Friday, February 26, 2010

Random thoughts on life, the Olympics, Japanese literature (and a poll)

It figures that just when I finally get over my blogging funk, I don't have any time to actually blog! This week has been super busy and I feel like I've barely been home all week, but I'm so glad to finally be out from under those oppressive grey clouds. Actually feeling cheerful, and energized. And I feel so much lighter. The mind really is a powerful, and dangerous thing. I haven't had a chance to reply to your comments yet (will do so this weekend) but I truly appreciate all your support. Thank you so much. You guys are the best!

Vancouver Olympics 2010The Olympics have also been a distraction.  I've kind of surprised myself at how much I've been enjoying the Olympics this time around. I haven't watched all that many events in entirety but little snatches here and there and I got completely caught up in the figure skating, especially the men's and women's singles. It can be kind of frustrating being in a country that is not your home country during the Olympics. Understandably, each country focuses on its own athletes, but that often means you're out of luck if you want to watch some other event. I barely watched any of the Beijing Olympics because many of the sports that Canada was competing in, there weren't any Japanese athletes in those events so those events didn't get any coverage here. Rowing, for example. And it's hard to find ways to watch online internationally, that either don't require downloading some strange software and/or aren't incredibly dodgy. So I suppose luckily for me, this time, there seemed to be Japanese athletes in a wide variety of events. Anyway, I've been feeling quite patriotic, cheering on the Canadian athletes. I may not have lived there for quite a few years now but I am still a Canadian at heart. And proud of it! :)

I have so many books that I want to read, of all genres, but I'm especially looking forward to reading more Japanese literature this year. Did you see my recent acquisitions? Not to mention all the other JLit already residing in my To Be Read piles. Regarding the Japanese Literature Book Group and Read-alongs, I hope you know I'm always happy to hear your suggestions, or concerns. I'm still figuring out the best way to host these discussions, and welcome your ideas. To that end, it's been mentioned to me that having the Japanese Literature Book Group and Japanese Literature Read-along group with overlapping schedules is simply too hectic. You can see the current schedules by clicking on the links in this post, or the appropriate tabs above.  Originally I assumed that no one would want to take part in ALL the discussions so having the two groups allowed for more variety to pick and choose. On the other hand, I really don't want anyone to feel left out, or stressed out. So to address that, I've set up a poll in the right sidebar. (If you're reading this in your feed reader, please click through to the actual site to vote in the poll). Basically I'd like to know if you think we should keep the schedules as is (at least for this year, and re-evaluate for next year), or change it so that there is less conflict. I'm just going to leave the poll open for a few days, until Tuesday of next week, and please only vote if you plan to take part in at least one Japanese literature discussion here this year.  That said, I'd really appreciate your input. Thanks!

What have I been reading in the meantime?  My reading this month has unfortunately been soooo slooowwwww. All I can say is thank goodness at least for manga. It's supposed to be rainy and wet pretty much all weekend so I'm hoping to spend some quality time with my nose stuck in a book, and devote some time to the blog. Also just relax, recover from my busy week, and maybe watch a movie or two.

And speaking of movies, a reminder that the Hello Japan! mini-challenge for February is to watch a Japanese film. I'll be doing the monthly round-up on Monday but there's still time to pop in, or rent, a DVD this weekend. Check out February's Hello Japan! post for details, and the prize you could win for taking part.

Have a great weekend!

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  1. I've always thought it would be so interesting to watch the Olympics in another country to see how they talk about things. Is there a Scott Hamilton in Japan to annoy everyone?

  2. Sorry to hear you had been a bit under the weather lately but so good to read you are feeling cheerful and energized again :)
    The mind indeed is a powerful and dangerous thing as well as in ups as in downs. It can be very overwhelming!!

    I totally agree on the frustrating thing of being in a country that is not your home country during the Olympics. I can so understand the Canadian man I met last night in the local pub here who just returned from Vancouver and him being so excited about it. I guess that is the one thing you can do when you're a real fan (if it's possible to do that of course) to go home or to the place of the Olympics itself. In the past week all I could do was read the online newspapers :(
    Fortunately I was in my homecountry in the first week. I didn't know at that time (I guess I was a bit naive) that it would be so difficult to watch the Olympics here (apparently they don't see the wintergames as too important) because in NL I was bit spoilt all those years and they just broadcast about anything concerning the Olympics ;)
    Ah well, another way of adjustment with living in another country I guess ;)
    You Canadians did great though, in sports as well as in the organizing!!

    I can imagine you have a great longing to read Japanese literature. I can see I'm doing the same with Chinese ;). I have a great interest in Japan as well but simply don't have the time to do more than I took up already. I might participate next year though :)

    have a great weekend, hope you will get some reading done :)

  3. I'm very glad to hear you're feeling better, Nat :=)

    I haven't really been able to watch the Olympics, but go Canada! :P

  4. I didn't watch any of the Olympics.

    As for the poll, I say I'm probably not going to do all the readalongs anyway, so it's fine as it is!

  5. Ash - LOL. It can be a little frustrating sometimes though since they primarily focus on the Japanese athletes, but at least nowadays it's possible to see the results online.

    cessie - It's so great to be feeling alive and happy again, thank you!

    It is pretty frustrating not being able to watch what you want, isn't it? Especially when it's something you would've been able to see no problem at home. I was kind of lucky this time because there were Japanese athletes in quite a few different sports and they showed a lot of those events live so I could see the Canadians compete. Interesting though to see how different things have such different priorities depending on the country.

    I've really been enjoying reading more Japanese literature over the last couple of years. It's been a nice way to have a deeper look at the culture or history of this place that I call home, at least for now. I can totally understand you doing the same with Chinese. :)

    Nymeth - Thanks! :)
    And for the Olympics cheer. These winter Olympics made me all proud and patriotic. :P

    Rebecca - I was much more interested than usual in the Olympics this time because it was hosted in Canada. :)

    The result was pretty unanimous that it was fine to leave the schedule as it is. Thanks for adding your say.


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