Daniel Santos

Week 22, 2024

My son thankfully recovered from his last week's influenza, which was causing him so much trouble. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said — yet — about me. My week started with a lot of coughing, a very strong, disturbing one. So much so that I decided to get back to the doctor, who, after examining me once again, decided to extend the antibiotics dose for another week.

The upside on this is that I've got no more fever, and no more symptoms, apart from the cough itself. My doctor said that coughing is indeed the most boring symptom, and usually the last one to go — and man, how I wish it had gone, already. Meanwhile, what's left to do is to keep on taking good care of myself... and hope this all finishes soon enough.

Fortunately, this week's got another long weekend in it, meaning I could rest longer than I'd have done during a normal week. This was soooo welcome.

I used the long weekend to advance my reading of “Acceptance”, by Jeff VanderMeer. I seriously came to believe that this book's name refers to the fact that, no matter how sluggish and boring the story becomes, and it does so very much, you have to accept it. 😂😂😂

The only reason I haven't dropped this book yet is that I've invested time into the two previous trilogy volumes — so no matter how bad it gets, I feel entitled to knowing how it all ends, not that I'm hoping for anything regarding the series. I just want it to be over! And yet, I'm 12 chapters from the end... OMG.

As May came to its end I've bought myself a digital copy of “You Like It Darker”, the newest book by Stephen King, a collection of short stories among which is “Rattlesnakes”, the sequel to “Cujo”. Now, I love anything written by Mr. King, so I'll likely find his new book good — the only thing is I'll have to read “Cujo” before reading the new book (that's why I've also bought a digital copy of it). And this is — another — more than valid reason to leave “Acceptance” behind me once and for all.

I have watched some more episodes of Dr. Stone and I have to say that if I already liked what I saw, the anime is getting even better. I've come to episode 10 out of 24 in the first season, and the storyline keeps getting better. I have to recommend it to you, should you like adventure animes.

Also watched more One Piece episodes, and, although I'll never watch enough to get near my son's progress in the show, at least I have finished the G-8 filler arc and am less than 900 episodes behind now. I never get tired of watching One Piece... 😊

Discovery #1. Reading this post in Dostoynikov's blog this week introduced me to Tachimanga, a clone of Android's Tachiyomi for the iOS, and, most important, a mostly welcome way to the world of reading manga in Apple devices. The only thing which makes me sad right now is that I've realized it is going to take me a long time yet to read raw Japanese material. I'll have to contempt myself with the English and Portuguese translations...

Discovery #2. Dyani introduced me to Puzzmo through this post of hers on Mastodon. Puzzmo reunites a lot of classic puzzles under the same place: crosswords, card games, spelling games and many more things that I love to keep my mind busy with. These will be good games to play while taking some time off my Japanese studies.

And to finish this weeknote, as I've mentioned my Japanese studies, I guess I should mention how I have been using HelloTalk to practice chatting with native Japanese speakers... it's a good resource overall and, despite I'm not confident enough to actually talk in Japanese yet, making so lots of broken Japanese comes up among English and Portuguese sentences that act as a bridge to cover what I don't know, I was lucky enough to find three or four good language exchange partners who keep practicing — and being awfully patient — with me.

The thing is all of a sudden this week, they all got busy with work at the same time (what oddly had me thinking of this YouTube short. Nothing wrong with that,of course, but this made our chatter slow down a bit — meaning a decreased ability to practice with them, what made me sad.

I then wondered if I could practice writing and chatting in Japanese with some kind of AI help — at least for the time being, as I know no AI would replace a conversation with real people. After a couple of Google searches, I found LangoTalk, which is a tool that helps you practice different languages with different chatbots, Japanese included.

You can also use the site's grammar lessons or ask that a custom grammar lesson is created on the fly for you. I'm now trying it out for 7 days, and it's really helpful, with a responsive developer. I might end up subscribing to their yearly offer, as it has regionalized pricing and is not so expensive.

#english #weeknotes