JLPT N2: question marks galore

Well, so much for trying to update more regularly, eh?

I took the JLPT N2 at the beginning of the month and I am still too shell-shocked to hit the books again. This was my first attempt at N2, and I was warned that the reading sections this time around would be dense and impenetrable. I thought it would be fine if I just reviewed weak grammar points, but NOPE: it was the paper exam equivalent of having a fire hose turned on me. That should teach me not to slack off.

So what have I been doing in the more than two weeks since the exam? Slacking off, naturally. It’s hard to stay motivated to keep studying after the test, you know?

I’ll get the results back in February. I have a feeling that I failed, and even if I managed to squeak by with a lucky pass I’d still want to take the test again because of how badly lost I was during the reading passages. We shall see.


In June of this year, I purged all of my old blog entries because I was more than a bit ashamed of my writing. I rambled a lot or dumped tons of screenshots of games that I was playing. I was embarrassed that what I felt ought to be a right proper blog was, instead, an online journal. Back in ye olden times of the Internet, a blog was essentially an online journal, and who needs one of those anymore when there’s Twitter? A blog these days means something of almost magazine-like quality. The only way I could justify paying for and maintaining a blog, I thought, would be if I were to amp up the quality and provide Content™ for the masses.

Then I stopped updating altogether because the idea of sitting down to create Content™ was so unappealing and dreadful, especially when I could release a string of vapid tweets and then play video games instead. It turns out that it’s even harder to justify a blog’s continuing existence if it has only three posts.

So here I am again, refreshing the idea once more of what I think a blog ought to be. None of this really matters to you, dear reader, since I doubt there will be much Content™ coming. Nor do you really care about my internal debate over whether to shut down this site that receives only a couple of hits per month. However, I am going to make an entirely pointless pledge to update this place more often.

Carry on.

Study Japanese with Anki

It’s been two years since I originally posted about how to study Japanese with Anki. I am still an avid user and continue to add new notes whenever I run into new words or characters, and due to my commute, I spend more time than ever on crowded trains reviewing cards. My old Anki guides were far and away the most visited blog posts I’ve ever had, though it was becoming increasingly outdated. I thought I’d go back and tidy up my old guide to anyone looking to set up their own Anki decks.

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I bought the full season of King’s Quest during the winter sale but haven’t gotten around to playing it yet. I did load it up just for a few minutes to see what it was like. In the very brief time I played, I’ve come to the conclusion that the graphics are beautiful, the narration of this cold open (I’m assuming) is a bit odd at first, and the puzzles are… well, better than Telltale puzzles of late, and certainly not the awful guess-what-the-developer-was-thinking puzzles of the ancient King’s Quests, but also not very interesting. Then again I did only get about ten minutes in before having to temporarily shelve it. Definitely need to have a proper sit-down with this game soon…


Let’s play Mini Metro!

I picked up Mini Metro using money I saved up by selling Steam cards. It is to city sims what rymdkapsel was to RTS: very low learning curve but a surprisingly complex game once things get rolling, with nice minimalist art that doesn’t overload you with tons of windows and overlays and info dumps. And most importantly for a sim game, it is stupid addictive. You can play in short (~15min) bursts with the daily challenge or by racking up enough points to unlock the next level, or you can go totally zen with endless mode.

Connecting the dots has never been so fun. Or frustrating.

I’ve unlocked all of the normal levels and played through them all at least once, and am now in the process of unlocking all of the extreme levels. This is the only part of the game that really makes me scratch my head, though. Why are the extreme levels locked behind achievements, rather than just being available from the start? Oh, well.

But for all of that, I really like it. It is good, and you should check it out.

(Damn. Now I want to go back and play rymdkapsel.)

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Happy new year!

Yeah yeah, I know, I’m terrible. Happy 2016, and all that jazz.

I have a lot of things I want to blog about, but I can’t ever seem to sit down and actually write them out. For starters, we watched every major animated Disney movie over the winter vacation! I’ve been getting back into comic books again in a big way! I’ve finally watched all of The Office (US) and have some opinions about it! And on and on and on.

Now if only I had the discipline to write like how I used to. Even if it’s all garbage and nonsense, just getting anything up. I don’t want to make a grand goal like I WILL POST EVERY SINGLE DAY IN 2016!! because I know there is no way I’ll last longer than a week by doing that, but um, I at least pledge to post more often. How about that?

All right. LET’S DO THIS.


Second Life with fuzzy animals

More Animal Crossing screenshots, because this is all I ever play anymore. Well, this and Splatoon.