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A Gaijin in the land of Goyom

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Monday, July 13th, 2009
5:00 pm - sometimes, the gods are good
so as I left school today, tired as shit and not feeling so well (probably just dehydration from being out in the sun all day yesterday, drinking and running around sweating a bunch) and seriously not looking forward to walking to the hardware store to get my tire fixed (or buy a new tube as I don't have the tools to fix a tire. I was gonna see how much it'd cost to get the guy to fix it for me) I walk out the front door of school and see Demura sensei fixing a 2nd grade student's tire. So I ask him how much a kit is and all cause my tire "died" (didn't know how to say popped, hehe) and he tells me to just lay my bike down and he'll fix it. Fuckin a. I tried to toss him 1000 yen but he absolutely refused. We argued back and forth a bit but he won by saying if I left it with him he'd just give it to arisawa sensei who'd make sure I got it back. Nice guy, definitely saved me a bit of cash and a huge annoyance.

ETA: the patch didn't hold and I had to go get it fixed at the store (cause I was at yama chubu and they didn't have a kit). Cost me about $15. So it goes. On an interesting side note a tire puncture in japanese is referred to as a "pank" (panku, I guess) like the sound it'd make, it sounds kinda like how we'd say "punk"

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

11:29 am
the lack of discipline in the schools in this country never ceases to amaze me. There's no way in hell my teachers back in america would've let people just wander into random classrooms throughout the day to talk to their friends. Also, I hate the yamachu ni nensei kids. I hated 'em last year. I hate 'em this year. fuckin knuckle draggers every gods damned one of 'em.

This weekend was a lot of fun. Was too exhausted from my week to go out friday (got home around 6 or 6:30, cooked dinner, then went to take a "short nap" that turned into about 3 hours) but saturday i went out with Asa and met a bunch of her students. Talked to them for awhile. Ended up at Mairo again but it was a good night nonetheless. Sunday I woke up early and went to a BBQ. Had to skip soccer for it, but we ended up playing Ultimate Frisbee for like 3 hours anyway so I got plenty of exercise (and a nice tan/burn). The bbq was a lot of fun, though I kinda missed soccer. Oh well, always next weekend.

Woke up this morning to find a tack in the front tire of my bike, so I gotta go replace that. Oh joy. Also there's a rip in the seam of my right shoe, so I need new shoes. Was hoping to wait till I got back home to buy a new pair, might still put it off, but I'll see what they got at ABC Mart. If they have a decent lookin pair in my size I'll just pick 'em up, though chances of that are questionable (my shoe size is about a 27, which is the upper boundary of what is normally stocked in most shoe stores. Sometimes, though, they only stock expensive shoes in my size, and there's no way I'm paying $150 for a pair of sneakers. Hell I don't even wanna pay half that)

(Be Belligerent)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009
11:52 am - Quiero comer un burrito con pastor
woooo I'm going home (coming home? eigo wa muzukashi ne). I'll be back the morning of August 1st and staying till the morning of August 26th. Thank the Canadians and their "canada day" thing for hooking me up with a ticket for around $860 american. YAY! (actually I don't think it had anything to do with canada day, but I'll throw them a bone). Anyway, that means I'll be home for my birthday! Also my mom's birthday! and Peter's birthday! and probably other peoples birthdays too, but you're apparently less important to me.

Anyway, it's been hot and rainy and then humidly hotter and then cooler and then rainy again. Forgot my umbrella on monday (it was sunny in morning and I forgot the golden rule: sunglasses AND an umbrella every time you step outside). rode home in the rain and it was AWESOME. I was completely unhot (wouldn't go so far as "cool" but definitely unhot).

Uh let's see here. Went on a date last night (don't worry ma, it was a weeknight so I didn't stay out too long) which went quite well. Took her to, coincidentally, mexican food (which is classier than it sounds as there's only one mexican place in the entire prefecture and it's a bit pricey) though that was only cause the thai place was closed. Hung out, had some drinks, went to a bar afterward. Won't go into details ;) I'll be seeing her again, though. She lived in New York for 7 years, so that's awesome.

