17 August 2017 @ 08:05 am
i keep having ups and downs where i feel like going to japan is impossible, in the sense that 1. something will go wrong and i can't go or have to come back fast (ex. problem with my student loan going into my bank account, problem getting VISAs), 2. something will happen to me in general (ex. i'll suddenly die). i know it's ridiculous, and i'm not DWELLING on it, but the thoughts do crop up. haven't cleaned my room or sorted out my bank card or the disability money yet. i think part of the problem is that my wife's been constantly negative about japan ever since i started this whole process - she doesn't even care about japan so she's not even excited about going there. despite that even if you ignore everything else, she should be super excited just to get out of this abusive house.

on top of that is... i've been dreaming of going to japan practically every day of my life since i was SEVEN. that's almost 20 years. it sort of feels like once i go there i'll have died. like the rest of my life was just a long, bad dream being the prelude to my actual life. not just that i'll have "died" but that in japan i'll also be a "real adult": doing all the stuff adults do (going to concerts? hanging out with friends/coworkers? i can even visit a gay bar or go hang out with old ladies if i want to etc). it feels like my self-reservation and stuff like that will fall away. i'm pretty sure this is just one of many weird symptoms of depression; going to japan shouldn't make me think i'll be a completely different person once i get there, you know? it's not even my first time living in a foreign country.

BUT, japanese IS already "freeing" me. every day i'm talking to normal, non-depressed even, japanese people; something i don't (apparently) do in english or swedish. i really watch what i say ("this is just my opinion but..."), say please and thank you (stuff i really don't say in english/swedish...), and it's just natural. it's not fake. i've started reading the news, i read amateur short stories, manga, doujinshi, listen to music and occasionally the radio. i don't follow the news in any other language. i don't listen to the radio (by my own free will) in swedish. i've already found TONS of similarities between my life and these japanese guys' lives (ex. how their parents treat them, what they do when they're just sitting at home, even their holidays). it's not everything of course, but ex. O Bon is literally just the 4th of July except O Bon has the pretext of your dead relatives coming to visit. you have a fire/barbeque in your backyard, you have fireworks and relatives over, you probably go to a neighbourhood/community party = exactly the same. or, simply just the fact that we've seen the same anime and played the same videogames can go really far. and they, even if they actually hate japan, really like it when YOU like japan and have a real interest in what they're doing etc. so to someone like me who genuinely loves almost everything about japan, everyone's really friendly and nice.

i don't know how i'll feel once i actually get there, or what will happen to me during the exchange. seriously every time i think about it it's like "but i'll be dead then, i can't know the afterlife". but i just feel like... i just have to get there. i honestly feel like my luck with japan has been so good so far, i could probably get a job in like one week as soon as i start looking. (my plan is to start looking in september/december, after i've gotten used to the place... but if an opportunity comes knocking i won't turn it down!)
17 August 2017 @ 07:49 am
been trying to read fanfic/short stories in japanese every day, still just working on adding kanji to my pop-up dictionary..... even though i know a "lot", there's still a ton i don't know so it's really frustrating. and even though i can read with the DICTIONARY, that doesn't necessarily mean i can without it.

these two dazai stories were okay, i plan to read more: (i've already practically memorized an english translation of this so even if i were to get stuck....) (read this in school so again, can't really get stuck on it at this point)

this fanfic is super easy; i don't know all the words but since it's really cliché, isn't doing anything fancy with words/grammar/sentence structure, i can figure it out with the dictionary and don't have many problems

this one however is too hard for me at the moment (though i'm trying it anyway, it's frustratingly difficult looking up all the kanji meanings and stuff)

generally speaking, the news is actually easier to read than fiction. in fiction you have bits of sentences, description etc that's just completely random AND often using poetic/rare words or words in a non-everyday-way in general. the news is "there was a river at x place", fiction is "in the pitch-black twilight darkness of the cold, lonely night there was a dried-up, dusty river at the previously-unknown-to-him x place". sigh. the news has a ton of "rare" words like place/people names, detailed geography vocabulary etc so it's difficult in its own way, but not sentence-structure or grammar-wise.

