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Restarting Japanese – and More

I really liked the format of my last post. The use of separators gave it a flow that I haven’t yet been able to achieve in any other way, and I intend on continuing to do that. The other day, the smoke alarms in an apartment in my building started going off for no reason. I left my building and wandered around until I actually found the apartment in which they were going off. I found it, and the apartment was inhabited by a Mexican grandma-type – older lady, very… Read More »Restarting Japanese – and More


One of the more frustrating things about Japanese to a beginner is the multiple levels of politeness.  At first glance they seem completely foreign, but I really don’t think they are.  It’s baked into English as well, it’s just not so much a grammatical construct as a manner of speaking. Contrast, for example, Greetings, I would like to inquire as to the report dated 11/15/2019, and await your reply forthwith. with Yo, dawg, you got that report or no? The first example is intentionally pretentious, but you get the idea. … Read More »Politeness


One thing that many people don’t know about me is that I’m fairly competent on the piano.  As with Japanese, I am only now learning exactly how much I don’t know in that discipline, but I can hold my own.  If I really want to learn a piece, even if it’s difficult, I usually can. But the reason I chose the piano was precisely because it is a different instrument.  I also became relatively proficient with the clarinet, and while in some ways it is a far more expressive instrument, and… Read More »Complexity

Crisis of Confidence

I am a reasonably accomplished early-40s man.  I can play the piano reasonably competently.  I know how to program in quite a few programming languages.  I became an expert at the Linux operating system.  I have studied, to varying degrees, math and electronics, and I consider myself to be of significantly above-average intelligence.  I have thoughts about theology that make pastor friends tell me that they remind me of C.S Lewis, or even Augustine. All this is to say that trying to learn Japanese is probably the first thing in… Read More »Crisis of Confidence