Also, speaking of canada day (or not) going to a spanish restaurant tonight with some soccer friends (ya, candians play soccer. Who the fuck knew?). Oddly I'm seeing a pattern in my food consumption here... Anyhoo, it should be fun. Gotta stop spending money, though, had to pay $230 in japanese taxes yesterday, and that was as much fun as paying taxes can possibly be. At least here I can just pop into a conbini and pay them, which is... convenient. See what I did there? moving on.

OH YEA! and this weekend there's a beer festival. Local beers and such. I'm really looking forward to that. We decided to hold soccer at the festa, only instead of "playing soccer" we'll be "drinking beer." Something to do with team building skills or something, I wasn't paying attention. Anyway, it's fire drill time so I gotta head down to the gym and pretend to be serious

ETA: you know, I've been to a few of these fire drills at a few different schools and I always find myself asking who's the knob that decided it'd be a good idea during a fire for everyone to leave the concrete classrooms and head towards the gym, a building made of WOOD and VARNISH.

(Be Belligerent)

Monday, June 15th, 2009
2:59 pm - yay picture
Had an Interac meeting on Saturday, which was the first Interac meeting this term, meaning I got to meet all the newbies who started in March. Also got my health check that morning, which effectively made it a one-day weekend (I get a comp day end of the term, though, which extends my summer vacation). We took a serious picture, and an "omoshiroi" picture, so I'll post the latter.



We went out for some drinks after, which turned into a night of drinking, hehe. Didn't get home till sunrise, then I slept until about 2 or so. Woke up and went out to play soccer with the guys for a few hours. Oh yea, me and a bunch of gaijin have started getting together every sunday for some soccer goodness. Just joking around, but still, it's a lot of fun. I play basketball every wednesday but it was never really my sport. It's fun, but soccer is so much better, so I really look forward to sundays a lot more. I scored 4 goals yesterday (we won 7-2).

Let's see. Before that we had Sanno San (harvest? festival) which was pretty cool, aside from the shittons of students who run up to me and say "ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod eric sensei drinks beer?!" to which I respond "I'm 25, I'm allowed to drink beer." A couple of students, including some former students, wanted pictures with me so I abided (is that not a word? I was happy to abide, only without the happy to part ;) . My favorite part of festivals is what they call the kebab. We'd call it a gyro sandwich (in a pita bread, you know what I'm talkin about) cause we know what a kebab is. Anyway, the dude I bought my lamb gyro from was wearing a shirt in hebrew. So I chatted him up a bit and found out he was from Israel. Nice dude, but I didn't wanna hang around too long cause there was a line behind me and the guy was obviously tryin to make some money, so I fucked off.

Oh yea, I've had both my pairs of sunglasses fall apart on me in the past week. One was a throwaway pair B gave me cause he didn't like 'em, and the other was the pair I bought maybe 3 years ago at Longs for $20. 3 years ain't bad for a $20 pair of sunglasses. ANyway, I went to megane no house (house of glasses, I guess) yesterday to pick up a new pair. I saw some nice lookin glasses, tried 'em on, looked em over, decided they were quite nice and then I found the price tag. $250?! and they weren't even polarized. So I put the raybans down and when over to the cheapie section. I found some decent glasses, polarized, for 3150 yen (like $32) so I got them, and the lady said I got another pair with them. So I paid $32 for a pair of glasses I like and got a free pair of ones I don't like. Decent deal I s'pose. Certainly wasn't going to pay two and a half man for a freakin pair of glasses, and i don't understand why anyone would to be honest. Unless they have like a digital magnification function and maybe a clock in the corner.

(Be Belligerent)

Friday, May 29th, 2009
9:14 am - Neck ties are the devil's sartorial accessory
I get to stop wearing a tie every day starting next week, so that's awesome. shoulda worn short a short sleeve today, though, cause it's already like 20 degrees with 88% humidity and it's just after 9am. Meh, so it goes. This week has been fuckin hard. I skipped out on English club yesterday cause I had 5 classes and was just exhausted, and that's supposed to be my easy day of the week with usually only 2 or 3 classes max. Had 4 classes wednesday, 5 tuesday, can't even remember all the way back to monday, tbh. Had to skip basketball this week, too. LAME. Today is test day, though, so I have these first 2 period off, then 3 classes (which I'm already prepped for). Thank the gods it's friday, though. I went to sleep on tuesday thinking it'd be my normal after-school tuesday nap (I always nap on tuesdays cause it's my elementary school day. I often nap other days, but always on tuesdays) which lasts usually 45 minutes or so. I woke up just over 3 hours later. I blame the stomach thing I had.