sometimes i also can't think of an esperanto word to describe the kanji, which is frustrating... for example "murky". apparently no such word in esperanto. i wrote something like "mud-cloud-like unclear" but uh that's not what i want. dict has 1706 entries now, lately i've been adding in a lot of compound words but hopefully after a long while i'll be able to remove most of them by just updating the definitions for the individual kanji they contain.
15 August 2017 @ 05:00 am
well again i'm just reminded,

my kanji dictionary has 1433 entries now and reading japanese's an absolute blast — it's so much more fun this way than other similar tools like Rikaichan (pop-up dictionary). it's like every single word is a phrase you understand from context: you know how like we say, i dunno, "ride off into the sunset", they're actually saying this kind of stuff in just two words all the time and that's their NORMAL WORDS FOR THINGS! like "a complete(ly finished) wall" and "a complete trezure-stone (jewel)" are the terms for "perfect". they're just literally saying "wow, your cake's a compete jewel!".

i finished editing those poems, wrote to the guy i'm doing this for apologizing for being so late (i said i'd do these translations... FIVE MONTHS AGO) and asking for clarifications on a bunch of lines i couldn't understand; also wrote my self-introduction to the sendai esperanto club that they want to put in their magazine, which i had been putting off.

i have the motivation to work ALL day. i'm sleeping fine. i even freaking have the motivation to write fanfic; my imagination is really vivid right now. i'm not getting irritated at like, anything.

and why? because i haven't eaten a SINGLE bad thing for 2-3 weeks now and apparently what little bad stuff i must've had in me is all gone now (must've finally left about 2 days ago). haven't tried any new risky foods, even if it means literally only eating sausages, bananas and coconut oil all day because i have nothing else. and i'm just REALLY happy all day! like, how in the world can i be happy living in the situation i do? BUT I AM!!

i've also realized my eyesight gets better after i eat, because if i haven't eaten (ex. i've just woken up, or am hungry) i lean in closer to the computer and font seems smaller. i noticed it because i leave the same windows open all the time and suddenly the next day, what i was reading just fine the night before i feel like i can't read easily. i was wondering why reading real physical books didn't seem like anywhere near as much of a chore lately as it did before, so now i know! it's painful (emotionally-speaking) but there's no way in hell i want THAT to reverse, i dunno what i'm going to do about trying new foods in japan...

also just so you know, the food seems to compound. ex. i can eat a bowlful of pasta (made from beans) and not notice too much; but if i eat ANOTHER bowl the next day, or two days after, it seems to compound the bad effects. so my plan is to as much as possible not try new foods within say 5 days of each other, so i have a higher chance of tolerating it.

ive found out you absolutely don't need to use any kind of oil/fat when frying sausages (at least, ones with intestine casings, maybe fake casings act differently); they won't actually stick to the pan. bacon is the same of course. so that's yet another way to save a small amount of money... if you need frying fat, you can just cook bacon first and use that leftover fat. i've also been trying to reduce dishes by baking stuff in a little foil package, ex. instead of frying sausages in a pan i can just bake them...

today my plan is to finally call the bank and fix my bank card so i can then buy airplane tickets to japan, finally write up that letter so i can start getting handicapped money. yesterday my wife was asking something about if i liked x or y eyeliner/eyeshadow stuff better on her as opposed to her not having anything, and i couldn't tell the difference and she was just like "you're THIS blind? and you're not getting disability money??". i was like, i'm not that blind! which, i still really don't feel like i am! i mean, i CAN see, i'm not totally blind! but how would i know...

13 August 2017 @ 06:09 am
tooltips; 1235 entries  
i've managed to make tooltips in firefox bigger! i actually tried doing it a year or so ago and couldn't find info on it, this time the info came up in two seconds on google:

Pop-up dictionary has 1235 entries; I'm really getting to the point where there's not much left to do BUT what's left is AWFUL! First off I'm spending an hour just trying to find stuff like the difference between stuff like 答 and 応 (both mean "reply", one with an obvious nuance difference, but WHAT is that difference??). It's like researching the difference in nuance for "drink" versus "beverage" when you aren't anywhere near fluent in the language. Second off, a lot of the remaining kanji aren't described in English anywhere and the Japanese descriptions are really confusing (like, try describing what a "cat" is without using pictures) AND have both old and new forms ("cape" as in "headland" has like 5 possible archaic versions or something).

