Well, it's nearly 3:00 AM, and I can't sleep, even though I'm worn out. So many things going on, so many things to do, and even though I'm not working (shrinking bank account for the lose) I still don't have all the time I want. It's probably a good thing I'm not working, in a way, because I am able to spend a lot of time studying Japanese. JAPA 330 is harder in many ways than the earlier classes (which is to be expected) but in some ways it's actually easier. The hardest parts were learning to read and write the alphabets, learning basic grammar rules and learning some common vocabulary, but the way the classes were taught, the rules have built on each other, and after much repetition, I'm finding it easier to think in Japanese. Knowing how to conjugate verbs enables you to build more and more complex thoughts, because the mechanics of the rules are simple and common. There are just a lot of them to keep track of, more so in some ways than English, but less than other languages I've tried to learn. I have a hard time listening to native speakers talking in "full gallop" as it were, but I can start to pick out ideas while watching "raw" anime episodes, now. If the person speaks carefully and not too slowly, I can get by, I think. What I have to do is try to build up my vocabulary, because I have a good feel for the rules, and I can recognize them being applied, but I have no idea what some of the words mean. Knowing that someone is using the past tense of a verb doesn't help if I don't know what they are talking about doing in the past!
Well, this was a rambling post, and I'm nowhere near being any sleepier, so maybe I'll work on my painting. I'm getting back into painting pictures, for the first time in 20 years, since my university days. When I started work, I found that I had no time to devote to art (or at least, what I call art) since I and my fellow drones were expected to give up all for the company. If the company had a deadline, we were supposed to work all hours for no more pay, and to sacrifice private personal time to solve the company's problems. Well, I'm too old and tired to do that anymore, so in future I'm going to spend some of my time on myself. Selfish, granted, but the older I get, the less total free time I'm going to have before I die, and unless I win the lottery, I'm going to have to devote a big chunk of the rest of my life to someone else just to be able to pay my rent and buy my food, so I value my free time more and more highly.
The painting I'm working on is an interpretation of a scene from the closing credits of "Samurai Champloo", an anime favorite of mine. The closing credits show scenes from the childhood of one of the characters, Fuu, and the scene I'm painting is a profile of her looking up at the sky at sunset on the seashore. It's a striking scene, and I hope I can do it justice. I plan to have the painting done by the time the next local anime convention starts, which is AnimeUSA up in Tyson's Corner, in about two weeks. I don't know if they allow only one artwork for show, but if someone likes it, maybe they'll bid on it and I can make a bit of money, and they can enjoy the picture. I'm not greedy (although I am a bit mercenary) but if I can make a few bucks while creating something people like to look at, why the heck not?
Well, that's all I'm going to write for tonight, maybe it won't be a year before the next post! Anyone reading this, check out my other blog, "Systemic Cheese" at http://systemiccheese.blogspot.com.
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