Anyway, golden week was fun. Our plans were kinda all over the place but we ended up going to Nagoya, which was cool. Had by far the strangest night in Japan, possibly in all of my post-collegiate life so far. I won't talk about it here, though, maybe in a locked post. Let's just say it ended in a fight between two random guys we were hanging out with, both of whom were on vastly different drugs, and we named one of 'em kung fu john cause his name was john and he started doing all this kung fu shit that just looked ridiculous, even aside from teh fact that it was coming from an overweight middle aged man.

The highlight of the trip was BY FAR the stop in at The Hard Rock Cafe. We wandered around for like a half hour lookin for it, but we finally found it and my gods did heavenly joy ensue. I got a bleu cheese burger and it was easily the best burger I've had in over a year, 1400 yen or not, I don't care, it was glorious. We ended up dropping about $100 on food and margaritas, totally worth it. Wouldn't do it all the time, mind, but I just needed to bask in the glory of a real hamburger once again.

The weeks since have been tough, but not terribly so. I've just been tired. I got a stomach bug the last week or so, probably cause we went a bit overboard at the club last weekend, so I've been taking it easy since.

Anyway, that's my update. I do have news though:

I'm coming home in August!

I don't have exact dates yet, but it'll be around the 3rd to around the 25th or so. I'm looking forward to it quite terribly. I miss my brain not having to strain simply to understand half of what people are trying to tell me, and I miss mexican food. It'll be a good vacation (^-^)b

(2 Jackasses |Be Belligerent)

Friday, May 1st, 2009
10:31 am - Spring
the sky is blue and all the leaves are green,
the sun's as warm as a baked potato
I think you know exactly what I mean,
when I say it's a shpadoinkle day

so yea, spring is here, and the weather's been weird for the first part of it, so the cherry blossoms only lasted like a week this year. I do like Hanami (flower viewing), where all the little blossoms are falling down on you and stuff, that's cool, but the japanese make such a big deal out of Sakura (cherry blossoms) that it gets annoying. I honestly think 90% of all japanese songs either mention or are completely about sakura. Anyway, it's almost golden week, meaning I get monday through wednesday off. Thinkin about going to Kanazawa but the girl I like might be tagging along and I don't know if I'm ok with that, oddly enough. See, being that it's spring, and love is in the air, I'm of course going after a girl. She just broke up with her boyfriend of like two years or so and was picked up on the rebound by some ridiculously run-of-the-mill average-in-every-way white guy. I'm hoping to get a steal in there and work on my outside shooting game, put it up for the 3, if you know what I mean. On a seperate note, basketball was canceled this week, but I'll be playing against next week I think.

Also, I'm thinkin of getting an ear piercing, just one, in the left ear. I dunno yet, but it'll probably happen this weekend. Was considering it when I first got here but kinda dropped the ball on it, what with my apathy taking over and such (can apathy really "take over"? Sounds too active for it...)

Anyway, other than that stuff things are still truckin along as per usual. I'm happy the weather is getting nice and warm now, like 20+ degrees, and even the bugs are back. I named my first spider of the year, merla, she hangs out near the light outside of my apartment, and I can even hang my clothes outside to dry again, which is awesome. Though I'd still kill a man for my own dryer. Well, class time, got an easy schedule today, but it looks like I'm getting reigned into doing English Club every week on thursdays from now on, so that'll be a long day for me. Oh well, しょうがない

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

Thursday, April 16th, 2009
8:17 am - mmmm sashimi
ugh, I came up with a terrible pun yesterday in class when I was feeling particularly... I dunno how to describe the feeling I get. Silly? Wonky? Stupid? Anyway, the japanese say "o-hisashiburi" (oh he saw she boo ree) meaning "long time no see" or "it's been awhile" or something. So I was in one of my classes at Tsukioka for the first time this year and I said ohisashiburi to them, explained it in english. Next class I go up, look at 'em kinda funny, then say osashimiburi (sashimi being raw fish, like sushi with no rice, and buri being my favorite kinda of sashimi, it's a kind of tuna) they were in stitches laughing that up. I felt like a complete tool, but I get like that sometimes.

