Friday, December 31, 2004

Salsa, Games and New Year

So, yes, it seems that people like to read just my most recent blogs, so I shall reiterate in this one that I have decided to leave Japan-- for good. [Or unless until further notice.] and go back to Hawaii. I've been having a hell of a time trying to sell my furniture and I have a feeling I'm just going to take a huge loss on it all. Anyway, yes, I will be home on Saturday, January 8th. Any mail you want to send me can be sent to

2361 Jennie Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96819

Well, I feel as though I've been going out a lot. The day before my last day of work, after work [does that make sense], I went to karaoke with 2 students and Mike. Yes, yes, it's a no no. But what could they have done if they had found out? Fired me? I went with the Toshiter [as we call him... his name is Satoshi] and Hitomi. Their singing skills were awesome. Here's a picture of them a la my keitai.

After my last day of work, I went to toridori [yakitori] with Linda and Jess... and heard an interesting story about this massage parlor in Bali that... one should go to "just for the violation" as Linda put it. I guess you get this really.. er.. thorough service where they massage EVERY PART OF YOUR BODY. Hee hee. I thought it was cool.
Then on the 29th, I went to dinner, salsa dancing, and karaoke with Yuki-rin. She's the chicky that works at the department store down the street. We went to Ninnikuya [yay, for those of you who know the significance of Ninnikuya]... then to a bar called Campari in Katamachi. I have no clue how to salsa, but the basic steps and timing are easy and I found that if I had a partner who was a strong lead, it wasn't really a problem, but when I had a weak lead, I was completely lost. It was great. It was the first time I had really danced since being in Kanazawa and I'd like to try salsa dancing again in Hawaii. Any one wanna come with? Anyway, afterward, Yuki-rin and I wandered around and ran into John and Ramona-- Ramona went home and John, Yuki and I went to Shidax. I sounded like shit since my flu STILL hasn't gone away. Ah well. That was cool. We got home at 5 am. Here's a pic of Yuki.

Then the NEXT night, the 30th, I went out to dinner with Takurou. We went and had coffee at Starbucks first, and then we went to this Chinese restaurant. Really good. It was all you can eat/drink for Y2000 for 90 minutes. I was quite sad because in Japan, they don't let you doggy bag it... and we had ordered sooo much food. Anyway, while there, he gave me a going away present. A Ps2 video game called SNOW. It's apparently quite heart wrenching-- and his request to me was, that before I die, that I finish the game. It'll be good Japanese practice. He said it took him 30 hours to finish-- so it'll probably take me quadruple that because of the kanji. He said that once you play it that it makes you really value your family and friends all the more. Interesting. Oh, and AFTER dinner, we went to karaoke... and again, because I've been singing so often and going out so often, the SICKNESS made me sound like crap.

And oh yes, HAPPY NEW YEAR! It doesn't seem to be starting off so well. Yoshi sent me an email last night saying he lost the ring I'd given him and that his computer is being stupid. Well, I guess it was still December 31st there-- so maybe the year is ending on a bad note but it will start on a good one? I guess we'll find out. It was pouring rain, with thunder and lightening last night, so I turned down invitations to go out for a drink and go to Oyama Jinja for Ohatsumoude. I really want to kick this flu before I go home. So well, that leads me to a survey that my friend had on her Live Journal about 2004. Here goes:

1. Do anything for the first time?

I lived completely on my own in an apartment of my own.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I dont think I made any last year. This year, I will be more physically active. I will try to find my dreams. I will follow those dreams even if they are not profitable. I will try to be happy.

3. Did someone close to you give birth?

Close to me? A bunch of my old friends from high school did, but no one I'm really close with.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Wynee Wong. Rest in Peace my love. For an article about her death, see: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/local/story/197796p-170802c.html

5. What countries did you visit?

JAPAN.

6. What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?

My own home with Yoshi. A job that I truly enjoy. Less stress. My dad to be more healthy. My mom to get her spark back. More time to enjoy myself.

7. What dates from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Uhm... May 22nd and 23rd, 2004. Laurel Parade and Graduation from MHC. September 1st-- leaving for Japan.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Graduating or making the decision to go back home to Hawaii. One of those.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Giving up on Japan.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Well, I've had the flu for 2 weeks? And I almost burned myself to death.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My fuzzy blanket.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Behavior? No ones?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled?

Apalled? Americans who brought Bush back for another term.

14. Where did most of your money go?

To moving into my apartment and buying shit for it.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going home to Hawaii.

16. What song will always remind you of 2004?

I don't know. This one is tough. Some mix between the students' version of the MHC Alma Mater ["Oh Mount Holyoke we pay thee tuition..."], m-flo/Ryouhei/melody's "Miss You" and perhaps some other random song that I can't think of right now.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. older or wiser? wiser

ii. thinner or fatter? fatter

iii. richer or poorer? poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Hung out with friends, been able to relax

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Eating. Sitting on my ass.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I spent it at an Indian restaurant in Tatemachi called Shangrila.

22. Did you fall in love in 2004?

A million times over with Yoshi. [Yeah, I'm sappy. A la Orange: "Shaaaddaaap!"]

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

I very seldom "hate" anyone...

26. What was the best book you read?

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Ellegarden

28. What did you want and get?

There's nothing that I wanted that I got, since I didn't get too many presents this year... unless... well, I bought a car.

29. What did you want and not get?

A job that made me happy.

30. Favorite film of this year?

Lovers/House of Flying Daggers starring Zhang Ziyi and Kaneshiro Takeshi

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Eek, that was almost a year ago... I think we went to that Japanese food restaurant in Noho called "Osaka" where they do all those kitchen cutting up food tricks.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Yoshi coming to Japan WITH me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004?

Unique, I guess. The same me, but a little more punk.

34. What kept you sane?

The internet.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

A toss up between Orlando Bloom, Johnny Depp, Hyde, and Kaneshiro Takeshi. The girls weren't that special this year.

37. Who did you miss?

Yoshi, Leah, Nana, Laura, Vans, Pete, Rae, Hero, Dave, Tamanegi, Liane, etc etc

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Takurou and Kazuo-san

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:

That I can't always do it alone.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

自分の幸せ願う事わがままではないでしょう ... for those of you who don't read Japanese, "Jibun no shiawase negau koto wagamama de ha nai deshou" which means "Wishing for your own happiness isn't selfish, is it?"


Monday, December 27, 2004

OMG- I could've DIED!

Last night, as I was getting ready to sleep, I turned on the heater to warm up the area near my futon. Apparently, I forgot to turn it off... and holy shinto was I surprised to see the fruits of my error! Last night, as I slept, the futon caught on fire... and I slept through it, and with the exception of being covered in soot and crispy futon, I escaped absolutely unscathed. Here's a picture of part of the damage... I'm so glad that someone was looking after me last night. *bows* Arigatou. *is totally shaken up*


Sunday, December 26, 2004

Sick. Broken. Xmas Party Part II. Xmas. Return.

I'm sick. I've been sick for a while with the flu. It really sucks.. and yes, I still have it. I think I haven't been drinking enough fluids to make it all go away. But it's sooo cold here, I don't want to drink anything because it sends a chill through me. I know, I know, I could be drinking tea... heh.

And in my sickness... culminating in a mini breakdown, I broke my beloved denshi jisho [electronic dictionary]. In my sickness, I managed to knock it off the computer desk. When I bent over to pick it up, I got woosley, tripped and stepped on it. The result of it being the picture below. Unfortunately, that was 2man down the drain... and now it's time for me to buy a new one.

Oh yeah, and Merry Xmas everyone. It wasn't so hot here. The Xmas Party Part II was alright. Expensive. We went to Chopstix Cafe in Katamachi. Lots of drinks and really weird food and a really great ENGRISH menu which of course I pocketed to show you guys at home. THat was a few hours there and then a few more hours at CJ's. I ended up just chatting with Chris [the owner of CJs] and Trevor the entire time. Good to just talk. That was a few days before Xmas.

On Xmas eve, I went to Kazuo-san's house to have a traditional Brazillian dinner. It was nice. I met his son-- Shousei-kun. I hadn't realized he had a son... so it was a wee bit of a bikkuri shita. I knew he had a wife, that she was a nurse, and that their relationship wasn't top notch, but yeah... so anyway, I also hadn't expected to meet the wife there since Kazuo-san said she wouldn't be coming. Instead, she came... and much to my chagrin, she's a student that I've taught once or twice before. Anyway, NHK Ishikawa came over and interviewed the Brazilian family about xmas and I had my grand Japan debut saying MELE KALIKIMAKA on tv. Woohoo. I looked silly.

I actually had to work on Xmas day, and aside from the Merry Xmas wishes from the co-workers, it was rather a pathetic day. After work, a bunch of us went to dinner at an Indian restaurant called Shangri-La. The food was ok. The Indian people weren't the nicest. It was a bit pricey, but I ate my fill.

And now for the grand news... I've decided to quit NOVA and go back to Hawaii. When it comes down to it, I just can't be alone in Japan and find happiness. I'm miserable here. And as soon as I sell my furniture, I will be going home. Until further notice.


