…yet I never seem to find the time or energy to write.
Every day I think of something cool or interesting or important to me that I want to share, and every day that thought gets lost in my little gray cells. Sometimes it doesn’t even make it to Twitter.
So while I have a few free seconds, I’ll mention some of the things on my mind.
Grandma’s funeral and burial and the lunch much of the family had at Cracker Barrel afterwards were all so cathartic for me. I’m so glad I was able to be there for all of it, and so glad Sean came with me. I was able to celebrate Grandma’s life and mourn her death, and now I remember her and what she meant to me all the time, and with a smile.
My first niece will be born at the end of this month, and I am so thrilled. As a feminist and a tomboy, I’m shocked at how much I’m finding myself wanting to buy Daphne cute things and have tea parties with her. I guess all I can do is resolve not to treat her differently when it counts, when it’s a matter of fairness.
My best friend has moved back to Augusta after three years abroad. It is so nice to have her here, so nice to be able to call her up and have lunch or drop by and see her after work like I used to. It’s not exactly the same, of course; she’s married now, and living in a house rather than an apartment. But it’s pretty damn close, and I love it.
Back in September, my host sister from when I lived in Yatsushiro, Japan for three weeks in 2001 came to visit me! Yoko stayed an altogether too short three days; we went to Savannah, enjoyed Augusta’s Arts in the Heart, and went out for Indian food in Atlanta. We got along famously; she’s a huge fan of Arashi, and when I realized who that was and said “Matsumoto Jun!” we immediately bonded ;>
Not too long ago Sean and I went to a family dinner with Sean’s mom and dad, grandmother, grandmother’s sister (great aunt?), and grandmother’s sister’s daughter (second cousin?). It was really nice. I love family dinners. We had great food and looked at family pictures and just had a lovely time.
Sean has a new job teaching IT, which is just what he wanted, so we’re ecstatic. He starts soon, and more details about that will be forthcoming. Things will stay the same for me for awhile, though.
However, I have really ramped up my Japanese study. I study a little every day, with Spaced Repetition Software (SRS) called Anki, the myriad iPhone apps I’ve purchased, and/or James Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji. I also listen to Japanese-language podcasts about humor, pop culture, and cooking and watch Japanese-language media like anime, dramas, music videos, news, and documentaries. But the biggest thing I’ve done is join the Online Speaking Exchange and befriended/followed dozens of Japanese people on Twitter. Reading and responding to their tweets has really helped me overcome shyness and get a good feel for the flow of the language. Plus, I’ve made some really good friends.
As I’ve been looking into various language-learning resources, I ran across Benny the Irish Polyglot’s Fluent in 3 Months, wherein he speaks a lot about Couchsurfing. I am fascinated by the idea of letting people from around the world stay at our home; it sounds like a great way to make friends, practice language skills and learn about different cultures. I may try to talk Sean into it at some point in the future.
To motivate myself a little to become functionally fluent in Japanese, I’ve signed up to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) at level N3 (there are 5 levels). The test is in December and I’m really excited to see how well I’ll do.
That’s probably not even the half of everything I want to share–I haven’t even mentioned the running!–but it’s all I have time for now. Till next time…