Also, played basketball again last night. I was calling myself Brick and Mortar (a brick is when you miss a shot) but B was calling me Jumpshot Jones. I did drain a few good ones, but during the last game, in the last few seconds, I was up against Norbert (this big slovakian/american dude, the 4th of the gaijin that come) and I fake a shot, he jumps, then on his way down I pull up for my jump shot. Fucker is so much taller than me that even though I was jumping and he was on the ground he still swatted me with no effort. He's gotta be literally a foot taller than me, huge guy. We still won all 5 games or whatever we played, no real thanks to me (put up either 8 or 10 points, but I had a few good steals and some nice rebounds) but I was wearing my school indoor sneakers, which are velcro, and now I have two huge blisters on the bottoms of my feet. Oh happy day

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009
7:50 pm - evening; canceled
so I was supposed to have a date with April (not her real name, but, you know) tonight after my enkai. She called me up to say she has to work early tomorrow morning and we should reschedule. Sounds like I'm getting blown off but no big deal, it ain't the first time and damn sure it won't be the last. so I head on out to my enkai. I get there just in time to learn that Iwata sensei suddenly collapsed, and they were carting him down the elevator on a stretcher. they took him to the hospital, so the vp canceled the enkai. got a nice box of food to take home, and I'll get some money back, but still, wanted to chat with the new english teachers. Went from possibly being a great evening to me having nothing to do. At least I don't have to go to school tomorrow

(Be Belligerent)

2:05 pm - This is a long one, sorry
My textbooks are multiplying. I know, I know, every college student under the sun has probably uttered the exact same thing, but I’m actually serious. Last year I started out with one New Horizon textbook for each grade, 1st through 3rd (7th through 9th grades in American terms) and by the end of the year I had two 1st grades and two 3rd grades. Don’t ask me how, they didn’t belong to other teachers, they just… asexually reproduced or something (at least I hope it was asexual, book sex just sounds disturbing). Now I’ve come to the end of my Spring Break, it’s my first day back at work, and I find that I am now in possession of three New Horizion year 1 text books. Maybe someone poured water on them after midnight, Gremlins style… I should watch that movie again…

Click here to see how deep the rabbit hole goesCollapse )

Holy crap I have a home standby day tomorrow, meaning I don't have to go in. That's freakin awesome

(Be Belligerent)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
11:11 am - The news
this time I mean it less in the sense of my news and it's place in the world and more in the sense of the general news and how it concerns me.

Let's start with last night, after my enkai (and subsequent nijikai, of course) I decided to stop off for a pint at the Pot Still. I met a reporter. A hot reporter. Local news shit, but still, that's gotta be one of the top 5 hot jobs a woman can have. She's like the April to my Donatello (fuck you, he's so much cooler than Leonardo. Corey Feldmen never played no Leonardo). So yea, that's cool. Got her number, gonna try and get a date with her soon, but more on that later.

In other news regarding the news I apparently am either being interviewed by or simply having my picture taken for a newspaper. This is happening 4th period I believe, as i'm teaching my 1st grade elementary kids (head shoulders knees and toes (knees and toes)). My hair is a mess. I'd fix it, but my hair is always a mess, so it'd do no good. As I told one of my JTE's at the other elementary school, "boku no kami ga sugoi hen" which made her laugh. She asked me how to say it in English, which would be "my hair is very strange." This was after she asked if I'd had a haircut, which is something I've not had motivation to pursue in months

(Be Belligerent)

