1. So I ran 4 "writing samples" through that I write like meme:
Ficbit that will never see the light of day #1: Stephen King
Ficbit that will never see the light of day #2: Vladimir Nabokov
Random Livejournal entry: Issac Asimov
Legal memoranda for a client: George Orwell
Seeing as I've only read one of these four authors, I can officially say this meme is bunk! [And I must say that George Orwell would probably roll in his grave if someone wrote about alternative dispute resolution in his style.] @_@
2. GOD my spoken Japanese has gone to shit. Utter, complete shit! If I have to sign up for classes just to whip it back into shape, then so be it.
I called the local Japan Society during my lunch break and inquired about their summer evening language courses; more specifically, I called and asked whether there was a placement test I could take to get in to their advanced class. I think I spoke with the teacher of the advanced class, because she asked me how I knew Japanese and I basically said the Japanese equivalent of "3 1/2 years pretending to understand it in American college, 1/2 year ryuugaku-ing it up"... except I sounded like a retarded monkey. Anyway the lady said that I wouldn't have a problem with getting into the advanced class with that kind of background, and that if I was still on the fence about it, I could sign up for the advanced and sit in on either class to get a feel for which might be appropriate for me.
Apparently the intermediate class goes into keigo while the advanced talks about yojijukugo? I love me some yojijukugo, but I feel like keigo is where I need the most practice, so I think what I'll do is sit in on the first class of Intermediate to see if they actually mean business keigo (i.e. kenjougo/sonkeigo/teineigo) or desu-masu "nise-keigo". There's another place that offers language courses as well and it seems they used the textbook series Cornell/Nanzan did, so I might swing by them too before I make my decision, though. Both places' classes aren't dirt cheap but they're not LSAT Review-level awful or Berlitz-level rip-off, either.
3. I found out that once my benefits kick in, they'll actually reimburse me for gym membership! So I can join a gym again for a low cost! I keep telling myself that I'll start running again, but I'm always too lazy to wake up that early in the morning. It's also been too ridiculously humid these past couple of days, so if I get a free gym membership there'll be no excuse for me to not work out. :D