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Update to Freezeframe

Hey all. I updated Freezeframe with pictures of random stuff that I thought was funny.

Oh, and Happy 26th Birthday, KAI! [Kai's my cool buddy from North Shore who sings Norwegian-inspired metal and a wicked "Staying Alive" rendition.]

Otherwise, I've been going through a minicrisis of sorts-- trying to decide what to do with my current career life. I'm in Japan, working for Nova. I'm not happy here. I gave up a job at FOX for this crap-- even though I was overworked and underpaid and I felt like I could've been used better there-- I was happier than I am now. It was the whole not being lonely factor, I'm sure.

Like I said about the resumes, I wrote them because a sensei of mine asked me to for one of his acquaintances. I've heard nothing. In the meantime, I've been informally offered a position as a co-DJ for a show on KZOO 1210 am-- the only Japanese radio station left in Hawaii. *Really wants to do it, I think* but I'm afraid of the repercussions of quitting Nova to go home for a job that couldn't even really be my lunch money here in Japan. Further, despite rumors that North Shore is going to be cancelled-- there seems to be some sign that FOX wants to give them a season 2. Harry was wonderful enough to say in his last email that if they get picked up, he'll put me in a position where my skills can be better used. *That's* really encouraging and I want to do that. So... yeah, it's a lot more complicated than that... but I just realized that it's 2 am and I really need to get some sleep so that I wake up in time for work tomorrow. I almost didn't make it today. I'll keep you all updated.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Still Trying to Make Friends

Met up with this girl, Mori Chie, on Friday. She's 24 and works at a hotel, I think doing banquet work. She's interesting, I guess. She's really pushy with her emails... and so, yeah, because Daddy called the other day, I missed my chance to go to an onsen, and instead I met Chie. We went to Mister Donuts to talk and then to karaoke. I've never sung so horribly at karaoke in my entire life! I was so embarassed. And she kept saying "your voice is cute." 9_9 *rolls eyes* Then she went home and I ate at a really small ramen shop near my house that has really good pork.

Yesterday, I skipped out on a going away party for Blaire and Summer to go to yakiniku at GyuKaku with Yuki. I also skipped out on an acapella performance I really wanted to go to. But, I'd already agreed to go to dinner with Yuki, so Takurou's invite came a little late. But anyway, yeah, met Yuki. She's the cutie who works in the department store down the street. She was saying she had a really low alcohol tolerance and boy, was she right. After just half the glass of beer, her face was red and she was ever so slightly out of control. But anyway, in her cute drunkeness, we managed to get free desserts from the cute waiter who obviously was attracted to her. Being that this is Japan, stuff like that never happens. Anyway, it would seem that if I have no other plans, I will be going to some kind of Salsa Dance party with her on December 29th. Hmm...

Anyway, I've been doing some mini-freaking-outness just about life. I'm really lonely and really frustrated at that loneliness. I don't have a confindante here. The closest thing I have is maybe Takurou... and my Japanese isn't good enough to just... talk. I can't always say what I want to say and if I try, I tend to only leave an impression of what I want to say. They don't get the whole story. *sigh* It's really frustrating. The longer I'm here, the more strongly I want to go home.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Home Phone and Resumes Revisited and Weird SPAM

My home phone rang today... and it was my dad calling from his cell phone in Hawaii. I don't understand, but hell, the reason I got to phone was so he could call me. Mission accomplished, I guess?

I finished not just one, but BOTH of my Japanese resumes today. Spent 9 hours on the AmeResu. Then, today, found a .doc template of the Japanese formatted 履歴書[rirekisho], so did a bit of cut and pasting and such. SPent just 3 hours on it. Nice. Now, they're sitting in Aaron's inbox, waiting for him to have a spare second between work and his new baby girl, Solana Mele Isgar [born Halloween 2004], to correct my myriad mistakes. Yes, Mele is a Hawaiian name. I gave him my blessings.

Now, for the weirdness. I got a reaaaaally strange email on November 25th from Tassel T. Lobbied. The domain on the email seemed legit [seers@lovejewelry.com] and because there was Japanese written on the bottom of the email, I thought it actually might NOT be Spam. It all made sense to me... but It was the strangest email I'd received in a while, so I responded to it and got an even stranger response back. I've decided that you all need to be privy to this email, so it's pasted below:
-------------------------------
I'm so sorry! :)

It is defeat that turns bone to flint it is defeat that turns gristle to muscle it is defeat that makes men invincible.
A man cannot leave a better legacy to the world than a well-educated family.
The heavens and the earth and all that is between them, do you think they were created in jest?

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit.One half the world must sweat and groan that the other half may dream.
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.
True love means two seeds grow separately until they join in Matrimony forever.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [Hebrews 11:1]
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes but no plans.
Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent.

I sometimes wander whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves we are underlings.

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

He that can work is born to be king of something.When matters are desperate we must put on a desperate face.
I dream of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love. Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he's hired to do. That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
Education forms the common mind. Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.

The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.
One does a whole painting for one peach and people think just the opposite -- that particular peach is but a detail.
Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.

The man that blushes is not quite a brute.

Itte rasshai
----------------------------------

And when I responded, I got a delivery failure notice. But, where it should have quoted the original email and my written reply, instead it said:

How're you doing?

Never make the mistake of assuming the critters will beat a path to your door.

Tschu?le

Fan Base, Stupid Home Phone and Japanese Resume

Wow... I rarely get any comments on my blog, but it seems everytime I chat with someone, and I mention something, they say, "Yeah, I read it on your blog." Or... they ask me "When's your next update?" I didn't realize that so many people read this thing... or perhaps it's not the number of people who read it... but the number of people who are dedicated to it. *Shrugs* Anyway, thanks for reading. It'd be great to get some emails or comments, but it makes me happy that you read anyway.

Now: home phone. I got BBPhone with my internet. It's not free, but it's fairly cheap. When you sign up, you don't get any paperwork that tells you how it all works, exactly. But I really wanted it so that my dad could set up some kind of special service with his cell phone company that would let him call me for cheap. Apparently, after much hassle... I discovered that my home phone cannot receive international calls. WHat the heck? It can do everything else except receive a phone call from out of Japan. It can CALL Hawaii, so why can't it RECEIVE a call from Hawaii? Stupid idiotic thing. So I called YahooBB and asked them about it and they said that I should have another number, issued by NTT. So I call BBPhone to double check and they said that I'm not connected to NTT at all, and that I don't actually HAVE a real number. Just my BBPhone. *Sigh* SO... unless I wanna pay an assload of money to establish an NTT number, you can't call my house. So, dammit, call my cell and be done with it, I guess. *Sigh*

Japanese resumes are EVIL. Aaron [for those of you who dunno who I'm talking about, he's one of my sensei from Kyoto] has sent me an email saying he has a friend at Yomiuri Television who wants to see my resume. So... I got all excited. At the same time, I got an email from Kanzaki [a DJ in Hawaii for KZOO] that there may be something for me there... MAYBE.. and I'm like *boggle.* But I figure, I'm in Japan, I should at least submit my CV. SO.. Aaron says I need to write 2 versions of my resume. A translated version of my American Resume, which I call AmeResu AND a Japanese formatted version of it. I've already spent 6 hours on my AmeResu and it's BAD, I'm sure. But I'm trying. The Japanese resume is actually quite crazy. THere's a national standard... that includes a picture AND where you went to Elementary school. WHY does the company need to know your elementary school background?? *shakes head* Anyway, I'm spending the next few days doing nothing but my resume. If you wanna help, wish me luck, or dammit, gimme a call. On my cell. SInce my house phone is stupid. Ok.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Nova Xmas Party Part I

I title it Nova Xmas Party Part I because there will be two parties and this is the first. Last night was the Nova Xmas Party @ Kentos. I think I mentioned Kentos before, but for those of you who don't wanna go find that entry, it's a swank 50's themed bar/club thing with a live band that does 4 stage-shows a night. Last night, for the cool price of 3000 yen [goodness, that's a lot of money] we could have one meal and all we could drink.

Foodwise, I opted for a Loco Moco. Yes, everyone. I said Loco Moco. Japan's been trying to Hawaiify for a while, and they're trying to pass loco mocos off as "real Hawaiian food." Of course, it only really exists in Hawaii-- but it's local grinds, ya know? Needless to say that Japan's version of the loco moco was lacking. THe gravy was completely different and the texture of the patty was a wee bit off. That, and they tried to give the impression of mac salad with this weak potato salad that I think they mixed with small fish eggs-- since it was pink and slightly fishy tasting. Odd. Really odd.

We also had a big Secret Santa deal with the limit being 300 yen. What the hell can you buy for 300 yen? My dood was Sam. A cool Aussie guy. I work with his gf, Jess and she informed me that he dug Naruto so I found a set of suction-cup shuriken with Naruto characters on them. I also got him 2 boxes of chocolate which were more for Jess than for him. The chocolates were special, decent quality chocos... the brand names of which were ASSE and HORN. Ok, mebbe only I think it's funny... but the AKPers who read this blog will feel the 懐かしさ of the ASSE. I spent 400ish yen on all that. I'm a bad girl, I know.