Monday, March 9th, 2009
10:26 am - updates
this weekend was pretty fun. Lots of stuff went on as it's basically the end of the year. Was out and about all weekend. Natsuyo's boyfriend came in from LA and brought a little treat with him which he shared with me. It was quite nice, as it's been a long time since I've had anything medical grade. Friday night I went out to this new club that opened up. The lounge area was quite cool, but the clientele was the same as at mairo, the other club, which owns this new one (called Minority for some reason). I managed to really piss a girl off that me and Creampuff were talkin to cause I told her Toyama people were very rude and they think they're at the top of the world, but Toyama is a tiny place in Japan, and Japan is smaller than California. Creampuff also chimed in that Tokyo was much nicer and the people were much nicer than the inaka-jin (country folk) here in Toyama. She spoke pretty good english, but we pissed her off, it was kinda funny. After that we ended up at Maxx, which is owned (or operated by, dunno if he's the owner) by this rad Brazillian guy I like named Maoro. it was a slow night there, but I was flirting with a russian chick with big ta-tas all night so that was fun, until her friend made her leave.

Saturday night I was out and about again. Had a double date with BB and two chicks, and it was awesome. Hard to flirt with a girl who knows absolutely zero english, but I did my best, and it went over pretty well. Helps that the friend likes Billy a lot, and she was cheering for me (too bad BB doesn't like her, hehe). We started at an izakaya than went to Pot Still, then ended up at Maxx again. Maoro bought us all shots, which was tight of him. That almost never happens in this country, usually the bartenders ask you to buy THEM shots, which is all fuxed up and back asswards.

Anyway, I gotta head back to immigration sometime this week to complete my visa renewal process, which should be... fun? I get to miss half a day of work which is nice, and the weather has been beautiful of late, so that'll be nice, though I'll be spending it on a bus to and from the airport rather than at my desk so not much of an improvement.

Brent and I turned BB on to this thai restaurant near me, so I've been gorging myself on that recently. Forgot what spicy food is supposed to taste like, it's fantastic.

(Be Belligerent)

Saturday, February 28th, 2009
12:43 am - oh... my... gods!
Will Arnett (GOB from Arrested Development) and Neil Patric Harris have combined forces to do a video game (entitled Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Havoc)! It's like my girly bits and my manly bits are dancing together in some sort of perfect hermaphroditic harmony and lust to consume this product.

sometimes I think I shouldn't be so quick to share my unhealthy fetishes...

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

Friday, February 27th, 2009
8:51 am
when they told me we were going to have "fire practice" I was thinking something COMPLETELY different.

stupid fire drills...

(Be Belligerent)

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
2:29 pm
yesterday I taught 10 classes at 20 minutes each. Today I was in class for 10 minutes.

I think the universe is fucking with me again

(Be Belligerent)

8:22 am - revisiting my cheese conundrum
so Angela's comment on my last entry reminded me of something: There's a conspiracy in this country, a conspiracy to keep me away from my cheese.

See, a long time ago (relative to, say, this morning) in a land far, far away (from you. I live here) I could simply walk down to my local specialty supaamaketo and buy a thing of red cheddar* which was approximately the length/height of a standard "slice" and a bit thinner than my pinky. This block cost me about 8 billion dollars** plus the soul of my first born child, but it was totally worth it. An alternative could be found at Yamaya World Liquors, which also has World Foods but doesn't advertise itself as such so my students probably think I'm an alcoholic when I talk about how much I love the place. They have a block of cheddar roundabout the same size but twice as thick for around 48 billion dollars*^* plus the condition that they'll be written into my will. I went looking for cheddar this past weekend at my local specialty grocers and they'd completely removed it from the rack, no sign, no nothing. Completely gone as if it had never existed and will never exist again. No one even came up to warn me. My world had been torn asunder. "Fine then," I thought to myself. "No problem, I'll hit Yamaya on my way home from Yama Chubu^ on tuesday, they'll have my yellowish red chedder fix." Wrong, fool. Yamaya was completely sold out. I even asked the guy and he looked at me like I was some sort of insane gaijin looking for some mythical beast (probably because I was looking at candy bars at the time, then asked him where the cheddar was, like it'd be near the candy bars or something). I was in ruins. I took my can of subpar refried beans, my delicious tortilla chips, and my guarana soda, and left (after purchasing them, of course). I decided to hit the standard supaamaketo on the way home and deal with their bullshit uncolored cheddar. I bought two blocks at approximately 12 billion dollars*^~* each as they were a quarter teh standard slice size and about half as thick as my pinky. I used both of them in my bean dip last night and it still wasn't very cheesy. I should also point out that these people have no concept of "sharp" or "mild" cheddar. They have a sort of middling cheddar that I suppose is offered up as some form of compromise between the two standard styles.

