Thursday, January 31, 2008

so there was a meeting at school today - teacher's meeting kind of deal. it's actually a meeting that i dont have to attend - happens every thursday. anyway i had totally forgotten about it! i was in the art room checking on what the art kids were up to. usually ill go up there and talk to some of my first years and see how their various projects are coming along. when i was done browsing through the gallery, i had begun making my way back to the teachers room when i saw through a window the huge meeting thing going on and thought, 'darn it... totally locked outside for the next hour now...'

with not much to do and nowhere special i could really go, i wandered back to the ladies locker room and decided to sweep it out of boredom haha. after sweeping it i opened the closet to see if there were any new futons or blankets, but they were pretty much the same from the summer. anyway i said to myself, 'i think i'll... sleep here until the meeting is over.' so at first i busted out a futon, laid it on the tatami, sat down in the bedding and thought, 'yknow what im not going to sleep in this cold like a chump.' so i stuffed the futon into the bottom part of the closet, made my bed there, crawled in, pulled the blanket over me, slid the door closed and slept right there inside the closet haha.

i was only planning on staying there until the teachers got back from the meeting, but it got pretty cozy, so even though the footsteps of all the teachers rushing back outside was enough to wake me, i was just so comfortable there in the closet that i just decided to sleep some more. in total i stayed a good hour sleeping inside there haha. it think it would have been grand if a teacher came in and happened to open the closet to find me sleeping there lol.

this week felt incredibly long for some reason...

Monday, January 28, 2008

so i spent this past weekend in tokyo. in celebration for my birthday we went to awesome random bar place + tokyo disneyland. the quirky but stylish bar was called "saQra bar" and was located on the same street as steve's pad. we spent saturday night/ sunday morning there getting to know all the crazy yahoos who run that joint. but before the bar, i was browsing around akiba all afternoon - hooray~ i was watching this cousin for a few minutes try to get this huge moyashimon plushie from a UFO catcher with no luck at all. i was thinking of giving it a whirl after he was done, but after seeing him use all my would-be strategies, i ended up not trying. i'll just wait until 2/26, or whatever that date was, when they sell them officially at animate. cant wait!

that saQra bar was totally hoppin the night we visited it. according to cool guy there, there was a double birthday bash thing going on which was... totally out of control haha. the more or less even mix of gender made it even more exciting. there was also hot yaoi action - no joke. we were also made to drink a shot of tequila (saQra bar style with grapefruit!~) while we were still working our way thought a bottle of wine and a cocktails. and when i say made to drink i mean forced to - not pressured into - as in they poured it and handed it to us without us saying yes lol - as a matter of fact, we even said no lol.

so we decided to go to the theme park side rather than the disney sea side and i think we made a good choice. my first impression of tokyo disneyland was, "man, this is like a condensed, mini-sized version of the one in anaheim. like, when you walk into the gate, the first thing you see is the castle! that's not right haha. anyway, it was super easy navigating though the whole park because it was so petite.

and oh yes - ive said this before and i'll say it again - jp mommies are so hot. theyre like ridiculously well composed and most of them are might i dare say racy. i still dont understand how the majority of the female population here enjoys wearing the heeled boot + shorts combo all year round. sure some of them throw on a pair of tights, but those tights do nothing in terms of warmth. the immaculate hair + nails + face are like... down to a science, and dont even get me started on the kiddies themselves. just describing them as 'cute' doesnt really do them any justice.

take the 7 under girls for example: their hair is always perfect, and you know why? because mommy did it! theyve got these perfect double pigtails with a suave spiral curl going through them, held together with something that glistens and dangles. i dont think i have to explain much about what they wear, because theyre like a mini copy of their mom. as for physical features themselves, theyre totally to die for. theyve got the rosy cheeks + lips upon snowy skin thing, twinkling eyes, and their faces in general are always so full and squishy. if little kids were all suddenly made into chocolates and put into boxes, these jp kids would be the first to be picked and devoured. (i have no thoughts or intentions of eating small children or people for that matter by the way).