The person who had me was Blaire. Yet another Aussie who's actually leaving for home soon for good. He got me a deck of Pooh cards and this reaaaaally weird statue that has both boobs AND a penis. I don't know what to do with it-- but it's something that makes perfect sense to me as a gift, so.. *shrugs* I'll post a pic of it below.

People got pretty wasted and I was unfortunate enough to encounter flying wang later in the evening. Andrew, a coworker, got pretty gone and after the party at Kentos proceeded to run across the street with his pants and boxers around his ankles... oh, idk, 4 times? Really not what I was hoping to see... but it was harmless. We also headed over to karaoke at Big Echo. It seems it took us nearly an hour to get our asses there, even though it's literally just around the corner. And singing went poorly. By that time, I'd already lost my voice from trying to just talk to people at Kentos so I couldn't even hold a note. *le sigh* That, and people were all mad at each other again re: interupting other people's songs and such. Why does that always happen with the Nova ppl? It never happened with AKP and we went nearly EVERYDAY.

Oh well. Anyway. That was Xmas Party Part I. The night ended with a reaaaaally long, cold walk from down town to my apartment because I didn't have the money to spare for a cab. It was about 25-35 minutes. Poo. The next party is December 23rd. Wow, the months are flying quickly! But... not quickly enough.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

銭湯 and dreams.

Last night I went to a 銭湯 with Takurou. The kanji there is sentou, which equals PUBLIC BATH. We went to a place called しあわせの湯. Shiawase no yu. Means "happy hot water" basically. Twas good. And no, despite what you might be thinking, he didn't invite me to a place where the sexes go in together. The sexes were separate. And you know, I find that I'm still ok with being nekkid in front of a bunch of women [and the occasional little boy]. The only thing that was a little unnerving was the whole fact that I have a tattoo since it clearly states on a sign before I entered that tattoos were not welcome. I've been kicked out of places like that before... but I didn't try to hide it. I figured that since my hair is waist-length now, it hid it ok... except, you know, for when i put my hair up in the towel so that my hair doesn't trail in the water.

Thankfully, I was only approached about it by two curious older women. The convo sort of went like this:

"Oneechan, what is that?"
"What is what?"
"That thing on your back."
"A tattoo."
"What is it of?"
"Sonkei no son [i.e. honor/respect, a lotus, and flames]"
"Did it hurt?"
"No, not at all."
"Are you Japanese?"
"No, I'm from Hawaii."
"Hawaii? But you're not fat."
"Hmmm?"
"Do you know Akebono? He's fat. And his mother? She's fat too. Aren't all people in Hawaii fat?"
"No, but there are many bigger people."
"Oh, I see."

[btw, I'm 60 kg now which puts me at 132 lbs and that's MUCH lighter than I was in Hawaii this past summer!] That's sort of where it stopped. Thankfully. If they had wanted, they could have gone to complain to the staff and had me kicked out. Thank goodness for speaking Japanese and being able to explain myself. I think it's the "I'm from Hawaii" bit that did it. We stayed for about an hour.

Afterward, we went to rent a video. Queen of the Damned, since I hadn't seen it. On the way driving to my place to watch it... Takurou says "This will be my first time watching a video with a girl." And I went o_O. Eh? So I commented that I'd been just watching vids with guys for as long as I can remember [or you know, since middle school or something]. And he's like, "yeah, but that has no meaning... this will be the first time watching a video with a girl and there's just the two of us." And again, I was like o_O;;. So, I said "Yeah, Japanese people and Americans are really different, huh..." Lol. I'm not sure what that really meant. Maybe that it's normal for guys and girls to watch a vid together with no implications. And btw, Queen of the Damned is a shitty movie. My bad for picking that one, but I'd been meaning to watch it since it came out-- you know my obsession with vampires. Well, I guess that's it.

Oh... and I was thinking lately... you know, I have no dreams. Yoshi was talking to me about that lately. What do I want to do with myself? What do I enjoy? I don't know. What do I want to be? I say that I'm trying to find a job in Japanese media, but it seems that I'm just trying to do that because it's a goal... not necessarily cuz that's what I really want to do. I was good at my job when I worked with North Shore... Michelle cried when I left and even the exec producers and the 2nd in charge of FOX [FOX VP] were bothered by the fact that I left... but I wasn't extremely happy there either. I have no real ambitions other than to be happy. But I can't seem to be happy when I'm 1... alone... and 2... not content with my current position. I feel like such a failure. I went to college... went through the motions... and still I have nothing. I don't have a direction I want to go in. Sigh. And Yoshi kept saying "I can't help you cuz I don't even know what you want. What you like. The only thing you can do is start dreaming again." ...You know, I don't know how. If I *knew* how, I would. Ya know? *sigh* I donut. (o) Poo. Any suggestions? If so, lemme know.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Links and Quotes

First, links of interest.

A Sobering Look at Life

Llama Song

Bunny Song

Now, quotes of various sources and such. First quote comes from a discussion between Ka-chan and myself re: the ikkyuu. [i.e. Japanese proficiency test... top level]

eternal mists: oh no, if kachan can't do it, mochi can't
tr eK ibilia: Piffle, I had to go into a city I swore I would never go to during a blizzard to go take it. ;)
tr eK ibilia: And I came in eye-clawing distance of passing! So see? With no travails, see how well you would do!
eternal mists: but again, recall the mindrape that was the ikkyuu
eternal mists: remember what it did to you
tr eK ibilia:True.. ;)
tr eK ibilia: I still haven't recovered! But soon! Soon!
eternal mists: why would i want to subject myself to that??
tr eK ibilia: Because you're kinky?
tr eK ibilia: Surely masochism is mixed in there somewhere?
tr eK ibilia:It doesn't get any more brutal than that, either!
eternal mists: well yeah, that night with the whips and chains was rather fun...
eternal mists: oh... no no no... you didn't read that
tr eK ibilia: ... I sure didn't! But I may still copy/paste it to influential people and use it to bribe you later in life, when you stand on the cusp of success!

We also had a battle to the death.

eternal mists: piercing your own ear when the piercing machine you just bought is broken really sucks
tr eK ibilia: ... ;)
tr eK ibilia: Can I just say, you are so hardcore?
eternal mists: you can indeed say that
eternal mists: i used to pierce my own ears and whatever else before
eternal mists: but i hadn't done it in a while
eternal mists: and i fucked up so i pulled it out and broke the machine
eternal mists: and ooh the blood b^_^'
tr eK ibilia: Nice rendition there! ;)
tr eK ibilia: Eesh.
eternal mists: thank you
eternal mists: *bows as the crowd goes wild*
tr eK ibilia: ::shudders again::
eternal mists: are you not big on blood?
eternal mists: it's funny, i've never bled from my ears before ^_^
tr eK ibilia: No, small amounts of blood is kind of cool! But I'm sensitive about like.. ear torture and things like that. ;)
tr eK ibilia: I'm very proud of your new experience, though! It's a magical time of year, indeed! ;)
eternal mists: *comes after you with a needle*
tr eK ibilia: ::runs fast and runs far::
eternal mists: *in classic kung fu style ala "lovers/house of flying daggers", throws the needle at you and watches with pleasure as it pierces the fleshiness of thine ear*
tr eK ibilia: ::staggers to a halt, frozen in space and time by the power of your kungfu::
tr eK ibilia: ::as the needle flashes, time begins to move again::slowly crumbles into a heap, a trickle of blood darkening the ground::
eternal mists:*does a victory dance*
eternal mists:this conversation will be posted on my blog i think
tr eK ibilia: Aww. ;)
tr eK ibilia: My weakness will be revealed for all to see, and I'll be plagued by villains for the rest of my days. :
eternal mists: indeed

From a postcard I bought just cuz it semi-explained me.

"She wanted to move around. She wanted to squirm and wriggle and dance. She wanted to purr like a lioness and roar like a sex kitten. She wanted to sing in French and German [actually, insert Asian languages here]. She wanted strong colors. She dressed in avocado. Never ate it though."

A good quote about intelligence. Taken from Neal Stepenson's The Diamond Age or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer.

"In your Primer you have a resource that will make you highly educated, but it will never make you intelligent. That comes from life. Your life up to this point has given you all the experience you need to be intelligent, but you have to think about those experiences. If you don't think about them, you'll be psychologically unwell. If you do think about them, you will become not merely educated but intelligent, and then, a few years down the road, you will probably give me cause to wish I were several decades younger."

A grand insult from the above noted book.

"...be yourself, mister alienated loner steppenwolf bemused distant meta-izing technocrat rationalist fucking shithead."

At Jamie's request

Hey all. So by the request of Jamie [British dood at work who wears a short tie and who speaks the "Queen's English"... which, as we all know, is not REAL English by any means.. *smiles innocently at Jamie and waves*] I am updating my page.