*ok, seriously. We call it yellow cheddar, they call it red cheddar. It's ORANGE, people!.
**600 yen, if I remember correctly
*^*800-900 yen, I forgot
^and I live in Toyama, get it? (Yama (山) means "mountain" in Japanese)
*^~*400 yen
!we have a fruit named after the color (or a color named after the fruit) and so do the Japanese. Either way, it shouldn't be too foreign a concept

On a seperate note (rant?), I'm American, we can assumedly take this fact as a given, but I have no idea what either American Sauce or American Cream are. I find I have an inherent problem with this as, being an American, I should know about things that bare my country's namesake and are being offered up as culinary representations of it. Similar to when I went to Germany and learned about this foreign pretender called "American dressing" that people were putting on their salads. Now, American Cream looks like it might have something to do with cream cheese, but I have no proof of this wild theory. American Sauce remains beyond my comprehension

(Be Belligerent)

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
10:10 pm - ah the bachelor life
tonight for dinner I had;
a piece of focaccia bread
a can of refried beans mixed with cheddar cheese and hot sauce, eaten with tortilla chips
a milky way chocolate bar
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
(in that order)





in contrast, last night I made pad thai.

sometimes, you just don't feel like cookin

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

Monday, February 23rd, 2009
2:01 pm - oh students....
Eri: Have you seen that movie?
Bob: I haven't seen that movie.
Eri: Oh...
Bob: Ah...
Eric: See you.
Bob: See you you.

(the assignment was to right a dialogue using "you mean...?" like "oh, you mean the movie with Johnny Depp?" And yes, there were two "you"s the second time)

Anyway, I taught my last 3-7 class on friday. They presented me with a some big cards where they'd written "thank you" messages and such (apparently I'll be getting them from all the 3rd grade classes at Yama JHS (which I like to call Yama Chu, cause It's the nickname of the school and it rhymes with Nama Chu which means "regular beer" basically) It was pretty cool. I'll take pics of them when i get the chance, one student even drew a picture of me on the card. It was very sweet. When they presented the cards to me two students came up and read a sorta speach about how nice I was and so forth, and that I have a very nice smile and that I smile every day and it's good, or something along those lines. Even despite all the grammatical errors on the things (I'll post some later, when I have them in front of me) I'll probably put them up on my wall. It's pretty cool. I guess now I know what being a teacher is really like, you actually influence people's lives. Who's the idiot that gave me this kind of power? d(^o^)b <---laughy face with two thumbs up, for those emoticon(ally?)-challenged.

As for my weekend, it was ridiculously chill filled with high degrees of deliciosity concerning things like sleep, video games, staying in my PJs all day, and quesadillas (don't question it!). I'm currently playing through a couple old Space Flight sims like Tachyon, X Beyond the Frontier, and I'll be starting up Freespace soon. Oh, and I checked ou Street Fighter IV for the 360, and it's MUCH better than the arcade version. More characters (like seriously, it jumped from 16 playables to 25 or so) and it runs MUCH faster so it's now comparable in speed to the previous games. Damn thumb hurts from the crap d-pad though on the 360 controller, though. Oh, and you can't choose your special move, so Ryu's stuck with a super hadouken as oppose to his super shoryuken (like what ken uses) that he could use in 3.