the jan feb mar 2008 theme there is cinderellabration (i think it was something like that). so basically they have this semi-wintry thing going on, sell a bunch of cinderella stuff, and have more shows about cinderella and stuff. we went to this one show that was supposed to be a coronation for her. they told the general public that the show would start at 600pm. when the crowd had amassed together in front of the castle, ill say it was a good 545pm. actually im pretty sure it was already packed at around 535pm or so. anyway, they start the show? then all these lights start going crazy in the cinderella garden, the opposite direction from the castle. i think it was to distract us from their setting up or something haha. anyway, they were playing the audio for Cinderella but nothing was really happening on stage or anywhere until around 607pm which was like ??? because 1) we were in japan where EVERYTHING is supposed to be on time (stereotype, yay~) and 2) they really were just playing an abridged audio clip of the movie background music. i figured, "yea im sure they can do this because it's her coronation after all. it's not her whole life story." haha so after we heard the triumphant overtures and such that sounded like an ending the stage + castle lit up and the happy singing + dancing commenced.

we ate at this alice in wonderland themed place which was good - i had rotisserie chicken... which i had been craving for, so it was very satisfying.

all in all, the small size of the park actually wasnt a bit disappointing to me at all. it actually made things quite convenient. oh, and since of course this was a variety of disneyland that is supposed to cater to jp taste, the marketing inside the gift shops was pretty wacky. there were the SAME boxes of the SAME omiyage food stuffs like everywhere in all parts of the park. now this was only strange because back at home, each store located in a particular town will usually take on the theme of the town and sell those particular gimmicky goods right? well jp disney kind of did that... some of the time haha. but those same boxes of the same stuff got pretty annoying. phone straps are a big hit here as well. you can put anything on a phone strap hehe. towels are big. ah, another thing about the shops is that they totally target females way more than males. but good job for them profiling their customers! the majority of the visitors there are like... hordes and hordes of women... I saw zero men-only groups there.

i made good time getting home on sunday night. i caught a 930pm hikari which got me back to toyohashi around 1110pm-ish. it was a good weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

alright - mass update time again

so the past several weeks have been really busy. for work stuff, we've been having to go to the city like every other day for that conference i mentioned. the event itself was more or less fruitful but very draining. teacher buddy suggested we try one of the activities presented to us, and from what shes told me, it went very well with her class.

there was a mini gasshuku event that i went to last saturday which was simply smashing. practice, more practice, nabe banquet that was beer-riffic, maid cafe adventure (while we were still drunk lol) then tandoori til 1100pm. it was a great mini gasshuku - kids from tsukuba came! and i knew them from the summer gasshuku!

my birthday was most relaxing. my lessons were at my almost all guys high school that day, then i went home, got a mini cake thing at the train station, went to market, cooked then ate + gamed at the same time. it was grand hohoho.

i got a birthday care package from back home a few days earlier which contained lots of goodies - clothes, chocolates, and old PS2-chan + games~ i finally have the time and means to chop through ffxii!!! and other games ive been wanting to play for that matter - im such a happy camper at the moment haha.

new foreign exchange student bios are out at my base school. she's american! so i get to be all american with her... whatever that means lol. she doesnt come until april though.

busy work at school brings me joy. im not just talking about graphing or chart-making, or cutting things out or anything either. the kind of busy work ive engineered myself to do is going over the kiddies' written compositions. it's awesomely awesome. i get to pick out mistake patterns and then tell my teacher buddies what kind of grammar they should hammer into their heads haha. i also like to read their true emotional feelings and whatnot. humanistic approach for the win!