Nothing much to report. We had a Thanksgiving party a few days after T-day at Kieran/Adam/Erick's house. It was a good turn out and Lili and her roommate, Lauren, did a fab job of cooking up a storm. No turkey considering it's near impossible to get and would be pointless, anyway, because of Japan's convenient lack of true ovens. I was in charge of getting the apple pie. Again, another near impossibility when you're not in a big city or you don't want to pay an arm and a leg. After searching like a crazy woman, I bought a pear tart from Budou no Ki for about 2100 yen. Wasn't apple pie, but DAMN was it nummy.

Also went to Kitokito Sushi with Kazuo-san and to Ninnikuya for Ramona's birthday, recently. Again, nothing much to report.

I must mention, though, that I got reprimanded at work the other day. I went through follow-up training recently and apparently said something things that were overheard that were not ok. I mentioned, during one of my breaks, that the other day, the Japanese staff had given me literally 1 minute to plan a lesson. I had already planned it, really, but a minute before the bell, the staff added another student to my class and being that he'd done nearly every lesson, it made for very high stress. Afterward, I semifreaked out at her, like "dood, that was uncool. I couldn't plan that fast. Please don't do that again." When I say freaked out, it's more like complained a bit considering that my Japanese isn't really good enough to do a big freak out that would be effective. ^_^ Anyway, I also, at training, asked a question re: a thing we have called Voice, which is basically a mix-level teacher-fascilitated convo. I asked, basically, "what do you do with a student who is there everyday and has literally done every activity in our voice resource packet?" I received no answer, although it was a serious question... and it earned me a phone call from the big manager to our branch manager, who then had to give me a talking to of sorts. As you all know, I have a tendency to come across as bitchy and perhaps my serious question was taken in the wrong light. But...

Le sigh. C'est la vie, I guess... although, I must say that it helped to push me away from Nova even more.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Amendment and Plus

Please, allow me to amend information that was posted in a previous blog as I'm too lazy to go back and actually change that one. Well, that, and none of you read backlogs anyway. Re: Takurou... he's never been paralyzed. He *works* with people who have been paralyzed and the like. He works with people with special needs. I've known that since the 2nd time we got together, but I hadn't fixed it... and he read the page and commented... so I figure I should set things straight.

Nothing too special to report. Went to karaoke with my Japanese branch manager on Wednesday night. She's *really* good at hitting high notes.

Further, Takurou's been coming around and we've been talking. He sang for me one of his demo songs last night. He thought of the concept, but a semi-professional lyricist in Osaka wrote the lyrics. It's sort of a dedication to those people who've passed away. Twas quite good.

On a further note, I do believe he has taken a liking to me. Well, not I believe, but I'm sure of it since he actually told me. Again with the "unbelievable" sentiment that a Japanese person would go so far as to admit his feelings like that! And of course, I've been very straight with him-- that I enjoy his company and that he's my friend. Though, I must admit that it is flattering... I asked him why he liked me and the translated answer is: "I like your kindness, your warmth, the way you think and the way you see things. It also makes me happy that you can listen to me and take me seriously. I think you're a suteki person." I apologize for the use of suteki, but it's a difficult word to translate. I told this to Mina [*waves at Mina*] and her reaction was that those are exactly the same things that she likes about me... she just has never fallen *in* love with me. ^_^ And Onion said that there's something about my personality that makes people open up to me completely [he claims that people can sense that I have a connection with things that other people can never hope to see] and anyway, that it's only a short jump from opening oneself up to being in love. I don't know.

Anyway, that's all that's been happening on this end. Today's Thanksgiving in America... Japan doesn't celebrate... but Happy Turkey Day all.. actually, it's a little sad to call it Turkey day, no? Since my guess is that turkeys prolly aren't very happy at all on Thanksgiving. Perhaps Happy Food Day! Sad Turkey Day! Bye all.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Never ends.

So I havent had a break in 10 days. I have to work a total of 12, so 2 more to go. Remind me never to do shift swaps with anyone if it means working for 12 days straight @ Nova. Granted, I was supposed to have scored two 4-day weekends via my 12 days of suffering...I only got 1. Poo. Seriously, I'm going crazy... and teaching kids everyday isn't helping my disposition.

I taught one kid who, no matter what you say to him, his reply is "unchi," meaning POO. So, the routine, you give them a crayon and say "Here you are." They reply "Thank you" and you say "You're welcome." But with him, it's "Here you are".. "UNCHI"... "You're welcome."

Then there's Naoya.. the little shit. He's much like Crayon Shinchan. Smart kid, but likes to pinch his weenie and he pulled down his pants at me today. He's 5. *Le sigh* No kids... noooo moooooooore!

Anyway, went out with Takurou on Saturday night. Went and got Thai food at a new Thai restaurant that opened up called "Bangkok" or something like that. It was decent food but they gave almost NOTHING. That's not Thai. We talked a lot about various things... went for a drive for a long time. He took me to see the ocean. I hadn't been yet... and even though it was fucking cold and night time, it was beautiful. I love the lights reflecting off dark water. And we continued to drive around and talked about where we go after we die and our dreams and how I don't really have any anymore-- and so more important for me, is to help other people's come true. We talked about what we wanted to accomplish most and whether we wanted to be rich and whether I would still have the child if I were to find out during the pregnancy that the child would be handicapped in some way and you know, what most of you have talked with me about before. A difficult task, as you can imagine, all with my level of Japanese.

At the end of the night, he hugged me. Which is a BIG DEAL since Japanese people do NOT hug. It's so natural for me to hug my friends... so I told him that he actually felt like a friend from home... I can talk to him about deep stuff [we also talked about farts and such, so it's like talking to ANYONE from home] and he hugs! Seriously, it was the best time I'd had since coming to Kanazawa.

Went to CJ's [Mexican food bar] last night to celebrate Mai's 25th birthday. Mai is one of the Japanese staff. It was nice. Afterward, we went to karaoke for 3 hours. Some random white people got picked up along the way and Nandor, one of them, I think was trying to flirt with me. He kept poking me and smacking me with his hat... how immature can we be? Granted I fought BACK since I'm not going to let random poking be gotten away with... but I was like dood.

Anyway, to end things, here are 2 quotes from the Engrish bank and a picture of Takurou.

Student: "Do you know fu?"
Me: "Do I know who?"
Student: "Fu. Do you know?"
Me: "Who who?"
Student: "You know, fu. You put in miso soup."
Me: "What? Who do you put in miso soup?"
Student: "Yes."
Me: "What??"
Student: "You put fu in the soup and it go big."
[Ok, it took me a really long time to figure out fu is the name of a Japanese food... the puffy tasteless thing that you put in miso soup that starts off dried and expands when added to the soup. Dammit...]

"I heard your name under the ground."
[Meaning they told me your name in the downstairs office, but I've forgotten.]

And Kuwamura Takurou, Fish Maniac

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Trapped and More Engrish

Today, I got trapped. Where? In the bathroom in my apartment. Why? Because the wind blew down my full length mirror which wedged itself between the outward opening bathroom door and the wall. The bathroom has no other ways out other than that door. I was already later than usual in getting ready for work... and while I was taking a shower, I heard a huge thunk. I dried off, tried to open the door and I was like FUCK...

Anyway, after tearing my bathroom apart... which is difficult because, except for my little toiletries, everything's one smooth piece of plastic [the walls, floor and tub are all one piece]... I tore apart a small plastic and metal shelf with legs and put all my weight against the door. I could see the edge of the mirror. I stuck the piece of metal out through the centimeter wide opening, and managed to lift the mirror's edge just enough to allow me to open the door enough to stick my hand through. I was stuck for near 15 minutes... and if the mirror had fallen just a little more to the left, I would have been stuck there for some time. Didn't have my phone. No one comes to visit me. I would've been fucked. *SIGH*

OH, and here's more Engrish from today's lessons.

I came out of my orfice.
[Ah, yes, she meant OFFICE.]

I am a retard.
[I tried soooo many times to get her to remember "I am retired." But alas, she kept saying retard. I hope she doesn't ever say that to a foreigner.]

We can use dog as secretary.
[He meant SECURITY... heh.]

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Engrish

On a side note, before I forget... here are a few things that students have said that are a little off color or plainly, just bad Engrish. ^_^

"I could never live with someone I couldn't copulate with."
[read copulate as COOPERATE]

"I like penis butter."
[try PEANUT BUTTER]

"2 years ago, I got hit by a car. Until this day, my leg is still hung over."
[uh... her leg still hurts]

Teacher: "Do you work with your hands?"
Student: "Eh? Hand job?"

"You look beautiful today, but you need to change your stockings."
[How to politely tell your boss she has a run in her stockings.]

"Suddenly, a bus came out from my behind."
[Ouch. A bus came at him from behind.]

"I cunt."
[What happens when a Japanese person learns from Aussies/Brits/Kiwis. A mispronunciation of the word CAN'T]

"Will you get off with me?"
[Will you give me some time off?]