On a COMPLETELY different note, the other day I was helping a kid study for a test he had this weekend (oh yea, and my girls passed their conversation tests, I'm stoked) and I didn't know the word for something, so I wrote it on the board IN KANJI. I think this is the first time this ever happened to me. The word, by the way (and I still don't know it) is the word for Bachelor's Degree, in kanji it's 学士 (the first one is gakkou, or school, the second one is something or other (possibly shi?) but from what I can gather it means either Samurai or Gentleman, depending on context) I forgot my dictionary program (for my Nintendo DS) today so I can't look it up very well (stupid internets gives me like infinity billion ways of saying it)

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

Monday, February 16th, 2009
2:47 pm - RIP Taozer
First and foremost, I must put my cat to rest. So here's to the beastliest beast who ever walked this earth, and may he find his way to that Big Lap in the Sky. Was thinking maybe a field of infinite mice, but he always seemed more a lap cat. Anyway, Taozer, we'll miss you.



now on to current news, I guess. Yesterday it was over 16 degrees*, today it's snowing. Seriously, wtf?

*that's about 61 degrees for you metrically challenged

anyway, last night I went with brendt to one of his teachers' houses for a nabe party. It was the two of us, the teacher, and her husband. It was actually quite fun, though I went into it expecting good food but being bored to tears. We hung out for a good 5.5 hours, drinking and eating and such, before we made our excuses and left (it was 10:30 or so, and all of us had work today. Better to leave before you overstay your welcome) but they were saying they wanna hang out more often. Brendt's leaving next month for Niigata, so they exchanged mail addresses with me and said next time they'll make me sushi. Fuckin sweet. We basically talked about all kinds of stuff, what we like to do, the fact that kano (the woman) hates games so kousuke has to wait till after she goes to sleep before he can play any, to types of food we like (I got complimented on the fact that I can use chopsticks.. again... while talking to someone IN JAPANESE. You'd think people'd assume that if someone can speak a little japanese they'd have command over two sticks and the use thereof) and so forth and so on. It was a damn good evening though, I gotta say.

Valentines day I didn't do shit cause, well, it's valentines day, and it's lame. though in japan girls have to buy guys presents, which is kinda funny (guys have to reciprocate 10 fold next month on White Day, though, so it's not as cool as you might think)

But friday night was a lot of fun. We started otu at a party at James' place, moved on to an event at mairo (a club) then moved to club max where a few brazillian dudes I know hang out. Left when said brazillian dudes got in a fight with each other (I got blood on my shirt, again. I haven't been punched in a good few years, but I've had someone else's blood on my shirt at least half a dozen times. wtf is that all about?) I didn't really get involved, though, as i was dancing and kissing this girl who I'll hopefully be seeing next week. Odd that it's only after I came to japan that I started chasing latino girls... grass is always greener, I suppose (and if there's no grass, flip over and play in the mud? ooooo, sorry /pedo).

(4 Jackasses |Be Belligerent)

Thursday, February 5th, 2009
12:34 pm - oh happy day
today is boring. I had one class today, my special needs class, and there was only one student, but I didn't know that till i got there (it's usually 5 students, but when I got to school I was told it would be 3, then when I left for the class I was told it was only 1) so the games I had planned simply wouldn't work. Ended up using my fallback (a wordsearch worksheet) after doing some gestures stuff (differences between Japanese and US gestures) and then just playing some hangman (well, I'm not really allowed to play HANGman, according to my company, so today we played dinosaur-chasing-a-man-towards-a-cliff-man, I've also played killer-snowman-chasing-a-man-towards-a-cliff-man and angry-villagers-with-torches-and-pitchforks-chasing... you get the point). He was also one of the worse students, one of the ones that doesn't really care and doesn't like to participate much, though he did get a kick out of hangman cause I made it easy for him. Anyway, I've crammed some more kanji into my addled brain, now it's lunch time, but I'm still bored. All my students are taking tests today, dunno if I mentioned that (looks up) nope, didn't mention it.

tuesday I had my annoying class in elementary school. The one where every time I say "awesome" some kid says "asshole?" These kids are like 10. Unfortunately I was teaching a lesson on population. The word "population" in japanese is "jinko" which, as they were quick to point out/pretend to mishear, is very similar to "chinko" which roughly translates to "cock." Wonderful. Did I mention these kids are like 10? (looks up) guess I did. I did see some kid, later on, getting hauled rather bodily into the principal's office. Hadn't seen that before, was under the impression it's against the japanese constitution to force a kid to leave class for ANY reason.

