restless and tired for the past few days. think i ate something i shouldn't've, again... now i'm trying to make kimchi (it'll probably fail, i used the wrong type of cabbage and spices and the "sauce" is more like a watery soup instead of a paste) and fermented squid (hopefully won't fail) for the first time. for some reason i've failed in making nattou two times in a row now too. i'm late on some homework and have been putting off other homework, including my final project.

wrote some gintama fic, my first fic in a long while. i don't know how/why it happened but for some reason i just sat down and wrote without even thinking about it. i'm also working on making a textbook for teaching japanese again, which is just "mostly-translated stories, with grammar notes". again.

the only good thing in life is that my japanese has clearly improved. i can understand what -real, unscripted people are saying- now even if it's not 100%. the main obstacle (other than my wife's parents) lately is that normal text feels way too small, even reading manga on a large computer screen takes effort. so i just get tired and don't want to do anything. i'm really feeling the whole "disabled" thing lately....
akira hikikomori

registered for JLPT N2

i'm gonna get special test-taking help (enlarged papers + right to use a magnifying glass + right to write my answers directly on the test paper instead of using a scantron sheet) for the first time ever, i figure the test will already be hard enough so i'd better take all the liberties i can.

binge-studying vocab on, hoping to finish N4, 3 & 2 there within next week then take another week for the remaining levels. after that will use the textbooks for grammar and manga/novels for vocabulary. i'm studying 4-6 hours a day, need to work on memorization techniques so it goes faster...
akira hikikomori


contrary to what i read earlier about the JLPT not being held in sweden, it's being held in stockholm on july 2nd. i'm signing up for N2 (second highest) level:

you only have to pass 1/3rd of each section and i passed 2/3rds on the very quick sample N3 (third highest) one, so since there's 3 more months until the test i'm certain i'll be able to pass N2. i hate these kinds of tests but i really need to get a job in japan, so i hope passing this will help me...the test only costs 500 SEK, in contrast to the swedish proficency test (also at N2 level) which costs 1600 SEK :

at first i thought i wouldn't change the study plan i'm already doing, but then i asked around and read a bunch of blog posts about the JLPT, it seems you REALLY need to focus on READING so i'm going to try and simply "read" a lot more. i also found a new site to use, "" which people said helped them a ton, so i hope i can pass N2 on the first try...
akira hikikomori


having such a terrible time with so-called adults lately.

groupmates who never read the instructions (i can handle "sometimes doesn't read", but "never" is really annoying), don't answer emails, and/or don't say when they have a problem with me or my work. i even did most of an assignment by myself (i got some "starter sentences" then i corrected them for clarity, lengthened them into paragraphs and turned it in) and didn't get any thanks or anything, not from the girl who only wrote sentences and not from the guy who didn't do A SINGLE THING. last time too, this guy who apparently has zero concept of that he has to actually contact people, he disappeared as SOON as our group recording was done, literally 3 minutes later, despite that he knows we aren't actually finished with the assignment, was already gone from skype without even saying goodbye (that's another thing - apparently none of these people say goodbye when they go offline) so i do the rest of the assignment alone. and didn't get a thanks or "sorry i left" or anything.

the main recurring theme here is that none of them are COMMUNICATING. if you're going to be 3 hours late, send me an email. if i never reply, send me ANOTHER email. if you don't like how i did the work, SEND ME AN EMAIL. if you want me to redo my work, TELL ME WHEN I ASK IF I SHOULD OR NOT. these guys aren't just giving me "no it's fine" lies or anything, they're literally NOT REPLYING AT ALL.

and they're adults. in university. all of them older than 20, most of them closer to 30-40.

also, i could in fact put up with ALL of this if these guys were just FRIENDLY and/or APOLOGETIC. they're so completely not, they're really arrogant (except for one guy who's barely talked so i don't know about him), some have even admitted to others that "i really hate it when i'm not correct" (aka "my way or the highway" in terms of groupwork) etc... crazy.
akira hikikomori


got a cane for blind people and the disability office taught me how to use it… mixed feelings. on the one hand, i can actually look around me instead of at the ground when i walk, and people will actually assume i see badly (those 2 points are the reason why people even have canes); on the other hand i feel like i'm "really a blind person" now... i already feel a bit more confident/like a normal person (i can look at the scenery while i walk! i'm basically seeing town for the first time!) while at the same time i know exactly what people are thinking when they see a guy in sunglasses and a white cane....

