I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) today. I went for level 3 this year, despite passing level 4 with a 65% (60% is passing). It has no real meaning or conesequence for me, besides dropping 5,000 yen on it, but I hope to use it to spur my lagging studies. The bad thing was that I've been very busy up to and including today, so it really ended up being just another headache.
My weakness is grammer. Japanese adds all sorts of little post-positions (like prepositions in English, but, you know, post) and combine them with various verb forms to give a particular nuance. I suppose I could learn those faster in a class, but I'm too cheap to pay for a class, and the free lessons offered by city hall aren't that great. But, gift horse and all that. It's funny because it contrasts with my learning Spanish, where I had the grammer down pat, but didn't have the vocabulary to actually say anything.
Coming on the heels of Sam's visit, evidently my social calendar is filling up with end-of-year parties. The schools have them, the gym (even though I haven't been in 2 weeks) is having one, an English-discussion group I visit occasionally has invited me. Looks like I don't get a weekend off for a while. Not that I'm complaining.
Big things coming up this month are, especially, lasik surgury on the 16th, and beginning some semblance of apartment hunting. My lease is up at the end of February, and depending on my work situation next spring, I'll decide if I want to stay in Hiratsuka or move to Fujisawa, where I'll have easier access to Tokyo if I decide to try for a graduate school up there. Then there's that little matter of what to do for the week on either side of New Year's. I think I'll take it easy, go to the gym and work on that six-pack (hah!), and visit an onsen or 10 and unwind, all while trying to catch up on the backlog of reading I haven't been doing.