Awkward Blog
Taunted scores and Japanese Resource Post :D

We got back our first three homework assignments graded in Japanese class. I made the same mistake three times across multiple assignments. I wrote the hiragana ‘to’ (と), but we are only working on katakana (so I should have written ト). Slammed my head on the desk a few times for the stupid mistakes, but I’ll get over it. Mistakes are required when learning a language, but I feel taunted with almost perfect scores (96, 98, and 100 so far). We have an exam soon in the class as well, but I have no idea when that’s going to be. I think I’ll be fine though, as our teacher gave us all the oral test questions and answers. (but I knew how to answer most of them anyways ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

So, I’m going to organize my lovely online Japanese resources for those who may want to study. Some of these sites might not be the best for you, but these are what I’ve used and enjoyed. My recommendation is to first learn hiragana and katakana and work from there. You want to escape roman characters asap.



Maggie-Sensei- Cute blog based site to learn from. The site is updated fairly regularly (think they do weekly posts), has good explanations, usually small bite sized lessons.

Usagi-Chan- I used this for recognizing Hiragana and Katakana. Good to start, but you’ll want to jump to other sites once you’ve got a good grasp on them.

Charles Kelly’s Resources- Has flash-based kana flashcards. Has more advanced stuff as well, but I’ve used the site mostly for online kana flashcards.

Pera Pera Peng Peng- Updates are slow, but covers a lot of grammar.

TaeKim’s Grammar Guide- great grammar resource.

JLPT Study- Resource for Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) that covers most of what’s been on previous JLPT tests. (focuses on level 5-2)

Speedanki- Online kanji flash cards.

Anki- Awesome flash card software that can sync across computers and phones. Downloadable online flash card decks are available as well.

Read the Kanji- an excellent kanji recognition training site. It’ll gradually introduce kanji to you, and use it in multiple contexts so you can learn the multiple readings of kanji and such. love this one.

Tofugu Resources- Wonderful collection of resources from the guys at Tofugu.

Tom’s links for studying- Another site listing a handful of learning resources.


The “categories” aren’t exact, but they’re the awesome things in the channels you should check out.

Gimmeaflakeman- [language/culture] 

Gimmeabreakman- [language/culture]

Japaneseformorons- [language] *

Entropy102- [culture/kanji]

Gakuranman- [language]

HirokoChannel- [culture/language]

Japanesepod101- [language]

Tofugu- [language/culture]

Delbertmon- [culture/language]

NihonJenn- [culture]

Panditty- [culture/nerdisms :D]

TokyoCooney- [culture]

Meaphe- [culture]

…gosh I could keep going with the youtubers… Seriously be sure to check out other Jvloggers. The Jvlog community on youtube is quite awesome.

* Gimmeabreakman does the Japanese For Morons videos. He originally did them all on his Gimmeabreakman channel before expanding it to a new Japaneseformorons channel, so be sure to check out the gimmeabreakman channel to see his earlier JFM videos.

That’s all for now. :)


This last week I found out that I graduated salutatorian. Since I skipped the graduation ceremony, I had no idea. The high school called us to let me know I had a plaque that I could pick up. After the phone call I promptly asked, what the heck is salutatorian? A quick google search let me know it is the position right below valedictorian. My high school was a credit recovery type school. I was really only trying to graduate, so getting salutatorian was nice since I didn’t even try.

Ah, but now my weekend begins. A very busy one though. I’m working tonight, all day on Saturday, and running sound the next morning! Actually, I’m running sound most of the weekend, but the benefit is that I’m getting paid for one of the days. In fact running sound for 4-5 hours on Saturday is going to pay more than my actual job, which is very sad and exciting. Little by little I’ve been saving up for a Japan trip. Don’t know when it’ll happen, but saving for it.

I think this week I’ll put together a Japanese resource post. Had a discussion with a friend at lunch today who wants to learn the language, but doesn’t really know where to go. I’m not good at Japanese (and consider myself horrible at it), but I’ve collected a decent amount of web resources.

And on the topic of friends and Japan. As a dweller of the internet I’ve met a bunch of people that I don’t know. One of them is taking a semester abroad in Sapporo! He’s blogging the experience here @ ( He’s an awkwardly awesome nerdy guy like myself in Japan.

Time for work…




Nice weather isn’t it?

You know that awkward moment when you haven’t seen someone in a while. You know them well, but you just don’t know what to say. Often times someone will jokingly bring up the weather, and it’s usually me. Ah, weather… the always dependable ice breaker. I think it’s awesome that it seems to also work for Japanese. But in Japanese it is almost always just used as a segue to a different topic. Speaking of segue…

What has happened in the last seven months of goal-failing-not-blogging? I’ve gone from bronze to silver league in Starcraft 2. I finished high school, and skipped the ceremony. I cheated on SDL for Monocle Engine. Haven’t finished the Hobbit… but it’s still so good. Stopped the daily journal about 4 months ago, but I miss it. I need to make time for writing before school, but my morning schedules have been fairly tight these last few weeks. I finally got into the Japanese class at Richland (after what? Three years?), and haven’t learned anything new from it. Programming has been fun so far, but also haven’t learned much. Also, no website to show beyond my humble tumblr blog. So, 1/4 of my goals are doing good, or at least are not completely abandoned since the beginning of the year. Dropping the ball on most of these was expected. Things have shifted, changed, and morphed into the insanity of life. Goals are something to always be shooting for. I still want to do all the things on my list, so I will strive for them once I can.

