caleb zone

A Japanese learner, etc.


Welp that’s all I feel like writing haha. Writing Japanese is really hard still. Maybe in a few more years it will become more natural to write. Every night I’m reading through one of my various readers and picking up new words gradually. Occasionally I attempt to read a slightly more advanced book but if that gets too exhausting I drop back down to a simpler one. It gets too hard to always be struggling through a passage so being able to read something that’s maybe too simple is a relief. I have plenty of material to read and recently I started studying for the JLPT N5. I really don’t think I’ll be able to take it this year even though it will be close to my new house. Roads will be too dangerous to drive on. I really wish the exam was held more than once per year. Who knows, maybe I’ll just keep studying for years and then make a special trip to Japan to take the N1! That’s pretty wild but it could happen. I think it would be worth traveling all the way there to take it. Just an idea…

That’s all for now. Going to have pizza night soon and in the meantime I’m going to go watch some more Japanese videos.


Finished watching some more beginner videos on the new cijapanese website. I’m liking the new design. Not completely used to it yet but it has a neat new time tracker that lets you know how many minutes you’ve spent watching stuff. I’m pretty close to finishing up all of the beginner videos (初級動画) and then I’ll see how the intermediate ones fare. Still pretty bad at the language and it does get tiring studying it everyday. I’m not sure sometimes why I study. Maybe it gives me hope someday that it will make my life richer. Not sure. Or that I’ll be of help to some Japanese people one day or be able to read something important in the language. \(〇_o)/

My house still hasn’t sold yet. Somebody did want to come view it tomorrow but they had to bail out. Eventually someone will come take a look. I was thinking I should maybe paint the wood beam that holds up my bird house in the front yard. It has a few dirty areas and wear from the wind that blows all of the time. The sauna needs to be stained soon since the wood in some places is looking sort of dried up. Wood sucks. It takes so much treatment to keep it nice. Glad my new house I’m building has a deck made of fake wood.

Well I don’t feel like writing anything in Japanese at the moment. I did write this nice Japanese (由美さん) lady who writes the Japanese Language Park books. I had a question about one story concerning seeds and doves. Found out I was overthinking (考えすぎる) and the premise was simpler than I thought. (笑) I decided to respond back to her in Japanese which was fun. Good practice to write occasionally. Probably sound stupid though. (」°ロ°)」


Check in time. Still in Ohio for the week hanging with my family checking out all of the beautiful sites. Amazed by the scenery and just how many trees there are! Where I currently live looks like a barren wasteland compared to this place. Thrilled to be moving here soon! The new home I’m building will begin next week and should be done at the end of August. Much sooner than I anticipated. Once I return back home I have to start trying to sell my house. Not that excited about it, frankly.

I’m still being good about studying my Japanese daily and making some sort of progress. Currently at WaniKani level 15 and not sure what level on Bunpro. Don’t really care. Taking my time and trying to actually learn. No short cuts available. I’m almost half way through Japanese from Zero book 5 and will be happy to finish that whole series. I think my favorite interaction with Japanese now is reading my graded readers. Reading vertically is pretty cool and my brain is adjusting to it more and more. Still on pretty simple stories with low complexity sentences and no sophisticated idioms. Going to finish reading the story about the Monkey and Crab tonight.

Ok there’s my uninteresting update.


I’m still here and doing my Japanese studying daily. Noticed I haven’t written in a while and thought I should check in. I’m working through Japanese From Zero book 5 and continuing listening to Nihongo con Teppei everyday. Also still cranking through WaniKani and now I’ve introduced BunPro. I sort of was reluctant to introduce yet another NEW study tool but… I tried it for a few days and thought it was useful. It’s like WaniKani but for grammar. To not overwhelm myself I only do two new lessons a day. It’s been great reviewing all of the N5 grammar since I still forget things if I don’t see it more than a few times. I like it’s straight to the point lessons and the audio samples are very helpful.

My Japanese reader collection has been sort of growing more and more (笑). I now have all of the Japanese Language Park books and I have all of the Japanese Graded Readers EXCEPT for the ones you can only buy from the Tadoku website. I really love these books and I read a few of them always before going to sleep at night. Sometimes I get lost in the drawings and before I know it… it’s time for lights out. Getting through the beginner stories with no real issues is a lot of fun. Plenty of challenging ones lay in store for me once I get better at comprehending longer sentences. So I have plenty of great Japanese reading material! Oh, and you can’t beat having physical pages to read!