And then there's the shortenings. Soooo many words are shortened! For example "warm spring jewel child" 温泉 玉子: jewel child is the slangy way to write "egg" (sounds the same), warm spring=hotspring. this refers to that people used to (and still do actually, if movies are to be believed) make boiled eggs by putting the eggs in a net bag and submerging them in a hot spring for a while; so this is the term for a soft-boiled egg. Now 温泉 玉子 gets shortened to simply 温玉 "warm jewel". so i have to look up the word's meaning, look up what it's short for, figure out how to translate it to esperanto ("dubiously-boiled egg, forth-boiled egg")...

...BUT i predict there's really not all that much work left to do in reality. and my wife's sisters have finally left for their own apartment now, after staying here for over a month (earlier in the year they stayed for SIX MONTHS) so i can actually work during the day now (excluding when my wife's mom stays home from work, which is often).

making natto again, last time i accidentally dropped the hot pot and spilled all the beans onto the ground so i got a bit discouraged for a while (it takes a really long time/lot of effort to make simply because we don't have a pressure cooker or yoghurt maker), but now i'm back at it....
12 August 2017 @ 12:30 am
900 entries  
kanji pop-up dictionary has about 900 entries now.

checked my email, some spam-ish japanese anime/manga advertisement mailing list i'm on (accidentally signed up for it years ago when i was trying to play japanese online games) had sent me the customary mail, but i realized i could read the entire title. clicked on it, i could read everything inside it without help, except for just a couple points! it's only short advertisement "hey look we're selling this book now" stuff but still! back when i signed up for this i couldn't read a single kanji, and it really wasn't so long ago.

started making the letter-replacement list for chinese (both traditional & simplifed, when needed) to japanese kanji. it has 137 entries so far.
09 August 2017 @ 06:01 am
first goal day  
well the first day of working on my new goals isn't over yet (it's 6am) but i think i woke up like 8 hours ago.... first i ate, then i sat down to check twitter and read a japanese news article.

1st big mistake: checking twitter, reading emails and logging in to my online game wastes a few HOURS. it's alright if i'm just reading, but as soon as i have to write anything i take forever, so i need to figure out how to cut that down.

I picked a random article, it was this one about some baby twin pandas:

That was alright, I added in all the kanji to my kanji dictionary I'm building, but the article about that blind couple I read a few days ago was three times that long. So I went to find a second article, this time about an earthquake:

That was my mistake. I was just lucky with the first article. Looking up the precise meanings of kanji takes a REALLY LONG TIME! I've literally been sitting here for like five hours doing this between those two articles and the original blind-couple one (which i'm still not done with)! For example you have 穴 "hole" and 孔 "hole". Apparently 穴 is any type of hole (butthole, cavern, etc) and 孔 is a specifically a hole "that doesn't pierce all the way through something", ex. a crater, the goal-hole for your golf-ball. But in order to find out this distinction, which wasn't in the dictionary, I had to Google and eventually find some random Japanese person's blog where they described it.

and all those hours passed. i still have to watch my one anime episode, which is probably going to take an hour and a half (since i have to pause and look up words / copy sentences down all the time), and then do something else. i'm going to try and correct one of those poems i need to correct a day, just have to do it all piece-by-piece....
08 August 2017 @ 01:40 pm
well i'm gonna do it  
pruned my twitter "followers" list; deleted all the annoying, boring, etc people including that racist, constantly-angry american living in japan (i'd thought they were following me because i'm pretty sure we were originally mutuals; turns out on your followers page you can see if someone's following you back or not and they weren't.) i'm actually only following THREE people who "only speak english", one of them is my childhood friend so i told them about my plans to quit english (on that twitter), they're at work so they haven't answered yet... also posted the plans on my tumblr (if i can manage to quit english i'll also be quitting tumblr by default since i only ever go on there to post in english).

hafta do a buncha stuff in general: clean out my computer files, clean room, etc. i think after that i can begin the no-english (the computer stuff at least involves a lot of english because it's just me sorting out files and books and things). i'm not sure what i'm going to do about this DW account; it doesn't really bother me because you guys are all nice on here and my biggest problem with english is Angry Mean Stupid People, but at the same time if i write in english here i'll probably slip up and write in it elsewhere as well... ahh but i have all those japanese lessons to write for the japanese community.... it's not like i'm on DW all day or anything so maybe it's fine...
08 August 2017 @ 03:44 am
english again  
i want to give up on english. again.