Japanese studies have slowed down, mostly due to being enrolled in an actual Japanese Class. Unfortunately, the class hasn’t taught me anything yet, but I’m expecting it to pick up soon. I haven’t been able to talk to my pen pal lately, with school and all. Wrote out a letter for my friend, but I need to pick up some stamps to get it sent >_<. I love that Japanese always has at least some momentum for me now, even if it’s just a little bit. When I’m not studying I’m some how still being exposed to Japanese. Recently, my sister wanted to borrow my iPod, which I set to Japanese early this year. And with always having the exposure to Japanese, I forgot… some people can’t read kana.

Perhaps I’ll have stuff to constantly blog about. I’d like to do a few Japanese lessons. I don’t know much, but being able to teach it might help me learn. I’m a horrible teacher though, so I’ll have to find a medium I can teach with. Well, if there is any…

I need stamps… will send it soon Haruchan.


Results of the Frozen Week.

The massive snow storm of 2011 hit this last week. I was happy to have majority of the week off from school, but I’m not looking forward to the work that my classes intend to stack up. Despite being stuck at home, I had quite the productive week. Mostly involving my Japanese studies and a new friend.

A little over a week ago I was beginning to get my motivation back for studying Japanese. A young lady on the YouTube made a video. She’s fifteen years old English girl who has never been to Japan and spoke extremely good Japanese (relative to my slow and broken Japanese). She had some motivating advice on her channel and tips for learning. So since I had time at home, I spent a lot of time studying every day. One of the tips she gave I was a bit scared to try; making a pen-pal. This scared me because of my lack of ANY actual usage of the language.

I found a few people who showed decent English ability and messaged them. Only one of them responded, we messaged back and forth until they stopped after a few days. Then one morning I awoke, signed on to twitter, and found someone had followed me and @mentioned me in a tweet. In broken English, said along the lines of “I’m Japanese, if you’re good we can be friends.” How she found me? From what I understand it was entirely random! She was just looking for someone who was learning Japanese and some how I came up! The one week I start looking for a pen-pal. One randomly finds me on twitter. Ever since we’ve been emailing and tweeting each other! Even though there’s a huge language barrier, but it’s extremely fun. Honestly, I haven’t enjoyed twitter and emailing this much. It’s such a fresh experience.

I’ve been studying constantly so I can understand my her more. It’s been an interesting snowy week. Back to studying.

2011: the month late new year blog post

Happy New Year! I’m only a month late on my post looking forward to the year of the rabbit. Kind of sad it takes me 1/12th of the year to realize what exactly I am looking forward to this year.

Last year was a bit of a disappointment for me. As it was supposed to be the year I move on from high school, have a neat job doing web development, and be well on my way for my ultimate goals of awesome. None of which happened. I’m still working on high school credits, the job I had that promised tuition for community college crashed and burned, and my most of goals seem no closer than the moon.

I took part in a church-wide fast over the last few weeks, and I feel a bit motivated and some what excited for the year. For high school, I have less than a credit to finish. This is actually confirmed by the school that I have that little left. Despite previous assumptions I had of how little I had (I’ve assumed I had this little when I really had much more). For college, I am actually concurrently enrolled to Richland. Although I am only taking two classes, I am so excited to be back in a real academic environment ( nowhere to be found at Winfree ). Sadly, I have to wait another semester till I can take Japanese. I’ve been waiting to take that class at Richland for years. My current schedule also allows me time for work and study time.

Resolutions don’t sound good to me. They have this bad reputation of being neglected half way in. Thus, I will call mine goals. An important part of having goals is having them written down, and then telling people about them. Sure, I could have a goal to run a marathon, but if I don’t write it down or tell anyone the thought can die in a week. People keep you and me accountable, and having it written has its own power.

So here’s some of my main goals:

  • Read more. I’ve started the hobbit, and I want to read The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells once I finish the awesome Tolkien adventure.
  • Journal. Everyday write stuff down about anything.
  • Finish my website. I have a bit to go, but it will be done.
  • Blog regularly. This is likely to be tough for me.
  • Finish a simple SDL Game Framework. Programming stuff that I need to spend time on.
  • Program a simple but unique game with said framework. An obvious step after the framework is built.
  • Graduate High School. This is in the works and really close.
  • Study Japanese more. In the works. Even started looking for a pen-pal. I do need to set more time aside to study. And finally take that class at Richland!

How much of this will I finish this year? I intend to finish most of them without question. Some of them may change throughout my year. 2010 was disappointing, but these goals are what excite me about 2011. My chance to level up. Lettuce do this!