Student: "I had a very bad stomachache."
Teacher: "Why?"
Student: "Because I touched a turtle."
[This one is hilarious,but I think you had to have been there for this to make any sense.]

Shimensoka Live

Hey all. Went to see Shimensoka's oldies live today at Boz Cafe in Uchinada. I'll post blurry pictures once they're developed. It was alright, actually. The music itself was quite good and Shin-san did a good job with the lyric pronunciation for the most part. He had a hard time with Long Train Runnin', Jailhouse Rock, and Rockin' Around the Clock. The others he pulled off with no real problems.

Nozomi was nice enough to take me and introduced me to her friends, Tama and Ayako.

I am actually worried about my relationship with Shimensoka. I wonder, now that their English live is over, will they still contact me just to hang and what not? Shin said that he'd contact me if there were any other concerts and stuff... and Sanada... [did I type Sonada in the last one? If I did, it's SANADA] seems really cool... but perhaps this was for a limited time only, if you know what I mean. Yousuke's cool too, but he and I haven't really communicated much at all. Shimensoka also has a drummer, to whom I wasn't really introduced, so yeah. Hopefully, they'll remain my friends since I enjoy their company.

I've also been trying to make friends with a girl named Yuki. She's a cutie who works down the street from my apartment... although, on the day we were supposed to hang out, she was conveniently sick. I went to visit her today before getting picked up for the concert, and it was fun... but let's see whether we actually hang out/talk more than just at her work place.

Ah, the quest for friends continues. What Japanese people do I have on my list of friends for sure? And I mean *for sure*??? Kazuo-san. Everyone else, we'll see, I suppose.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Cuddlies and Oldies

Rae is vunderful! She sent me happy Xmas cuddlies in the mail. I will name them Pengy and Snowy. Hmmm... I love you, Rae!



Met the basist and guitarist for Shimensoka today. Sonada and Yousuke, respectively. Both are rather otokomae, as Shinnosuke kept saying. Yousuke also sings the harmony for the band, it seems. I helped them more with their English pronunciation for their upcoming live in Uchinada on Sunday. Actually, with the help of Shin's friend, Nozomi, I'm going to go watch. After the English lesson, I went to Kento's with them to watch an oldies performance. Seriously, if I didn't already KNOW the words, I wouldn't even know they were singing an English song.

And! Japanese people can't dance. I'm so embarrassed on their behalf. I spent half the night laughing about "Japanese" dancing. It's all set parapara movements. Seriously, the nail that sticks out gets hammered down in Japan. Same thing goes for the dancing nail, so it seems.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Pics and Pho

I've added a few pics to the Freezeframe section of my page. The pics, I warn you, are blurry because they are pics of pics. The originals are actually quite nice. Sorry about that. Anyway...

Yesterday, went with Kazuo-san to eat Pho at Mot-mot. It's a little Vietnamese pho shop that makes its own fresh pho. A friend of ours, Phuc-san, is the pho-making master. And!! The place is nearby, so if I have a craving... I can head on down and enjoy a nice nummy bowl of pho for the low cost of 500 yen!

Also met the owner/editior of a free mag called Kanazawa Jikan. Kazuo-san is still trying to hook me up with as many people as he can that he thinks will eventually give me a chance at something more. So... he introduced me to Takayanagi-san [the owner/editor dood] who, himself, has many connections into the masskomi industry... and also to Takakura-san, who is some kind of PR person, I think, at Ishikawa Television. I also have connections to Miyoko-san who, as I mentioned before, is a manager of sorts at Ishikawa Television. Shinnosuke, the singer for Shimensoka, also may have a connection to FM Ishikawa/Hello 5. Ooooh, the connections are slllllooooooooowwwwlllly being made. Now if only they would GET me somewhere!

Oh, and I had my off probation observation the other day. I did fine and dandy. I don't get my first full off-probe paycheck, though, till mid January... and by that time, I hope to have moved on anyway. Hmmm... I guess we'll see.

Now for a picture. Taken 2 days ago... Just me.




Sunday, November 07, 2004

Jazz-singer and Connections for YOSHI

Last night, I went to dinner and karaoke with Takuro... a 21 year old, professionally trained Jazz singer. An interesting and weird guy, actually. Quite nice. We had a good time.

Apparently, when he was younger, he fell and twisted his neck and was paralyzed for some time. It was quite a struggle, as one can imagine, but he's fine now. Can walk and all just fine. He works at a music store and goes to night college classes to study Economics. But his dream, I think, is to go to Tokyo and pursue his singing. Already, he goes once a month or so, to Tokyo... his first break, other than singing in lounges and such things, is being the voice that sings out of a certain set of PACHINKO machines. I guess when the person is winning... his voice comes out... or something. Really quite interesting.

But!! At the moment, he can't go off to Tokyo... why? Because 2 years ago, his father died... and he has an 11-year-old sister who needs him. *sigh* Harsh, huh?

He is also quite weird though. We spent a lot of time talking about rare fish and rare pets. He used to work at a pet store and is now a self-proclaimed FISH MANIAC! What the hell??

We went to karaoke and I was ssooooo impressed. He kept calling himself an old man... the reason being that he has an "old man's voice" as he called it. Basically, when he sings, he doesn't sound like a 21 year old... his voice is incredibly mature.. and he can do a great impression of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. Scratchy voice and all.

Well, anyway.... that was the Jazz singer part. Now, connections for YOSHI [I doubt he reads this, though]. Yoshi wants to be a big time music artist in Japan. People might find this to be a bit ridiculous... and I must say, it's a tall order... but TAKURO... rocks. We talked about Yoshi's dream and he said that he knew quite a number of music producers who'd be willing to give Yoshi's stuff a listen if he'd be so kind as to provide them with a demo CD. Ooooh... *sparkly eyes.* Perhaps it's a SIGN!?! Ok, happy. GOnna go make spam musubi for lunch.

Bye

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Internet. Changes. Visits. Attacks. Racism. Halloween. Friends. Requests.

Internet. Changes. Visits. Attacks. Racism. Halloween. Friends. Requests. Pretty much in that order.

Internet. I got it. About freakin' time!? I signed up for YahooBB, oh, about a month ago. And after much yelling at the YahooBB people, they came yesterday and dropped off a box containing a modem and some papers. I.e. after all that shit, all they had to do was give me the modem and then leave it up to me to install the bloody thing myself! Wtf, mate?! Anyway, I set it up and of course it didn't work... but whatever, it works now. Internet. I have it. Which means updates will be more often and those of you who write to me will actually get responses. Nice. Btw, Japan now has Hikari... internet that runs at 1gig/sec. I don't have that. I can't afford it. But DAMN! Ok. Hyperventilation over.

Changes. At the request of Sir Michael [who has requested to be called Michael-sama, not knowing that I only call Yoshi-sama, sama] I have changed the music. I suppose Modest Mouse was getting a bit old. I've changed it to Garrison Star's Superhero. Yes, it's not Japanese music... but, I don't know, it's something that says something that those of you who read this will actually understand. Slightly altered the contact page... and will be altering it again shortly to make way for the addition of a home line.

Visits. John, that kid I met at orientation, came to visit during the last week of October. Undecided as to whether I want to publish my true opinion of that whole ordeal. Let's just say that some people have Hawaii in them and some don't. It doesn't matter if you're born there or if you have family there... it's whether or not in your heart, you are from Hawaii. And... somehow, his visit taught me that I truly love people who are from Hawaii and are truly local. I think about Aileen, and Stacey [who, despite all her bitchin' about being haole in Hawaii and local on the mainlaind is local, g'dammit!], and Lyndsey, and Janelle all my lovely Hawaii mohos.. there really is a difference in the kind of people that Hawaii breeds. Oh, that sounds odd. Anyway, he came. We went to Kenrokuen and Ninjadera. i.e. park and temple. Ninjadera was quite cool. Buddhist shrine of the Nichiren sect that has all these hidden passageways and staircases... secret tunnels to the castle... even a room for SUICIDE in case there was no other way to escape. Wow... I want a house like that!

Attacks. First day of John's visit [Tues. 26 October 04] we went to the Curry House Coco Ichibanya that's behind Mza [for those of you who know Kanazawa]. Walked in. There's a high school kid, maybe 15, in his uniform, eating alone... as well as some older men further down the row. We take a seat at the counter, 2 seats down from kid. We order. We speak in English. And at one point, I feel the energy change behind me... I turn around and I notice the kid staring at us. I comment "hey, that kid's giving off weird vibes." 5 minutes later, he punches me in the ribs!!! My initial reaction was "I should slam this kid's head into the counter, what the fuck!??!" I count back from 10 while, quite delayed, John gets up and flies the boy across the counter, knocking over a pitcher of water in the process, and yelling in typical American style, "what the fuck are you doing, you little mother fucker?!" and variations of the sort. I pull him back and say to let it go. It's not worth deportation. None of the customers looked up. A staff member runs over to me, asking if I need medical assistance. No. Then they move us down, oh, 4 seats more... let both parties finish eating. As the boy gets up to pay, they ask him in hushed tones why he did it. His answer? Simply, "I don't know." They let him go. We get up to leave. They apoligize and then give us the bill. Dammit, Japan sucks. Needless to say, the boy's true reasons behind the spontaneous attack are unknown, but I suspect it has much to do with John's and my Asian persuasion and the blatent usage of English as our main language.