the amount of sane, good, nice people using the english language is almost zero. for example, if you write something, everyone "reads into" what you're saying instead of reading what you actually wrote (i wrote on a topic and everyone apparently thought i was writing about something else — simply because i used ONE SINGLE TERM wrong and they apparently couldn't understand from the rest of my very long, detail-filled message), then they attack you or otherwise do all they can to prove you're incorrect.... with no sympathy. I'M the one saying "well i looked it up but i could be wrong" etc, they're simply going "no you're wrong" (despite that, yeah, i did look it up to see that i was correct before even posting). oh and i even got people messaging me to tell me that i had the wrong "context" — what context?! this was a post i wrote myself, it wasn't a reply to anyone!

then, i'm really tired of every single conversation being either mind-numbingly stupid or full of hate. like, i've tried to be fandom friends with people and their entire concept of "liking a series" is, apparently, watching it and then saying the main characters should replace the characters in a certain commercial they've seen. if you say ex. "well i think it's pretty clear that character's gay, look, all these events and lines of dialogue happened" "no it can't be because they didn't state it outright!!". sorry, but especially in japan, you can be gay without getting naked on screen, kissing someone and confessing your love to them. i'm pretty sure i knew this fact even when i was TWELVE.

then there's the english language itself. i don't want to support people thinking that english is "cool", or that people really should forgo their own languages in order to learn it. i don't live in a (native) english-speaking country anymore, in reality there's no reason for me to use it on a daily basis like i am. and people in other languages are just NICER. in japanese, swedish, esperanto (though there are some crazies in esperanto, they're usually english-speakers) i get nice, human, sympathetic, whatever-you-want replies AND ACTIONS. for example, i mentioned wanting to find more people who have aniridia —— and my japanese friend, without even saying anything, went and found a japanese aniridia person on twitter for me. talking to a swedish kid (kid! he's barely 15!) and i got really heartfelt advice.

but in english, literally 9 out of 10 people are crazy. maybe they're not crazy on the surface, but once you flip their switch (which can be as simple as disagreeing with them)...

the problem is, i've been using english every day of my life for 25 years. i don't want to, for example, alienate the (few) friends i have who only speak english. if i write fic, it always comes out a billion times easier (and nicer-sounding) in english. when i google i automatically do it in english. there's so much stuff i can read, play, etc in english for FREE. but if i continue to use english in my private life i'm going to end up continuing to use it in my public life (= twitter etc) too. and among other things, i NEED to write some books in english so i can get some money.

i feel really frustrated and down right now, i don't know what to do.... i mean, if someone's "really" my friend then they'd learn an easy language like esperanto in order to understand what i write, or would be fine with google translate, right....? but then there's the problem of them still wanting to write to ME in english, when i'm trying to quit english entirely....
06 August 2017 @ 04:03 pm
current goals  

This week:
— Unlock debit card, try to make sure student loan money will go into it
— Fix/translate those African poems
— Write self-intro for the Esperanto club

Before October:
— Clean room, toss everything
— Clean out comp, sell old comp?
— Get to N1 level in reading Japanese

Keep thinking again that I have to "man up" and just become an adult already. Adults can't shirk all their responsibilities and put off everything for months, they don't promise stuff that has a chance of not happening, they don't spend all their time complaining, etc. Of course I'm speaking about the ideal type of adult, the kind that's in my mind. I have a LOT of stuff I've been putting off for months or years and I REALLY need to just swallow my fear/laziness and do it, though in the past few days I've for some reason felt really tired and sleepy all day... Last night I had a bad eyeache and was super thirsty too, they're probably all connected.... *yawns* when i say tired, i mean if i pause in writing this my eyes literally slide out of focus and i feel like i'm going to drift off to sleep in a few moments. it's summertime so my body's overtaxing itself, what with the bright sunlight and all, i think...

If you put off stuff until you "feel like it" or "feel better", you'll never get it done. Time doesn't actually stop just because you don't feel any time-press. Then suddenly that thing you promised to do, you realize your promise happened 4 months ago, or you haven't replied to that Email in 5 weeks. Sigh. Just have to man up... Clean everything, keep it clean, become an adult. Stop messing up and eating food that makes me feel sick.