Really? I finished my work early???
By Friday night/early Saturday morning, I had finished my classwork. The weather forecast had put our temperature into the high 90º F’s for Saturday and Sunday daytime temperatures, and I know from experience that my computer doesn’t like being on, when it’s that hot. I scheduled some offline time, then, even though I didn’t know what I would do with it.
Right now it’s a bit more comfortable, but still warm.
Because I finished my work early, I basically had 1.5 days free. Yesterday, especially, I had a hard time deciding what to do, with no demands on my time. Although my memory of what I did for most of the daytime is hazy (I can guess that I slept), I do remember that I finished the kana workbook associated with the Kluemper text, last night.
Japanese reading and writing…
I’ve also realized why it was difficult for me to get back to facing katakana: I have a hard time writing a good 15 out of 46 of the katakana syllabary, because it’s hard for me to remember what they look like. (Comparatively, I have a hard time recollecting 2 out of 46 hiragana: “se” and “nu”. Though hiragana “nu” [I would write katakana “NU” in capitals; katakana are used for emphasis like ALL CAPS or italics] does remind me of a Japanese dog [like a Shiba Inu or Akita] with a curly tail [“inu” = dog].)
I do have the Japanese for Busy People Kana Workbook, however, and I can work through this in order to build vocabulary and word recognition. Writing is included here, too, though sentence structure isn’t emphasized in the workbook — meant, as with the Kluemper text, to be completed possibly before one starts in reading kana in the first book (though there are two versions of this text: one in romaji [Roman letters; i.e. English letters], and one in kana).
I opted for the latter because romaji are misleading where it comes to pronunciation, and basically almost useless if one wants to read in Japanese. They’re a stepping stone, but lack much of the obvious grammar, etymology and sentence structure conventions associated with kana (syllabary) combined with kanji (imported Chinese character) use.
It will at least give me more words to practice with — even though the Japanese for Busy People series does seem as though it should be titled Japanese for Business People (a reason I picked up the Kluemper and Hasegawa texts in Honolulu [both published by Tuttle], when I had the option. [The Kluemper texts are meant to be used as high school AP Japanese textbooks; the Hasegawa texts are meant to be used as first-year University Japanese textbooks, or for self-study]). But that’s just me.
If you’re in the area of San Francisco, though, Kinokuniya Books at Japan Center has a very wide selection of Japanese-learning texts; much broader than the Barnes & Noble in Honolulu (which I am told is one of the few bookstores on Oahu). The major disadvantage at Kinokuniya is that the books are just generally sold wrapped in cellophane — meaning that you will very likely get a very clean book, but there may not be a display copy available for you to read, in order for you to see if you actually want it. (Sometimes people buy the display copies.)
I’ve never asked to see if I could open the packages, and don’t really know if there is a protocol in place that says when it is OK or permissible to do so.
If you’re in the South SF Bay Area, I think there is also a Kinokuniya in San Jose’s Japantown, but I’ve never been there, so I…really don’t know much about it!
Anyhow…I did finish the kana sheets last night, though I am finding that very often I have to make a conscious decision to do something other than go to bed. This was not an exception.
Wanting to restart painting
I also want to start on a painting — I just am not entirely sure what size canvas to use, which I know isn’t the greatest reason not to have started yet. 🙂 But I’m thinking of going back to the 30″x30″ canvas, even though I know I don’t yet know what I’m doing. Or I feel like that, anyway. The thing to do would be just to push myself to start it, even if I’m uncertain or feel unprepared.
The first step, if I were being careful, would be to prime the 12″x12″ canvas with a mixture of gesso and Phthalo Blue. Then I would go in with white pastel and try and make a loose drawing of the photo I gained from so long ago at the State Fair — which will be much easier on the gigantic canvas than on the small one.
My major hangup is that most of the main colors which I want to use — violets, roses and blues (with yellow highlights — maybe something like an Expanded Complementary palette) — are largely transparent colors (except when mixed with more opaque colors like Titanium White), so I might trip myself up if I do something wrong which I then can’t cover. Which, in turn, is the reason to start on the small canvas, first.
But what’s the worst that can happen? I dislike it so much that I gesso over the canvas and use it for something else? I waste time that I could be using to sleep? 😛
I’ve also got to be aware so that I don’t block the drains with acrylic paint (easy to avoid, with disposable palette sheets), and avoid getting the paint on my hands…and getting pastel dust on the floor. Maybe I should just use vine charcoal, instead. That sounds workable…I have become a bit wary of pastels, particularly since that Titanium Dioxide scare a few years back (with free nanoparticles leading to concern over carcinogenicity…nothing of the sort with vine or willow charcoal).
But if I use the tiny canvas, I can see if this works, first, before using the big one!
I just don’t want to get sick of it in the small version and then never go on to the big one…
If what I can predict will happen, happens, though: I’ll probably have ideas on where to take Version 2 that won’t be apparent until after I’ve gone through the process of completing Version 1.
And I do really want to paint, again. I want to make something colorful and pretty. 🙂 And I can’t do that if I’m too intimidated to approach my easel (I did get an easel, a while back: it was the only thing my Studio Art classes had, that I didn’t have. Well, besides company, and a mentor).
And work on…Bullet Journaling?
I also have my little dotted notebook here (it’s from a company called Kyokuto)…and it’s weird? but I don’t want to stick to any rigid format for its use. I’ve been looking over the Bullet Journal website, and…I’m thinking that it really isn’t like me to follow directions to get to a predetermined endpoint. Maybe I can use the principles behind the Bullet Journal system, but really…heavily tweak it, so it turns out being something that’s mine.
And I really wish I knew how many pages were even in this notebook: I don’t. But it is really elegant, and I want to use it. My problem, I think, is planning and attempting to look ahead at what I’ll have to do (when I don’t fully know, yet).
I also…think maybe I’m throwing out the baby with the bathwater on this one, and — looking at a past post — maybe I do have some idea of what has to be done. Maybe I just forgot, because I didn’t look at my notes from before. 🙂 (Why do I blog, again?) I think that something like a Bullet Journal could seriously help me organize my time when Fall Semester starts, and I’m carrying nine units, again — in addition to possibly having a new job.
I found it a little odd that my creativity would be circling back around to language (particularly writing), stories, and books, but I guess I am planning on being a Librarian, so…maybe I’m just overlooking the obvious? 😛 Learning to write in Japanese language is one of those things that ranges into calligraphy (or would, in an extreme case — right now it’s just “learning to make things look correct”).
Writing in English…has stalled a bit, but it’s interesting to see what my mind does when it’s let loose like that. 🙂 It actually isn’t stressful for me, anymore! It can be fun, because I actually have complete control over the situation (relatively speaking) — which I did not sense, before — and I can make things as serious or light as I want. I’m very, very new to “light” writing!
But it’s nice to know that I don’t have to dive into my history of trauma every time I try and create a narrative. I think my main character is helping with this, as well — I’ve started the narrative about 2/3 of the way through the story, and added a couple of extra layers which are helping things along, I think.
It’s also really nice to not absolutely know where the story is going to go, or all the facts that are associated with it — it leaves things open for experimentation and adjustment.
Heh — I think I’ve written enough (?!?!) — and…I see it’s now after midnight. Well, that was a good 3-4 hours spent here (?!?!) …but not wasted. I feel a lot better now that I’ve logged what’s happening — writing nearly always helps me get my thoughts together. I’ve also noticed that a lot of people I follow have been quiet, recently, so here’s to adding one more leaflet to the Reader pile! 😉