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T-minus 15 hours

December 6, 2008 •

Yup, here we go. The time’s finally come haha. The JLPT level 2 exam for 2008 is on at 12:00pm tomorrow!!

Studying for this exam has been pretty damn weird. I don’t really know if there is a clear-cut way of trying to cram one’s head with 1000 Chinese symbols and 3000 words in just under a year, and if anyone knows of a really good way for next time, please tell me hehe.

I spent the majority of today pouring over my kanji chart updating it with the kanji that I learnt from Kumon in the interim, the practice exams and from my iPhone’s kanji trainer. All in all, I know roughly 350 symbols now, so we’ll see how that goes.

At the moment, I’m feeling very ambivalent towards this. Not really nervous… but not excited either. That’ll probably change tomorrow, but here’s hoping my feelings are the right ones for this kinda thing.

Either way, I think I attained what I wanted out of this exam, and that was motivate myself to improve my Japanese ability, even if it was a little. Because of this exam, I went to town with my Kumon lessons, I sat down and watched tonnes more Japanese TV than I normally do, I took part in several interesting Japanese events around Perth and made some new friends, as well as I just sat down and wrote stuff… which I usually don’t do… ever. I’m hoping this is becoming apparent in the Japanese entries I’ve written on this blog as well hehe.

That being said, passing it would be icing on the cake, but I won’t be very disappointed if I don’t.

Well… apart from the fact that I’d probably have to go through all of this again next year as well. XD

To all of my friends I know who is doing the JLPT exam as well this year (especially the crazy hardcore ones doing JLPT1!!!), I wish you the very best of luck!

Here we go!! :D

One week to JLPT2

November 30, 2008 •

Ookay, as of writing this, it’s now officially less than one week until the 2008 JLPT exam. :O

For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the Japanese Language Proficiency Exam (ie JLPT) is an international exam held world-wide every year that non-native speakers of Japanese can undertake in the hopes of gaining a professional qualification on how l33t one’s Japanese ability is. The levels range from Level 4 through 1 where 4 is the easiest, and 1 is exceptionally difficult, even for most Japanese people.

This year, I figured on choosing level 2 which is usually gauged by having to know approximately 1000 Chinese symbols and approximately 4000 words. It’s a significant leap from level 3 which is something like 300 Chinese symbols and 1000 words only. :P

As of right now, it’s pretty much sunk in on how totally screwed I am for this exam hahahah. XP

As much as I hate to admit it, after going through as much material as I can, my Japanese is no where near that level. In the practice exams I’ve taken so far, every right answer was basically dumb luck haha. O_o

So… I’m taking a step back and considering my position now.

I’ve pretty much resolved myself to that even if I do pass this exam, it would probably be by luck, not my Japanese ability. And if that’s the case, then that’s something that I truly do not want.

For a time, I was also wondering if maybe I should have done level 3 instead. Level 3 is significantly easier, so much so that I got 100% on one of the practice exams I tried. So with that in mind, level 2 is the only way to go. There’s no point in aiming for anything if you’re not aiming up. So with that in mind, I do not regret not choosing level 3. ;P

So, I’m remembering back to the promise I made to myself when I sent the application form away. It doesn’t matter if I pass this exam or not. If by doing this it improves my Japanese ability, even by a little, then it is totally worth it. :)

On that note, this isn’t a decree of giving up. It’s a decree on how I plan to try my best still and if necessary, go down with all guns blazing. :D

There’s still a week to go and I’m going to give it my all to the best that I can muster hehe.

And anyway, there’s always next year! XD

22nd B’day Par-tay!!

November 24, 2008 •

Ugh…. midnight on the next night, and I’ve only just recovered enough to actually write a blog post. XD Whoo what a weekend!

So, Thursday night was the family celebration, and Saturday was the celebration between me and my good friends. :D

My parents had left for the weekend to go down to our holiday house, so I decided that this year ’round, so I figured, we’ll do it at my house, but this time I was going to take matters entirely into my own hands. This time, I’ll set up the house, I’ll buy all of the food, I’ll prime the entertainment systems, get the cake, and eventually do all of the cooking. :)

So, invitations were sent out about a week out beforehand (and sometimes less for a few who I couldn’t contact straight away lol) and the planning went underway. Dad was kind enough to sit down with me and help draw out a huuuge shopping list of stuff to buy including meat, salad, meat, cake, meat, chips, wine, coke, beer and all that stuff and on Saturday, I went out to Garden City to go and buy it all. :D

It took a good hour or so of return trips from my car to the shops and back, but finally, I got it all loaded into my boot, and safely back to my house. :D

It took some pushing, and shoving, but I somehow managed to cram all of the perishables into the fridge. I’m not quite sure how, but I did (TARDIS fridge…? XD )

30 minutes later, the guests started to rock up! One of my friends, Peter also brought some ingredients along as he was going to help out by cooking his world famous Bagna Càuda, quite possibly the most delicious as well as unhealthy foodstuff known to humankind. XD

After the majority of the people rocked up, we opened the presents! This year, I was very lucky to receive a copy of KoToR 2, Dirty Minds, a dirty game involving clean words, a copy of books and manga, Red Steel, as well as a plushie version of the virus, Chlamydia. XD

We played the Dirty Minds for a bit (of which I reeeeally couldn’t help myself but to blurt out extremely profane words :P ), and after I won the first round on account of the cards not being shuffled correctly, I raced off and set up the games room, and started the food.