Anyway, I was helping 3 girls last week with their conversational english, and that was a lot of fun. I got to spend time with them after school, in a much more mellow situation, and just basically shoot the shit with 'em (mostly me asking questions, that sort of thing, but I got to joke around with them a lot). It was nice seeing them in a less formal session, where they're not as shy cause they're not in front of 39 of their peers, many of whom don't give two shits or a fuck about English. Just wish I was able to do that sort of thing more often with them and get paid for it

(Be Belligerent)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
11:10 am - daikuma
Pete's gone and my apartment feels both blessedly empty and a bit lonely. Figured it would happen. Had a great time while he was here, though, including the last couple days in Tokyo. I showed him Akihabara (big electronics district) which he loved for obvious reasons, and a few other places like Shinjuku and Shibuya and such. I had always noticed, but it never quite sunk in, just how much freaking PORN there is all over Tokyo. I mean, seriously! We'd go into a shop that had action figures and such all over the first floor. They'd have video games on another floor, then all of a sudden you're surrounded by PORN! Both hentai and real porn, action figures of hentai porn, videos of real porn playing on screen, and japanese dudes wandering the aisles without a care in the world. The funny thing is they think Americans are all perverted (had a girlfriend tell me this once, which was something I knew, but I kinda freaked out on her and started going off about Japanese tentacle rape porn and all sorts of crap. She'd never heard of it, so I took the time to educate her >:) ) At one of the action figure places there were a bunch of vending machines that sold all sorts of things (ok, ALL the places had these, but we only purchased some at one of the stores) from pikachu to One Piece to Gundamn to babes in bikinis, etc. So I got him a bust of... well, a bust, hehe. paid 200 yen for basically a plastic piece of a woman from her shoulders to her belly button, not nude or anything, but the ad had a finger pointing at the boobs and said "touch!" so I had to buy it, hehe. Gave it to him as a present. He bought me a random babe in a bikini, hehe. We also went to Tokyo Tower, as neither of us had been there before. It was cool (aside from having to wait in a line to get to buy a ticket, wait in a line to get the main observation deck at 150m, wait in a line to get to the secondary deck at 250 meters, than wait in a line to get back DOWN) but I got kinda a "me too!" feel from it, like "hey, France has the Eiffel Tower, we want something like that!" Anyway. We also consumed 3 Western Bacon Cheeseburgers in a 3 hour period (I ate a LOT of burgers in Tokyo, cause they're beter than burgers out here in Toyama) and we went to a Japanese Denny's, which, oddly enough, is not that much like an American Denny's. We also, at my behest, went to Kinokuniya, a VERY large bookstore with nearly half a floor (the 7th floor, for those of you keeping track at home) dedicated to English books. They didn't have Feast for Crows, which I was looking for, but I picked up a new Terry Pratchet book, and a book called The Road which is some post-apocalyptic thing Peter said was quite good. Feels good to be reading again as I plowed through the books i ordered off Amazon.co.jp in about a week (Storm of Swords, and some book on Aztec history).

The three things peter hated most about Japan were as follows (in no particular order)

1. no refills on soda (there are some drink bars that give you about 6oz glasses and refills, but for the most part no refills)
2. no hot water at public/restaurant bathroom faucets
3. American medium size is Japanese large size.

i interjected my own with the lack of central heating. Seriously, kerosene heaters everywhere. My main school goes through somewhere just shy of 1000 liters of kerosene PER WEEK. This is not an exaggeration, I was talking to the maintainance dude about it (Ao-san) and he was complaining that they'd gone through 2000 liters in 10 days and that it had been way too much. That's ri-fuckin-diculous. Plus going from hot teachers' room to cold hallways to hot classroom constantly throughout the day is both annoying and probably bad for my health. Not that I'm thrilled to being smelling burning kerosene all day, either. Anyway, time for class. I'll post more about my day-to-day later as it's been quite busy, my 3rd grade JHS kids have their high school entrance exams... shit, tomorrow! hehe. Good luck to 'em (been staying after school helping some of my girls with conversational english, which has been a lot of fun, but still, you know, work)

(1 Jackass |Be Belligerent)

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