they’re giving me polarized, tinted lenses with special frames for free but i can’t get prescription contacts (too much astigmatism), and untinted glasses i have to pay for myself for some reason. my wife can be registered as my sight help and then she can ride the bus for free with me. i have the right to own a seeing-eye dog OR a normal dog that i train in some way to help me, and if so they’ll give me “special dog” disability money; too bad i can’t own a dog in my current house.

also i’ll be getting normal disability money (it’s not unemployment money but the minimum amount you can get is around $120 USD per month). i’m going back next week and will ask about “proof that i see badly for school” among other things... i dunno, it's just like, why did no one ever tell me i needed a cane until now at age 24...
akira hikikomori


japanese uni i most want to do the exchange with announced they're offering ONE full 1-year scholarship (via the japanese government) to our uni, as in out of the 3 people who can do the exchange in the first place 1 can get $1000 USD a month to pay for all their living expenses.

the chance of me being selected to go on exchange is rare (a reasonable assumption is that 30 people might apply, though it's probably closer to 20), and of course even if i do get selected i have a 1 in 3 chance of getting the scholarship. even if i'm good at japanese compared to my classmates, my grades aren't impressive (mostly because i kept turning in homework late due to never having quiet time at home) so them picking me relies on them knowing my personality & stuff. i don't know if my school choses the winner and the japanese government just accepts that automatically, or if there's a second level to the selection process.

BUT. 1/10 is still a really high chance for going abroad to my top choice and 1/3 is a super high chance for getting the scholarship just by default. so of course i'm applying.

in other news, holy hell why didn't i start eating natto earlier!! it's yet another food that's improving my memory (i notice because i review hundreds of vocab words each day) and fixing my sleep. i haven't had ANY nightmares after starting to eat it, in fact my dreams have all turned into nice, REASSURING ones. like "all your problems are solved!" dreams every night. oh and it seems to be improving my skin just like the homemade milk kefir does.

about japanese:
now i can understand 70-90% of all japanese texts on average; manga, nonfiction novels and newspaper articles included. on very rare occasions with short texts i get 100%. i'm having huge fucking troubles studying because my wife's sisters are incredibly annoying (yesterday one broke down in tears because - get this - i left our laundry in the washing machine when we went to town for 3 hours and "she wanted to wash her laundry"), but they're FINALLY, after staying here for 4 months, going home around the 20th.
akira hikikomori

sherlock BBC new season

(haven't written any clear spoilers in this post)

watched that new BBC sherlock season.
i didn't think it was good. it started out okay but most of it was bordering on cringeworthy. loooooots of logic gaps, lots of REALLY unrealistic dialogue/speaking manners, tons of time-wasting to fill in the gaps because they couldn't think of a plot, and that kind of stuff. the "twist" in the last episode was what i assumed from the very beginning of the ep, and throughout the eps (last one especially) it all felt so stupid so i figured that amount of transparency was intended - anyway the whole season focused way more on CHARACTER RELATIONSHIPS and DRAMA than cases. the whole thing of solving cases was just thrown out the window, we don't know how or why anything happened basically, things were just magically solved in the end.

the problem is, i don't wanna watch a drama show with crimes on the side, i wanna watch sherlock solving crimes (with drama on the side being permissible).

like my wife put it. "moriarty in drag? lestrad needing to say the words on the phone? would have been so much better."

frankly their "genius" this time didn't even seem like a genius. their "killers" seemed uninteresting, like a lot less thought was put into them this time. they sort of had plotholes everywhere and tried to wrap the whole season up in a rug to close it off. AND they REALLY tried to push the "straight" stuff with a few gay jokes just like, thrown in randomly and awkwardly. there were a LOOOOT of loose ends every episode in general.

i don't know what went on behind the scenes but it feels like someone else was mostly in charge of directing/writing these eps. i didn't really feel so much love for "sherlock" this time around. all that money going into this show, all the help they can hire and research they can do, and.... yeah... i basically came out of this season with "moriarty's gay and annoying, and everything else is stupid".
akira hikikomori


i found out that two of our upperclassmen (they just finished japanese III, which i'm just starting now) are going on exchange for a year to the school (in sendai) i want to go to most, starting in march... that school only lets in 3 exchange students per year so maybe there will be no room for me (who'd go in autumn), i don't know when the "year" restarts... there's still 2 other schools i could get accepted to but one of them only lets us come for a single semester, sigh. i'll just keep hoping i can go anyway...

