New Year… Same Old, Same Old

Hi Kids. So, I’m back again! I’ve taken a long hiatus during the dreaded 2020. Like many people, I checked out in the early days of Covid. But, then I realized that I wanted to do some other things with my time besides reading, shopping, and talking about reading and shopping. And, when better than being stuck inside all day every day, because of a global pandemic, did I have to do those things? Never. That’s when.

So, about 9 months later, I’ve still probably only left my house about 20 times. I like introverting. So, apart from not being able to see my parents at Christmas, I’ve enjoyed being squirreled away in my room doing what I like, and not talking to anyone.

However, I know this can’t last forever – and I have to, once again, join the world of the living. So, I’ve decided to make my grand comeback to the internet. I’ve got a few goals/plans, and other ideas about how the year’s going to go. And, at the very least it should be a lot more of the same until we’ve been given free reign to move about in public as we like. I probably will still be wearing a mask in public though… but actually I had been for some years before 2020. That’s allergies for you… stupid vape users!

Anyways… goals, plans and things.

  1. Read less.
  2. Buy less.
  3. Do less.

And, I think in light of these goals as my framework, I’ve come up with just a few achievable plans for the year:

I’m trying to keep things pretty loose, and pretty easy for the year. And also, give myself flexibility to do what I want. There are a few other things that I’m planning to do in the year that I don’t mention in the video. The one that’s relevant to this blog though, is that I hope to post here on this blog at least as often as I post to YouTube. My hope is to post something to correspond to every video I publish (weekly), and maybe a bit more.

We can only guess if this is going to be achievable in 2021. After the catastrophe of last year, I don’t think any of us can say for certain that something will or will not happen. Let’s just hope that it’s a much better year (by far) to anything we’ve experienced in a long long time!

Happy New Year!

Non-Fiction Review: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner

Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget ItFluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It

by Gabriel Wyner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s difficult to rate something like this without seeing if it works first. But, I do think that the author is at least giving you a very practical approach to self-language study… and he certainly doesn’t sugar-coat how much work it’s going to be. I’ve been stuck in my Japanese language study for a while — I think Gabriel Wyner’s approach might be the answer to get me out of this rut.

Also, I would highly recommend the audiobook of this to listen to while you read the book. He seriously has one of the prettiest narration voices. Plus, with so much discussion about foreign words and pronunciation, it is such a bonus to actually hear (rather than read and guess wrong) the words properly spoken. And, with how much he repeats his example words, my vocabulary is now 5-6 words larger.

Non-Fiction Review: Is That a Fish in Your Ear? by David Bellos

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of EverythingIs That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything

by David Bellos

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He starts off the book by defining translation, the other solutions to dealing with language barriers, and whether translation actually exists (just because we’ve given it a name). Brilliant! It reminded me of my “Modern Art” history class at university — I put it off for several years because I took the stance that everything has been done before — it’s just a rehash. and what were the first words out of my prof’s mouth? “I’m going to take this semester to explain to you that Modern Art Does Not Exist!” YES! I know there were at least a few students who were NOT happy with this remark. For me, that was the best modern art class I ever could have hoped for!

Anyways, I don’t have much to say about this book — except that I’ll probably buy it and read it again. I kept wading through the text and was excited by so many passages. I kept thinking to myself, “I need to write this quote down…” This doesn’t happen that often to me with non-fiction works. I can’t explain it. All I can say is, I’d love to read some fictional works translated by David Bellos, his explanation of the how’s and what’s of translation were fascinating.