i opened up a photoshop file called, "dont know yet" hoping to find some nostalgic piece of work, but instead it was just a blank canvas and 3 layers - talk about giving up

at almost all guys high school yesterday we were doing spin the bottle truth or dare (a favorite at that school lol) and one of the questions i was amazed one boy asked was, "do you love 2-dimensional women?" i laughed openly and so did the other boys. maybe i should have expected it because they were tech school guys... given they werent the comp engineering class or anything, but... yea. haha

so today was pretty cold. the only kind of cold i can compare this cold to is the 2006 winter in vegas cold - which was ridiculously cold. it's windy as sarutabaruta here too so biking to and from school is such a pain. i go though all this trouble to make my hair look decently ok, then i have to brave the wind and once i get to school it's simply a mess all over the place. now the simple solution to this would be to just put it up all the time, but... no. and i still get "ooooo" reactions from teachers whenever i dont dress mannish. like today i had my hair in a teacher bun (lol) and had pink suit on so when i was in the teachers room people were like, "oh... your image is so... different today! looks nice!" and im like, "thanks... i hope i look nice too harhar"

tomorrow is friday~ that means english club day~ im so excited - i wonder what kind of flavor it'll be this week...

oh yea, since valentine's day is coming up, all these supermarkets everywhere are loaded with chocolates! the marketing is ridiculously clever. i fall right into their trap. why, just yesterday i bought a small box of cognac chocolate. thinking it was going to be liquor gel like it usually is, i bite into mr bacchus cognac chocolate guy and get a surprising splash of alcohol in my mouth and out my nostrils. then i look at the box more carefully and see the 3.4% proof. a fine product indeed!

in other food news, spicy chicken is still rockin and melon pan never fails to please me.

i shared the box of sees with my teacher buddies and they were like "ooo~"

i think i'll finish this random artwork thing now. for some time my recent works have been kind of dull in both content and color, so im trying to spice it up with this one im working on at the moment. some nice random fellow and i are doing an art trade! so im trying to do a good job ^^

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

wow i actually thought i had written a lot but in reality i hadnt written anything lol, i guess i had been writing stuff in my mind?

tomorrow and day after tomorrow is crazy teacher camp thing in nagoya. it's not really a camp kind of camp at all, but it sounds more fun this way. anyway, it's formally called a mid-year conference. all of the soldiers foreign and jp gather together and talk about tactics on the battlefield. i'm looking forward to participating. me and my other teacher buddy have been slated as moderator for one group. yay.

today was spicy chicken school day. i bought two with the purpose of eating the second one at home. i got as far as heating up the kebob in my oven thing, but effed up because i totally forgot about it while putting some clothing away. woe is me. i hadnt examined it closely yet because i had been waiting for the smoke to waft outside, but from what i can smell, it shouldnt look too different from a nice lump of coal.

i made vn coffee for my teacher buddies today - it was part of my lesson - ive been looking high and low for the metal coffee strainer/ maker/ preparation device thing in japan with no luck, but i found it in taiwain! actually, allen's mom found it but only after much questing. i swear it felt like she was the leader of our pt with us on /follow ; it was like gathering together for a tele, a long choco, running through a /sneak + /invis zone, running through a true sight zone, and running through another /sneak + /invis zone. quest reward? coffee preparation device thing! it was worth it. anyway, i want to assume the general jp public likes their coffee black, so drinking anything sweeter than a latte is like "OMG" and anything sweeter than cafe au lait is like "what planet does this come from?" "wonderful but different" was the general reaction.

i finished up to the 13th episode of all the anime i had been watching before winter vacation. a sample of reactions: the new animation style of minami-ke bothers me. kimi kiss is as high school as ever. im not sure if i like the direction shugo chara is going. the season 1 conclusion for goshuushousama ninomiya-kun was as 'meh' as expected.

and either it's getting warmer or the cold isnt bothering me anymore.

i think ill take mr bath now.

zomg the spicy chicken gods have smiled upon me!!! i checked the oven just now and the smell wasnt coming from the chicken - it was coming from the bamboo skewer! so the chicken is just fine! it must be thanks to the oil hohoho. ah~ tasty as ever.

