Language study is primarily Mandarin, secondarily Cantonese. Not much book study this month, but daily audio/video exposure, some flashcards and reading. Looking forward to reviewing New Practical Chinese Reader IV and then proceeding with new chapters in it. Hard part is still finding a comfortable study spot... will be researching SOMA bars in January.
Over the holiday's I've been reading Anthony Yu's 500-page abridged translation of Xiyouji, "Journey to the West". I had read the 230-page version from Timothy Richard after coming back from the PRC in autumn. Getting a lot out of it... remarkable how it describes an individual's progression of consciousness, as well as being an adventure story. But still wishing to read a glossed version, Chinese and English... lots of the poems are more compelling in Chinese than in English.
Skill arts? Not much rope, but starting to understand use of a light cane. I had picked up an aged Malacca hook, and finally started to become comfortable with the Malacca cane... it is light and flexible, not heavy and powerful like oak, hickory, or ash. I'm attracted to carrying a tool which cannot be used as a club. Learning stuff from Wushu Broadsword techniques... very fast, full-body movement, using speed rather than mass. I've also been using a carbon-graphite cane, which is even lighter than the Malacca, but intensely rigid.
Travel? Not sure. I'm very, very interested in China, and particularly in Hong Kong as a bridge. I've never been to Hainan, and am curious about Xiamen and Piano Island. Yunnan's culture is also of interest. There's an Adobe event in Beijing towards March which I need to investigate. But then again Taiwan has the best Chinese food, and Singapore is the best food town, although Korea has the best cuisine, and a bowl of oden at Ueno Lake on a winter night still seems the Best Meal Of All Time....
I've had a bunch of blogposts bottled up during the holiday, never got to write them... mostly things on cane-handling, maybe how ropes work. Hard to describe these things in words though. I've also wanted to research more the eight-trigram system, as well as the five-element system.
Working forward, but no milestones.