now i've been thinking that if i can't go on exchange i'll take my student loan money and live in japan for 3 months (the tourist maximum) anyway, then i can just apply to do the exchange when it opens again as planned...

i know i shouldn't get my hopes up for stuff like this (realistically speaking it's a small chance i'll get to go to my top choice) but i just feel like... c'mon, let me be a little luckier, i'm working my ass off studying for this, please just let me be accepted...!!

on that note, i don't know when i'll be told if i'm accepted or not at all. i'm assuming in february or march i'll know if i've passed the first round.
akira hikikomori


man... class just finished like last week and yet on monday class will start again... school is hell. i've been doing a TON of studying, i've almost studied 2 semesters' worth of vocabulary & grammar in 1 month. as usual i just need to get so far ahead that no matter what happens, i can't fail.

so, wife's grandma is dying in the hospital (been diabetic, obese & depressed for like 50 years, has big memory problems etc & now finally fell down one too many times - tore a ligament so she can't ever move her arm again, has internal bleeding and blood poisoning now). as in, she just had an operation yesterday but we're all assuming she'll die like today. to be honest i don't really care, she definitely brought it upon herself and she also raised all her kids in a way that made them severely messed up. and she never did anything with her life - her whole life for the past few decades was apparently just eating candy, watching TV and not talking.

no, what worries me is how my wife's mom's going to act after grandma dies. she's already insane but now there's two ways this can go, one being that she gets so depressed she actually calms down and stops yelling at us etc all the time, or starts trying to treat us better because she suddenly realizes the value of life, or starts getting her affairs in order (actually putting money into the bank, sorting out her will etc) because she actually realizes she'll die someday too. the other option being that she just gets worse and becomes absolutely, completely unbearable.

and it's not just the mom. my wife's sisters and dad are just as fucked up and annoying. the dad in particular is being meaner and meaner, and more forgetful, every day. i know i always say this but jesus, how far can someone go? if they get more messed up from the grandma's death...

like, you shouldn't have this feeling. hearing that someone's going to die, your first (and, well, all) thoughts shouldn't be "oh shit, how are their relatives going to treat me afterwards?".

anyway, i'm so poor all the time, spending $30 on personal-wish goods gives like a huge luxury feeling... (i got some christmas/new year's money from my dad so i bought some tree-sap gum, and tea). everyone's talking about that new game console, the nintendo switch or whatever - doesn't seem so great to me but how many years will it be before i can afford that kind of thing anyway, lol.


forgot how much of this i've already said. passed my final exam; now i'm officially a 2nd-year in my 3-year japanese degree. i've been studying the textbook ahead of time as much as i can, class starts next week (i think) and we'll be on chapter 1; i'm currently on ch 12 and hope to be done with all 15 before the first day of class. i'm spendiing all day studying, as in, as far as humanly possible.

to keep motivation up i cut everything into chunks: study 5 words (via memrise, a flashcard software thing), read 1 manga or fanfiction/book page, study 5 words. reviewing is 10 words instead of 5 and i review as soon as words pop up for review, that way i don't have like 5,000 to do when i wake up each morning.

my japanese is improving REALLY fast. after all 15 chapters of this book i'm just gonna read japanese manga like crazy since it won't be so difficult anymore. it's making me really happy, finally my childhood dream is in sight! and it seems like a REALLY REALLY good choice to study abroad after having finished this book (3 semesters) instead of just 2 semesters so i'm not upset about that either.

the one problem i'm having is, you guessed it, the other people in my house. they simply don't know how to be quiet. my wife's sisters have been staying over for months so it's not even quiet when the parents are at work. so again i'm staying up at night to study, sleeping in the daytime... but when the grocery store closes at like 22-23 you can't be a real night owl.

other than that i've gotten super into gintama and've started writing fic for it, started looking at and writing a textbook for greenlandic too (but that's on hold until i'm done with all 15 textbook chapters)