Racism. Friday, October 29. Drop John off at the station. In the bike lot, trying to fetch my bike so I can head over to that really cool antique store across from Daiei [where I purchased a Buddha and was given a book of calligraphy, later]... and an old, 70 maybe 80 something year old man heads me off in front of my bike and says "you were speaking English earlier, yah?" and then proceeds for 20 minutes to tell me the evils of Americans and the disgrace of international music and how I'm like a DOG because I'm mixed races, just like a dog is mixed breeds and blah blah blah...

Halloween. Went to APRE-- a gaijin bar-- alone. Dressed in my little black punk dress. Danced around. Made a friend with a girl named Shiori. A very unflattering picture of me can be found on the APRE blog, as Elvis, the bartender, was quite taken by my dress-wearing self. http://www.apre.blogger.com.br/ Look at the November 4th entry. I was later propositioned by a fairly good looking Brazilian boy named Hector who apparently models in Brazil. I was later followed around by a rather portly Indian guy whose name I didn't catch.

Friends. Still working on this department. Went out recently with a guy named Shinnosuke. A 35 year old lead singer of a Japanese rock/pop cover band called Shimensoka which means "Enemies on all sides." He was cool. We karaoked and dinnered and whatever. Apparently he knows a Kanazawa Gackt AND Hyde lookalike. I still have my 36 year old friend, Kazuo, who is trying to start his own company. And I'm still working on stuff. I've gone to see a movie with this guy, Daimaru, who I must say bothered me a bit. He won't go away. He's old. Like 50 something plus maybe and he just gives me the sheistiest vibes. We saw the movie Lovers, which apparently in AMerica is called House of Flying Daggers. IT's the new martial arts movie starring Zhang Ziyi and Kaneshiro Takeshi. Good movie. And I went bowling and to see Secret Window with a girl name Kaori and her Mexican bf and HIS friends. That was kinda neat. Tomorrow I have plans to go to coffee with a professionally trained Jazz singer boy person named Takurou. I'll let you all know how that goes.

Requests. Mail! Something to cuddle with! Pictures! Love!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

moved

So I'm back. Again, it's been forever since I've posted. Gomenne. Though I'm sure few of you were DYING to know what's been happening in the Chibisaga. Anyway, not much, really. Biggest bit of info... I MOVED!

Tomorrow makes one week of me in my little place. Yes, the shack atop the random building. I call it the Chibi Shack. Yah, yah, everything's chibi with me... But really, it's a SHACK... and it's LITTLE... so chibi shack is appropriate, no? Yvette was kind enough to help me move... I faced quite the dilemma trying to decide the best way to move all my crap... [as in suitcases, kotatsu, fan, toaster, microwave, and much other randomness] to the new place. I called KuronekoYamato to ask about the prices for minimovers and the cheapest I could get was $200... of course, I didn't HAVE $200/20000 Yen. So... I called a taxi. Two taxis, actually. And we loaded all my crap into the two taxis and drove to my new place... and it cost me a grand total of 1440 yen. How nice is that? Though, the down side to that was that Yvette and I then had to carry all of my stuff up FOUR NARROW FLIGHTS OF STAIRS by ourselves! oh the pain and horror.

anyway, that night, theresa came by and we moved even MORE stuff from her place to mine. the next day, the 8th, a friend of hers... who happens to be a STUDENT of MINE [seto kazunobu] appeared at my front door and we carried up her fridge. basically, the only thing that is still in her apartment is the washing machine... which she claims will be handed over on the 22nd of October.

Oh, and two weeks ago... so that would have been like, October 1st or so... I finally caved in. I wrote an ad at the International Lounge... called Rifare, asking for Japanese friends. I must tell you how absolutely pathetic I felt having to put in an AD for FRIENDS. I hadn't cried so much since I'd been here as that evening when I told Yoshi how pathetically lonely I've been. Anyway, I've gotten a slew of responses... though the first of them was a weird Japanese man who asked me for my measurements. I went to dinner/coffee with 2 of the guys who contacted me. The first one was a bit weird, actually... I dunno how I feel about him. Age 27, Konishi Tohru. The other, Hiroyuki, Age 27, was slightly less sketchy. He wants to be a pilot. What I think is interesting is that maybe 4 or 5 of the people who've contacted me have been the age 27. Really quite odd. Anyway, I haven't decided whether any of these people are people who can be my FRIEND friend... but hell, it's human interaction, and that's nice.

Today, after work, I stuck around and chatted in Japanese with a few of the students for an hour or so. Yuuichi, we call him the one armed man... got into a motorcycle accident a while back and has permanently lost the use of his right arm. Apparently, in the accident, the nerve that ran from his arm to his spine was completely severed and cannot be fixed. Kazunobu.. one of my favorite students... 26 years old who is completely enamored with the idea that Yoshi and I met on the internet because it was our destiny [he recently went to a close friend's wedding and is in a romantic mood, i think]... then again, i think it was our destiny too... and anyway, he wants to meet his destiny and has recently decided to look online because of my story... and Miyoko... I just met her today. She's a hip older woman... her daughter is a little older than me... anyway, she works in the strategy management department of Ishikawa Television. She was quite neat... and in the end, she asked my for my contact information in case any apprenticeships open up at the station. I thought that was neat. Anyway, we talked about our dreams and aspirations and our fear of shortcomings. It was really nice to talk to someone about that here... especially the question about whether I've done the right thing by coming here. They were great... telling me that I wouldnt have come if there wasn't a reason... and of course, I already know that. Yoshi's been telling me that, too... but anyway, that's been one of my bigger struggles lately, aside from the lack of friends thing which apparently I feel better about since I've moved into my own place... it's the idea that I made the wrong decision in coming to Japan. That it was just a big mistake... a waste of my time.

But anyway, I've been rambling again... I suppose I'll end by saying I'm a little genkier than I was before. And that's good. But I'm still working on it. Thanks for listening... or reading... or whatever. And hey, here's a pic I took with my phone in my new apartment.



Thursday, September 30, 2004

Friends, Ambulance, and such.

UPDATED my CONTACT INFO, FREEZEFRAME, and pic of my GIRLS in DEDICATION.

I'll try to be brief. Really. Since it's been forever since I've posted, a million things and yet nothing has happened.

Re: my friend situation. Remember that friend, Will? Well, scratch him off the list. He just left Japan a few days ago... for really NO reason. Like, he called in to work that there was an 'emergency' and that he had to go home. No goodbye, nothing. So... yes.

The AU girl hasn't contacted me much more than to say thanks for the nuts I gave her. Perhaps her saying she wanted to get together was the Japaneseyness again... and this time, I couldn't see it. Maybe she's busy? Maybe she just really doesn't want to study English or hang out with a foreigner whose Japanese kinda sucks.

On a positive note, I did go out to dinner last week... was it already so long ago... mebbe almost 2 weeks ago with this girl Chiharu and her fiancee, Tomonari [I think it's Tomonari.] I met them that crazy night with the shitty karaoke... and she contacted me and said that we should get together for dinner. She doesnt really speak any English, so we rely on my Japanese. Always a funny thing. I [and Yoshi, if he comes up] am invited to their wedding which is apparently in August of next year. We've exchanged a few emails since then... but she works as a financial planner and her company's been very busy lately so we haven't gotten together since that one dinner out. She and her bf are very sweet... and very traditional in a lot of ways. Tomonari bowed down low at dinner and ask that I become good friends with them and while Chiharu was away in the potty, he was saying about how special she is and how much he loves her. A little unJapanese but very sweet. I hope I actually do become closer friends with them.

[As a side note, someone is speaking in really loud FRENCH in the cubicle next to me. Really odd.]

I rode in an ambulance a few days ago. ONe of the new NOVA teachers, Henry, from New York, sprained his ankle and waited until the hospitals had closed for the night before he decided that he wanted to go do something about the bloody thing. We called an ambulance... they're free in Japan. And I went along as translator. Was quite interesting really.

OTherwise, I've really done nothing. Go to work everyday. I bought a ricecooker today at a 2nd hand store. Bargained them down from 4800 yen to 3500 yen. The stupid thing WOULD have cost me 12600 yen or so if I had bought it new... so twas quite the deal. I also got my money back for the fridge, stove, and washing machine that I bought at that store. I've since met up with a girl named Theresa who is moving out of her place [which happens to be the place right below my new one] who wanted to sell her shit for cheap. Bought her out, pretty much. I may try to bargain her down a bit, though.

Once I move into my new place, I'll post pictures up. But! For now, people have been asking about my cell phone. Here's a picture of that, and a few pictures of me... just me... since I still really dont have any friends. Whine whine whine, I know. Talk to you all soon....

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Having friends?

