I bought a new laptop

And it has been wonderful. Truth be told, I felt a little foolish immediately after the purchase, since I have a completely serviceable laptop. It was just one of those moments where I thought to myself: “I want to buy something rather extravagant as a way of asserting my existence in this consumer-driven society.”

So, like what happened when I bought my ipad mini, after I unboxed it I sat and stared and basked in the strange non-warmth of Apple product glow. I think most people know what I’m talking about. It has a very particular smell. I imagine Apple spent no insignificant amount of time or money developing whatever that just-opened box aroma is.

After a half day of transferring files, I booted this new guy up and it’s been a rare moment when I’m not using it. It’s probably my brain tricking me, but I always feel a spike in my creative output immediately after purchasing a new piece of technology. Well, the potential increases. But here I am! updating my blog and thinking all sorts of thoughts!

Get ready, Internet, for the creative onslaught.

I changed my computer to Japanese…

…in an effort to expedite my language acquisition and knowledge retention. So far, the effects have been mild, but with continued use I might learn something. It is both fascinating and terrifying the rate at which language disappears with disuse. I think of my time in Japan, and although my language skills are probably still comparable to what they were from a sheer word comprehension standpoint, not being surrounded by the language makes it much more difficult to recall in a natural way. That’s really what makes me want to cry out in frustration, especially because I’m not really getting much satisfaction from my Japanese class either; kids fumbling around and relying on english while my teacher obliges their garbled remarks. But before I start sounding too arrogant, I will admit that my refusal to allow even the briefest of english explanations is a shortcoming on my part, since I don’t exactly understand the japanese explanation but just go along with it.

I feel at the very least I am making myself more comfortable with the idea of not using english as a crutch every time I am unsure of something in japanese.  After all, part of the magic and appeal of a foreign language are those nuances which elude direct translation; only by immersing oneself fully can the finer details be understood in an organic way.  Organic learning.  That’s what I’m after.