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I’m slowly but surely getting back into reading. Not much to say about きのう何食べた. I stopped with one of the characters talking to his mother on the phone. She thinks he should come out to his co-workers. Mama, it’s not your place to say! I guess I should be happy that he at least felt comfortable enough to tell her that he’s gay, but still.
I muscled through today and finished week 2 of 地球星人. According to my calculations, in order to catch up with the book club by week 12, I’d need to read two weeks’ worth of pages every week. I want to give it a try, though that seems like quite the challenge. That said, I read 9 pages today, and the most I’d have to read is 7 pages a day for one or two of those catch-up weeks. Content-wise, I felt quite sorry for 奈月ちゃん during this reading session. As you can see from the later sentences in the vocab section, her mother needlessly chews her out. I get that she’s at her in-laws and apparently doesn’t like going there (so she’s likely stressed), but still.
Question regarding tense changes
This has been bothering me for a while. Something I notice in a lot of the books I’ve read thus far is that the writing sometimes switches between past and present tense, sometimes within the same paragraph. One of my theories is that, if something about a character is still true about them, then the present tense is used. Here’s an example from 地球星人:
That’s how Yu seemed then, and I assume that’s how the narrator still sees him. However, this theory doesn’t seem to work as a complete explanation. Here’s another example from 地球星人:
I just can’t figure it out. This is a real puzzle for me.
豆電球 [まめでんきゅう]: miniature light bulb
どころか: far from; anything but; not at all
線香花火 [せんこうはなび]: sparkler (“incense” + “firework”)
羊羹 [ようかん]: jellied dessert made from red bean paste, agar, and sugar
みそっかす: good for nothing
出来損ない [できそこない]: good-for-nothing; worthless person
迎え火 [むかえび]: welcoming fire for the returning spirits (the story so far takes place during お盆)
Pics of some vocab words
豆電球: I was curious about the size of these light bulbs, so I popped the word into search. Such cute little bulbs! I guess they can be as small as Christmas lights as well as ones that are roughly proportional to the part that you’d screw in. So long as they’re smaller than the standard bulb, they fit into this category.
羊羹: I like me some red bean paste, so I had to search for a pic. In the book the narrator says their grandma is making えご (on the right). The two dishes look very similar, though I don’t know if they taste the same.