1. I have my train tickets for NY. Arriving Nov 5, leaving the 10. I have Business seating! which the lying online ticket site always says is sold out when it isn't. Cost a pittance thanks to loonie-daka. And now I may hope to be spared sharing a seat with someone drenched in perfume, though of course that's not guaranteed. Only had to bike down to Onion Station twice to get that, because now you must have your passport *in hand* to buy train tickets. And half of me approves this pre-emptive move against the sweet ninnies who think they can cross borders without a passport and who'd otherwise add more time at Niagara Falls than it already takes; and half of me thinks I had to bicycle down to Front St twice argh.
2. My books came from bk1. 難解漢字- 日本人なら知らないと恥ずかしい (More or less- 'Difficult kanji every Japanese should know', though of course they say 'that's embarrassing for a Japanese person not to know') is somewhat specialized-- what everything at the tea ceremony is called, or a funeral, or a Shinto wedding. I mean, fun to know but not stuff you come across every day. The similarly named 読めないと恥ずかしい漢字 1000 (1000 kanji that, yes, it's embarrassing not to be able to read) is more useful-- variant readings that come up in newspapers and *of course* on the JLPT level 1.
3. I succeeded in getting a croque monsieur at the little cafe on the corner of Borden and Harbord. In my time (+20 years ago) it was a dingy greasy spoon for the unlovely youth at Central Tech across the street. Is now a crowded and fashionable French cafe cum cheese shop run by French-speaking people who do *not* sound like Montrealais, Quebecois, or even Anglophones fluent in French, though their English sounds like Anglophones fluent in English. Am dying to ask where they hail from but This. Is. TORONTO!!! where one mustn't. (I mean, for all I know maybe they're just Quebecois speaking standard French. Do French-from-France people say 'ouai' for oui ever?)
4. I would probably not ever read Soul of the Dragon King in English, but the language scrim makes it more than bearable in Japanese. For a moment there our spoiled-brat obscene-gesture-making young king was almost acting like a grown-up. Didn't last, of course. And in fact I have read Soul of the Dragon King in English: it has much the same sort of annoying unplaceable angst as Hobb's Fool series. Tender moments and possessive jealousies and suspiciously loverlike quarrels keep cropping up between the king and his aibou, and neither man knows what to do with them except feel awkward and kimoi at finding the other guy clinging to him. Alas, is not BL any more than Hobb was; is at least much, much shorter.