What I do when I’m bored — or How to have no life

I blame my obsession with this game entirely on AJ.

Though let it be known that I am way better at playing it than whomever made this video.  I started a new game recently (in my determination to get ALL 100 NOTES!) and I’m only on the first year of spring, Day 16, and I already have a barn.  No chickens… but a barn!  Wahoooo!  I will be competing and winning the fall horse race for the power berry, dag nabbit!

…wow.  That’s kind of a depressing paragraph. 

In other news, I’m plodding along on FS.  Renamed All I Need–is now Saguaros and Spaceships, which I think is a much better representation of the tone of the book and even a bit about the plot.  However, it does not help my life in terms of acronyms.  SaS versus SS?  I see problems in the future.  Ah well, SS is staying in its box and possibly never escaping.  In any case, hopefully I’ll finish FS soon.  I want to put it away and start thinking about my Christmas story (tentatively named Christmas Cookies, the first of a potential series entitled Silver Bells).

Randomly warmer this weekend, which was nice.

Trying to decide whether the phrase “Spanish is spoken in Spain” counts as Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous.  Similarly “This bicycle is made in China.”  Hum… I’m thinking Present Perfect Continuous is the best match, but according to wikipedia, both require the verb “to have” inserted in there somewhere.  I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but reviewing it with my students would be way easier if I could have someone explain why we use it to me, even though I can (usually) write it just fine without knowing the theory behind it.  Anyone out there know?

Update! — after much annoyance and searching, I finally realized (whoops!) that this is just passive voice.  As someone who writes romance novels, you’d think I’d recognize this faster except I’m used to recognizing it in its past tense form.  (The cake was made by Janice.  VERSUS Janice made the cake.)  Now, as excited as I am to realize this, the problem is figuring out how to explain when to use this to Japanese students.  After all, in Japanese everything is in passive voice (in case you didn’t know–update 2: I still maintain that simple word order makes everything passive, also note that the passive voice tense is used quite often in Japanese).  For example:

ジャニスはケーキを作りました。 Literally “Janice made the cake.”  I’m pretty sure, though, that it could also be translated as (more accurately translated, even!) “The cake was made by Janice.” 

Don’t quote me on this (yet) as there could be a pesky article change in order to signify the difference in active and passive voice.  ジャニスケーキを作りました?ジャニスはケーキ作りました?Oy vey. 

Update (2)! According to Wikipedia (once again), there is actually a shift in verb tense when using active and passive voice in Japanese.  Thus the above example would become

ジャニスケーキを作れた。 ”Janice by cake made was” (for a very literal translation) or “The cake was made by Janice.”

This still might be wrong, though… so take it with a grain of salt.

In any case, the when to use this versus simple active voice is still puzzling to me…

Also–what the heck sort of game can you use for such questions?!  I dunno… maybe just unscramble the sentence?  Hum…  Update 2! Have decided not to make a game but rather give them a (somewhat) entertaining worksheet to complete.  Yup.  I’m awesome.