So, I think I have a friend. Maybe three or so, really.

One. Will. He works with me at Nova at Al Plaza Kanazawa. We currently live in the same building. He's the dood I went with to Coco Ichibanya not too long ago-- the night with the fucked up karaoke, really. Last night, he dropped by and we went walking through the Samurai district... bats are really neat animals... and there are tons of them in Kanazawa. Anyway, we then had some chips and salsa at CJ's.. this Mexican restaurant/bar thing that is apparently owned by this 22 year old American kid named Chris. Then we went to karaoke. Twas my first fruitful karaoke experience in Japan since AKP... of course... that could be because there were only two of us. So... anyway, he's a friend.

Two. John Yoshioka. *waves* He and his friend, Mike Manzano [friend number 3] live and work for NOVA in Yamato-yagi. They're really the only ones I talked to at length at orientation in Osaka. They've oh so kindly been sending me emails and giving me a call. Isn't that precious?

Today, I made a special effort to see that AU girl I mentioned a few posts earlier... the girl who sold me the phone? Anyway, I gave her some macadamia nuts and we exchanged numbers. She said she still wants to learn English... so maybe we can get together sometime and do the language exchange thing. Wow... does that mean I *might* have a Japanese friend? Imagine that.

But still, at a very very optimistic level, I only have 4 friends... none of whom I would consider GOOD friends.

Granted, I have Dave lurking around Osaka and Tamanegi-chan running amok in Iwate... but they're so far away. And really, I'm soooo lonely. Geez, all I do is whine, huh?

Sorry for that. At least I'm trying to make the best of my current situation. And hey, at least I let you all know everything that's going through my mind.

Anyway, I guses I have nothing more of import to write... Not that THAT was all that important. Oh well... y'all have my contact info. Contact me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Yakitori and Needing More-y

Went out to yakitori for dinner tonight. It was a bit of a welcome dinner with my coworkers. Of course, I somehow managed to talk only to the Japanese coworkers... the ones who spoke English were having their own conversation... drinking and smoking and talking about... something?

Apparently, the students of various levels have been praising me highly. That's nice. Of course, it'd be nice if I weren't working for Nova and instead were doing what I actually want to do here. Media. I talked to my Japanese coworkers about it and they think I can do it... I just have to start with small connections and work my way up. Sounds good. I want to settle into my new place first, anyway, before I do anything else.

And what I mean about needing More-y... I mean love... from y'all. A letter or something. Comments. Emails. Phone calls. Those of you who have been trying [hey Michael from Office Depot in Hawaii... I *have* been getting yoru messages/calls... but I've been at work when they came through]... you have no idea how much I appreciate it. Seriously. And still, I'm needy. Anyone willing to send me more love?

Love always, me.

Moved and Moving. Finding Peace.

Moved yesterday to that new address. The place isn't bad. It's much larger than our old place and I get to have the tatami room this time. Granted, the room is small and lacks privacy... but I figure I'll only be there for less than a month, so I can deal.

On Monday morning, I went over to Kinki Homes and asked them to show me some apartments. I looked at a total of 4. The first one, I figured I'd be interested in because it was near the Saigawa [river]... And near it, it was. It was also painfully small, near the huge construction, and not in the best condition. It was a let down, really. I asked the man if he could show me more apartments and he informed me that most of the places that are open to foreigners have already been taken... he found a few other places and... I finally found my place.

It's small... but it's perfect for me. It's on the roof of a small 4 story building... 2 tatami rooms, a kitchen, a bath room, the entire rest of the roof top as my balcony and a neat view. But more than anything... it felt right. I was standing on the balcony/roof... and I asked myself... is this the right thing to do... to be by myself... to go through the trouble and money of getting my own place... is *this* the right place...

And that's when the butterfly came. A kind of butterfly I'd never seen before. It was beautiful... and it danced around my head.

A coincidence, you might say. Hell, that's what I said... and minutes later... I questioned yet again whether this was the right thing to do. And yet another butterfly came. A different one. Yet another kind that I'd never seen before...

And this butterfly also danced around my head.

And a breeze blew. And I felt a small amount of peace in my heart that I hadn't yet felt since I've been here.

I move into my new place on October 7. I've already put in notice to Nova. I pay first deposit today [Thursday] and must pay the rest of my overly expensive deposit by the end of the month. I'll be paying 38000 yen a month. For my own little bit of peace. The address??

Monchalee Steiger
Hikoso Cherry Heights #401
Hikosomachi 1-9-3
Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
920-0901 JAPAN

920-0901 JAPAN
石川県金沢市彦三町1-9-3
彦三チェリーハイツ401号
モンチャリー・スタイガー様

Antisocial

Ok... so I believe this will be a several part blog since I'm dividing it into experiences.

I had another really frustrating homesick experience this past weekend. When was it... Saturday or Sunday night? I believe it was Sunday. Basically, I decided to stop being antisocial and try my hand at making friends with the other Nova teachers. [BTW, apparently the correct notation for Nova teacher is TUTOR... but that's another issue all together.] Anyway... tried to make friends.

It starts by going to this couple's house: Summer and Blair. Aussies. Who drink. And all their friends drink. Which is ok.. even though I don't drink much, I'm generally not bothered by others'imbibing the stuff. Anyway, I sat... very quietly... having pretty much nothing to say and not much interest in the topics of choice. I believe I ended up punching out emails to Tekki on me cell phone the entire time.

Then, we headed over to the local gaijin bar... APRE. It was this kid, Dave's going away thing. On the way there, I walked but the majority of others had their bikes on them. [I didn't since Will... another Nova guy... and I had decided to walk to Curry House Ichibanya for dinner.] They, quite annoyingly and in good, stupid gaijin fashion, made quite the ruckus ringing their stupid bells and honking their bike horns for no reason while riding through both residential and commercial areas of Kanazawa... on a SUNDAY NIGHT. It must have been 10 pm or later by then. I was so embarrassed... all the Japanese people looking at me like "Can't you control your stupid gaijin friends?!" No... I can't. They aren't my friends.

Aaaanyway, we go to APRE. The gaijin bar. Everyone is there. I end up making better and more meaningful conversation with the handful of Japanese girls there, several of whom are Nova staff. I spoke in Japanese of course. And I had a few crappy drinks, since if I HAVE to pay 600 yen for a drink, I may as well get some alcohol in there. It did nothing for me of course, while the Nova kids just got rowdier and stupider. I really tried to make conversation... getting to know you kind of stuff... but... it wasn't working.

Then it starts getting bad. They want to sing karaoke but the bar is closing down. The bar owner let's us have the karaoke room upstairs for an hour and already I can see that this is going to be a problem. One person hogged the mike and refused to actually sing, but instead spoke REALLY FUCKING LOUDLY into the mike and made lame jokes. And then, Kieran, that guy from before for whom I was acting as translator, started cancelling songs he didn't like so that his songs would come on. Blah blah. I left the room and did a bit more of chitchatting with the Japanese girls.

THEN it starts getting poopy. They decide they're in the mood for karaoke. I'm down with that. We head over to the local Shidax... the drunken gaijin whoopin' it up on their bikes as they ring and honk through downtown Kanazawa. We get to Shidax... all 20 of us or whatever and we take literally an hour to decide whether we even WANT to go karaoke. The entire time, of course, the drunken idiots make a huge scene in the lobby area... trying to juggle the moraccas and throwing the tambourines. The Japanese girls are trying to reason with the Shidax karaoke staff... we decide 2 rooms would be best. One for people who want to sing. The other for people who want to drink.

We get upstairs. The crazies start fucking MOVING THE FURNITURE from one room to the other so that everyone can fit in the one room. THEN more alcohol comes. I drink nothing. Not even water. THEN they all start arguing and yelling about "how the fuck do you input the song" blah blah.. completely disregarding those of us who are actually trying to EXPLAIN how you do it. And of course when people finally get the songs in, others fuck it up... by talking into the mike over it... by fucking with the key.... by screwing up the tempo over and over.. by cancelling the song all together.. all the while, accusing others of doing it... And those others, getting the heat of everyone's drunken anger because they're to plastered to know the difference.

Needless to say, I left with our time was up... though most of the people stayed. One of the Japanese girls and I left... complaining how it sucked and how not worth it the experience was. And more importantly, the fact that they demanded that we spend 2000 yen for that shit.

It was really so frustrating. What happened to people who had respect for each other? For other cultures? Who, even in their shitfacedness could still be normal human beings with at least a vague regard for others? Where are my AKPers? Where is the group that karaokes with me in Hawaii... who doesn't need any alcohol to have fun... why am I the only normal, NOT immature person... btw, I was the very youngest one there in that crowd.

I cried my eyes out when I got home. No wonder I chose to be antisocial.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

First Day of Work and Moving Out

So today was my first true day of work. It was rough stuff. Taught 7 lessons. Tis usually 8. Somehow, I cant manage to wing my lessons so I have to take the time to write it all out. Bugger. It takes FOREVER to plan that way. I cant effectively plan 8 lessons. Today, I had to skip lunch to get my planning done. Well, that's not entirely true... I *did* have a juice box from the vending machine. Oh yah... apple juice... the lunch of champions and the very stressed beginning teacher named Monchalee at NOVA.