Once all of the guests arrived, the cheese was promptly dispensed and we played some video games. The first game we played was Taiko no Tatsujin on the PS2, and after which we played some Rock Band. After that, we kind of drifted away from the games and focused more on chatting. By now, Peter was looking at putting together his deadly dish and I was going to cook the meat.

Sadly, some of the guests had to leave at that point due to jobs and other commitments, so we took a quick snapshot (sans one who had to dash) and the remainder of us set out to dinner. :D

After a bit of futzing around on the barbeque and putting together the salad, we finally came up with a full course meal, including Bagna Càuda for starters, followed by the main course which was steak and sausages with a side of potato salad and Caesar salad.

By this point, we were well and truly stuffed, so much so that the concept of the birthday cake itself made our gag reflexes twinge. XD So… we decided to go off and watch Futurama to let our stomachs empty a bit.

After an hour or so, we came back, lit the candles, sung obligatory songs, and then extinguished said candles on the cake. Sadly, we were still quite full, so only a smidgen of the cake actually got cut at that point. XD

And finally, at which point, it was time to pack up, and everyone went home… with full bellys and thankfully happy thoughts of the day. ^_^

I’m very proud of this birthday. Normally for birthdays, we usually go to a restaurant (Where people cook for us) or have it at our homes, where the parents refuse to not help haha.

This was truly the first time that the entire event was my own machination, and the fact it didn’t blow up in my face makes me glad.

On reflection, I definitely bought too much food lol. At the end of the party, there were still around 45 bottles of beer, 2 bottles of wine, a full platter of sushi, 2 liters of ice cream, 3/4 of the cake, as well as half of the supply of meat and salad was left over. I suppose too much is better than too little, but I think this was pretty ridiculous haha.

Either way, when my parents returned today, they said they were very glad to see all that food, and they’ll glady help get rid of it post-haste. XD

All in all, I think that was a good 22nd birthday. :)

The Christmas in November – 2008

November 20, 2008 •

So yeah yeah, I guess it’s finally happened. At approximately 6pm today (or so I’m told) I left the world of a 21 year old and joined the ranks of a 22 year old.

It feels a bit weird… it’s the birthday after my 21st… which I suppose means the first birthday of being an actual adult by all Australian standards. I was wondering if this was a bad thing until a good guy on my MSN set me straight and informed me that all the fun actually starts from here on. :D

Since I can barely remember what happened on my 21st birthday (I can probably chalk that up to the rampant drinking, but also to my lack of a blog at said time), I’m going to pretty much write down everything that happened today. :)
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Ode to Taka’s Kitchen

November 18, 2008 •

Taka's Kitchen Katsu-don

Taka's Kitchen Katsu-don

Okay…. the introductions have been done. Down to business! :D

So…. although I already have quite a bit of stuff I’d like to write about, I was trying to figure out what I should write about on my way to lunch today. At which point, I thought, since I pretty much go to the same place 3 days a week, I might make a quick post ranting about how great it is. :D

Taka’s Kitchen is a small-ish Japanese restaurant near where I work, up a small alleyway place called Shafto Lane. I was introduced to it by a fellow co-worker who ended up often going there pretty much everyday! :)

They sell the basic array of Japanese set meals including fish, beef, chicken, tofu as well as udon noodles, tempura and of course a huuuge array of sushi.

Anyway, the greatest thing about Taka’s is that for the amount of food you receive in one sitting versus the price, the value ends up extremely good hehe. For a large meal, the price is often around 7 dollars, and for small, usually 5. Conversely, checking out the other Japanese shops in the area, they are often 2 dollars more for half as much!
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Hello World!

November 16, 2008 •

Hi everyone!!

Well, I’ve finally gone and done it, I’ve jumped on the blog bandwagon! :P

It’s been a pretty long time coming, but it’s finally come. Welcome to my blog! :D

I’ve been wanting to set up a blog of my own for quite a while now, mainly as just a place I could potentially come back to and reflect upon in years to come hehe. But mainly due to other commitments as well as lack of l33t t3ch skillz and resources, it hasn’t been possible for me to set up a personalized, standalone blog for myself up until now. But now that’s all in the past hehe.
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