Learning. I am trying to learn a bit of Japanese before heading off to Tokyo for a month. It seems like a fairly easy language to speak.... very hooked on phonics kind of pronunciation. But I am not even gonna attempt to write this language. All those characters... eek! Of course, its all those characters that somehow has me all intimidated about my up coming trip to Japan. I have lived in friggin' New York City, but I am a little scared of Tokyo. I am pretty sure it is the language barrier that is causing the anxiety.
Purchasing. After my old Minolta digital SLR conked out on me down in Miami, I broke down last night and bought the Canon 40D that I had my eye on. It was time and I'll have the Tokyo trip to get used to the new toy. I traded in most of my entire Minolta camera set which included 1 camera body, 4 lenses, and a gaggle of other accessories. Unfortunately, due to the digital bodies recent fit, I was unable to t5rade it in... and it was by far the most valuable thing in my Minolta collection. Crap. I got in return (plus a some added dinero) and Canon 40D body, a 17-85 IS lens, and a 28-300 IS super zoom lens. Its a start and I am looking forward to trying it out.
Reading. A while back, I read Cormack McCarthy's The Road. I really loved the book even though it is a bit grim. I really liked the way in which McCarthy tells his stories; not your normal style of storytelling prose. So, I am now reading his No Country for Old Men. I heard the movie (now an Academy Award winner) was a bit violent and to an extent the book is too, but I guess not any greater in violence than any Bourne movie I've seen recently. Of course, the main difference is that a lot of the violence in this book is that horrible random acts of violence kind. It's disturbing. Even more disturbing is that there are probably actually folks like this out there in real life. It's a good book so far and I am enjoying reading it.
Cooking. Tonight I am making Cincinnati Style Chili. I am having a diner party tomorrow night and the guest of honor is a friend, who like me, grew up in Ohio. So Cincy chili it is. I LOVE the stuff, but it can be an acquired taste. Its not like the chili most people eat. It is basically a meat-y spaghetti sauce kind of spiced chili that you put over spaghetti or make into coney dogs.... my favorite. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Can't wait!