Another thing... they may seem silly so some of you... but I've decided to look into get an apartment of my own. In the long run, it'll allow me to save money... let me have privacy, and save me the crap of finding out yet again that I'm a hard person to live with. Of course, I need friends at some point, else I'll have more privacy than I could ever hope for. Beyond that, I think it's a good idea to move out... in case I decide that Nova's not for me, but Japan *is*... If I ever decide to leave NOVA, I won't be at a loss for housing.

I went in today to an apartment finding service. I found a place that costs 38000 yen or so a month... which is really like $350 or so. Granted I need to pay the key fee and month or two advance but that's still almost cheaper than the apartment NOVA gave me considering that this first apartment is 61000 yen/month and my new apartment that I move into on TUESDAY is 58000 yen/month. Granted, it's furnished... but I can dress up a personal apartment fairly nicely with some of the money that I save. I'm going on Monday morning, before work, to check the place out. Then I have to give 30 days notice to NOVA that I'll be heading outward. I wonder if Yvette, the roommate, will be unhappy about this? We'll see.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Things I forgot to Mention

Things I forgot to mention... and then some.

First, the hotel at which I took all the pictures... the rug was laid... in TILES! Squares of rug were laid side by side to create the floor... weird.

Second, I keep messing up on my cell PHONE number... from America

011-81-90-3763-4051

From Japan, and I know SOME of you want to call me...

090-3763-4051

My address on my cell phone is chou-genki@ezweb.ne.jp

My HOME address is

Monchalee Steiger
Plaza Shinkai Hosai #401
2-16-20 Hosai
Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken
920-0862 JAPAN

In Japanese...

日本 920-0862
石川県金沢市芳斎2-16-20
プラザ信開芳斎401号
モンチャリー・スタイガー様へ

Anyway,other than that, I've pretty much been utterly lonely. i went out today with my ONE American friend, Kieran [from New York city] to Karaoke and introduced him to the loves of Karaoke and Nomihoudai. Thankfully he paid for it. And now I'm here at 5 am, Japan time, writing this memo to you.

I've been having my training at NOVA for the past 3 days. It finished today and from saturday on, I will be "officially" a Nova instructor. Isn't that scary? Anyway, for the most part it has been ok. I've had a few dud classes... people not willing to participate or giving them more and more information that somehow, they can't understand. Although Teaching can be rewarding... it really, it's not what I
want. Hopefully, I can move to Osaka or make the connections I want so that I may move elsewhere.

If you have any connections or suggestions, let me know. Otherwise, just give me an email or a call or something. I'm really lonely...

To tell you all a minor secret... I didnt know exactly how lonely I was until last night [well, 2 nights ago... ]I've been reading my 4th installment of the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card. It's called CHILDREN OF THE MIND... and basically, the other night... while reading... I managed to bawl my eyes out for HOURS! This is what caused those lonely, self-pitying tears... [truncated]

”Will the kind of love I have for you be enough? To reach out to you when I'm in need, and to try to be here for you when you need me back. ANd to feel such tenderness when I look at you that I want to stand between you and all the world: and yet also to lift you up and carry you above the strong currents of life; and at the same time, I would always be glad to stand always like this, at a distance, watching you, the beauty of you, your energy..."

Maybe some of you will understand this. Maybe some of you won't. I guess the overall message is that I'm lonely. Someone be my friend?

Thanks.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Missed luggage and Nose Hair

So, I hurried home last night to see if I'd missed my luggage dropoff. Of course, I did. I called kuronekoyamato and asked that they come back... but of course it was 10 til 9 pm and the driver gets off at 9 pm... so I'd have to wait until this morning... which is fine except that "morning" is anytime between 9 am and noon.

Hmph. Well... at least I have my stuff, now. I only unpacked one of my two suitcases since we'll be moving out in literally a week. Why, you ask? Because the landlord doesn't want to deal with foreigners anymore. DISCRIMINATION! you might say. No... not in Japan.

Regarding my phone: For those of you who want to call from America...

011-81-90-3763-4051

We are 19 hours ahead of Hawaii... which is more along the lines of 5 hours behind, but a day ahead. I.e. if it is 10 pm on Saturday night in Hawaii.... it is 5 pm on Sunday evening in Japan. Please call or email. It's lonely.

Re: my roommate. Well, she's Australian. She's currently on the South Beach diet. She likes Vegemite... and as I mentioned before, she has the bigger, Japanese style room. She came up here, originally, with a college friend of hers named Angie. They were roommates and Angie didn't like teaching so she left and is currently in Greece. She talks about Angie all the time. The apartment is decorated with all her things.

Apparently, Angie plans to come back at the end of September... so I may have to move out, she says. Ok... I may also look into just getting a super cheap apartment of my own. It may be a better idea. Beyond that, Yvette [the roomy] also mentioned that *she* doesn't really enjoy teaching... and that *she* may be planning to move out eventually... Sooner that I would leave NOVA, obviously. Maybe that means I'll get the bigger room from the get-go in the new apartment.

Tomorrow morning, I start orientation. For 6 hours... and they want me to go all the way back to Osaka... which is 2.5 hours away, one way, on the Express train. Shit. I have a feeling they're going to keep sending me back there. Well, I guess as long as they pay for my ticket, that's all that matters.

Anyway, I said before that I'd insert some pics for y'all to have fun with. Here's the place.



Me @ Dotonbori Hotel, Osaka

After my toilet and I had been "SANITARIZED"

Please close the bathroom door when you shower as the steam will otherwise set off the fire alarm.


I got to sleep on a "Tempur" pillow... which astronauts use in the space shuttles.


And finally!!... Beware of NOSEHAIR!!!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Contact and No Friends

Hello, all. I'm @an internet cafe...

Here's what information I can give you. I just bought a cell phone... got the cheapest one again. It's like the new and improved version of my old phone... it was free this time instead of 1 yen. It's super cool... gotta start customizing it. ^^

The phone number here is:

090-3763-4051

I chose the last 4 digits of the number. They spell out *YOSHI* or well... YOSI which is the other way to spell Yoshi. So... it's 3763YOSI ... bwajhahahaha...

IT was really difficult to decide which phone to get... and in the end I went for the one with the best sound and screen... although the one that you could watch tv and full length movies and live gps and listen the radio was really cool. It wasn't free though. And my plan is really pricey. I may have to reduce it later.

The email to the phone is chou-genki@ezweb.ne.jp I believe it's the same as before.

My roommate is ok I guess. She took the Japanese room which is the slightly bigger room and she has her own way of doing things.

You know what sucks? Apparently, we're being forced to move out of the apartment in less than 2 weeks. Soooo... that's evil. And crappy. I haven't even worked a day and already we have to move. Maybe this time I'll get the bigger room.

I don't have any friends yet, really. I think I may have made friends with the lady who sold me the phone. I told her that when I find out my schedule at NOVA that I'd let her know. She wants to learn English so she can help the customers who cant speak Japanese. I told her I'd teach her free of charge if she helped me with my Japanese. Worth it, yes? To have a friend... I dont know her first name, but her last name is Takada.

I start orientation on Monday. All the way 2.5 hours away in Osaka. How stupid is that? Until then, I've been touring around here on my own. Losing weight already! I really wish you were here.

I guess I should going before the police take my bike away. I left it by McDonalds which is like a few blocks away from here.

Anyway, oh shit! I just realized that they're supposed to drop off my luggage right now... FUCK... ok, I was gonna type more... but I guess not... bye all.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Arrival

So I've arrived in Japan. No one was here to meet me. I asked around and finally found someone from my company-- they said they didn't know I was coming today. They're the ones who arranged my ticket! How stupid.

They said that my info packet isn't here and that no one is expected to meet me until about 8 pm. It is currently almost 7. It was 6 pm w hen I arrived.

So... I'm sitting at a dollar for every 10 minutes of internet terminal... hoping that I'm typing fast enough.

I don't have a contact number yet, obviously... Hell, I don't even know if I have enough clothes to last me until I get to my apartment. Apparently, I won't be there until Saturday. It's Thursday here. I figured I'd arrive at my flat tomorrow-- but so far, all has gone wrong.

Sucks!

Anyway, that's it.

Wish me luck and well, leave comments, I suppose.

Monday, August 23, 2004

First Steps

I'm finally getting off my butt again and working on this page. I made the decision to do so, as much as for others, as for myself. Hopefully, while I'm in Japan, I'll maintain it well enough for people to feel at ease here in America.

So, yes, to me... recreating... well, revamping this page is my first step away from America. My first step toward Japan and my new life there. How scary is that?

Anyway, I'm obviously still in America. I should probably go through my boxes from college to decide if anything needs to go Nippon-ward with me... but I feel like finishing this page is so much more important.

Or perhaps it's just my innate ability to procrastinate in seemingly productive ways pushing its way through.