a mid-life crisis (the Porsche, an Eclipse, a GT). No mid-life crisis involved, he's always loved roadster-type cars, but that doesn't stop me from snickering.

I'm back to working seriously on my Japanese. I've almost got my hiragana down (and my friend Chia says my handwriting is pretty decent). My ability to use the language is still down at the "Would you like to eat? Nice weather, isn't it?" level, but seems to be coming along fairly quickly. I'm not sure if working Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur simultaneously is better or worse than either separately, but it's certainly less frustrating than either alone. Pimsleur gives you longish phrases without a lot of understanding of why they mean what they mean, and it easily turns into boatloads of mass memorization if you can't break it down, while Rosetta Stone teaches you using no English at all, which can mean the breakthrough of understanding what the heck you're saying can take a long time, when just a tiny hint would have made it clear. I went through the lesson on pronouns three times before I realized that the lesson was even about pronouns! Combining it with Pimsleur seems to give me the extra bit of explanation that lets me decipher what a given Rosetta Stone lesson is trying to show me.

Eight weeks and counting to the World Tournament. I've gotten in some good sessions with my sai, but it's been raining non-stop for the last week (and is supposed to keep doing so this week) which makes bo practice time hard to come by. In general I think it's probably time to ease up on the general conditioning and start hitting the specific conditioning harder.

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