A while ago I mentioned that I’m going to be moving to Ohio from Texas in a few months. I’m working through the process of getting my current house listed for sale and packing up stuff every few days. Getting the carpets cleaned this weekend due to so much of Callie’s cat hair embedded in the carpet. Life feels a bit busier for me than normal I don’t like it so much. I know I’ll pass through every challenge no matter what since time won’t stop pushing. What keeps me happy is knowing how great of a new house I’m building. It’s pretty maxed out with upgrades and much bigger than the house I’m currently in. I embarrassingly will have 4 bathrooms… just for myself.

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Oh, the reason I brought up the big move again is that I’m not sure if I should spend the extra money and worry about taking the JLPT. I’m already spending SO much currently and at the end of last year I had no clue I’d be moving this year. Nervous to spend more if I don’t really need to and could just try next year. I’ll keep studying daily like normal and should be even better by 2025. Perhaps I could try taking the N3 or something by then. No rush since those tests to me just seem like a fun activity to try once or twice. I’ll continue to think about this and decide at some point. Registration is in a few months I think.

Ok that’s my update and enjoy this picture of Callie getting more hair in the carpet.


久しぶりです。Sort of forgot about my blog for a bit lol. I’m still around and doing the same routine. Thought I should do a post since I completed Japanese From Zero book 4 this evening. Wild that I’ve completed 4 grammar books. I also leveled up to level 14 in WaniKani a few weeks ago and getting close to level 15. I decided to take it even slower on WaniKani since I’ve been getting more frustrated lately when I get things wrong. I’m trying for a while just doing 3 lessons everyday and seeing if I can get my reviews lower. 60+ plus reviews per day feels like a bit much. I’ve been studying Japanese I think for over 8 months now and I’m getting to a weird place mentally. It’s hard to know if I’m improving or just overwhelming myself too much and getting nowhere. Currently it doesn’t feel very fun to be learning the language. I get discouraged more easily now and not sure if I’m starting to wear myself out. I was kind of reluctant to start Japanese From Zero book 5 since I feel like I’ve forgotten lots of stuff from the previous books. Just too dang hard to remember everything. I don’t think I’ve been rushing or anything. Daily, I only get a couple of pages done in the book and then review WaniKani and watch some videos in Japanese. When going to bed I read more Japanese material and currently I’m working through Tae Kim’s book. Entertaining but the stuff I read last night really demotivated me. He covered briefly about Japanese slang. That stuff totally loses me. I may need to actually re-review all of the Japanese From Zero books before continuing on with book 5. I won’t do all of the written exercises again but just re-read all of the chapters. Maybe that would be good…. or I don’t know. By December I’m hoping to be skilled enough to pass the JLPT N4. Oh, I’m also going to be moving this August but I’ll talk more about that later.

Time for me to start getting ready for bed. Have to do my long run tomorrow and then who knows what.




Today is a day where I definitely feel tired of studying Japanese. I’ve been good about studying it everyday for over 8 months now. I completed the 3rd book of Japanese From Zero and started on the 4th. I also reached level 12 on WaniKani. The excitement is really gone at times and I think if I can really keep going on and why❓ I have such a strong habit now that I just keep pushing. I look back and think that I have learned a lot and can express some inner ideas. What’s wild though is that I still totally suck at the language. I listen to Japanese people speak in videos and still don’t know really anything they’re saying. That hits hard and reminds you that you suck. I can read silly little sentences in a grammar book but it’s so far away from real Japanese. My last post mentioned that I started reading a book on the side called Japanese the Manga Way. Really enjoying it and good to be exposed more to everyday speech. I would really like the ability to read manga and get more understanding of the Japanese mind. I think it will eventually happen but it years away. I guess I can’t think much about it and just keep doing my daily routines. Life is routine. The low time in learning will pass and then something will make it fun again. Then another low point will emerge. Studying a lot for the next 5 years seems crazy but I’ll look back in 5 years and wonder how it went by so fast. Can’t stop.

Well enough for now and happy Sunday. Time to go make lunch. Discovered this old song from Clam’s Casino and had no idea how much recognition it gathered. Still a really cool song.









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