anyhoo bath after im done eating.


so i havent been visiting any of the cosplay sites i used to half a year ago and gosh darn it because i totally missed the ouran host club themed look-alike contest on cosplayLab. i so would have entered my haruhi! ah well, maybe theyll have some spiffy contest for february (because the january theme is FMA)

Friday, January 11, 2008

im here waiting for my choco race to start. this has got to be my 6th time or so at the races. i havent won anything yet, but when i do i know its going to be totally sweet. i kinda feel like im the only person who visits the races nowadays because every time im there im there alone... i guess choco racing isnt hip anymore... was it ever hip?

i brought some schoolwork home today. i think ill finish it on monday because its a holiday. its coming of age day. yay for them, yay for us haha.

wow i suddenly got really sleepy just now.

i swear it always has to rain whenever i come home from school on my bike. i think its been like this for this week as well as the weeks before winter vacation. for the schools where i take a train or bus, it's all nice and sunny, but for the school i ride my bike, it always rains during the evening commute. i dont know what the powers may be are trying to tell me. i should get one of those umbrella hats - like those hats with a goofy umbrella thing attached to it.

ooo my race is starting.

curses. lost.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

i think im pretty much back into the work groove. monday was op ceremony and no lessons, tuesday was 2 lessons, wednesday was 3 lessons and today was prefecture meeting thing which meant no lessons again. im not so sure what my schedule looks like tomorrow, but im totally prepared for a number of different things.

yesterday i got my first haircut ever in japan. i was pretty satisfied. they did shampoo, scalp massage thing, cut and style blow dry. now i had been doing some intensive research regarding salons ever since i got back and i think i made the right choice at this salon. first think i looked for was if the workers themselves looked good - and they did. they were all like 10s. then i looked to see if their facility was nice. that passed my standards too. then i peeked at their techs and that was just fine as well. other 1000yen places - thanks for the offer, but i'll have to pass. other places i saw, the women looked kinda 'gf of yakuza'-ish or seriously dated. in any case, im satisfied with my hair. i think ill go so far as to say it looks good hoho.

oh i found this note that i wrote to myself on monday at my school inside a drawer:

"i was crying sour grapes but i couldnt even protect a girl."

which was a line from legend of heroes lol - totally awesome.

and adjusting back to jp manners is tough. i was all eating while walking and stuff. i was thinking, "goodness, im a savage!" so i stopped haha.

fingerprinting + photo business at the airport wasnt so much a pain, but the other foreigners in line seemed to be super irritated. i mean sure, im no criminal, and they really dont have any good reason to do this to foreigners and all, but what can you do right? people were saying how they were mugging the cameras and giving pissed off expressions and stuff haha.

i got the 4 new years event furnitures a few days ago - 3 snowmen and a wall scroll. they look pretty spiffy, but i wish they sparkled! but then again id have so much moving and sparking stuff in my hog house itd take an even longer time to load. good thing im not growing anything :P oh man i was totally going to raise a new chocobo! i need to get on that - maybe tomorrow after school.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

we went to the national palace museum yesterday. i think we spent a good 4 hours there looking at things on our own as well as taking a guided tour. man, we were the only active ones in the english group, it was kind of sad - everyone else were like zombies. im glad we made out curator lady feel cool, or at least i thought she was entertained by us and our comments hoho.

i got a bok choy plushie thing thats super cute. she's supposed to be based off of this jadeite artwork of white and green carved in the shape of a bok choy. the stone was supposed to have been a single piece of jade with natural hues of white on one end and green on the other. a play on the words "white" and "green" are supposed to mean "oh so super pure." there were also a locust and a katydid carved on the leafy part of the bok choy which is supposed to symbolize fertility - because bugs like to lay their eggs in the bok choy... so the entire image combined was supposed to express virtues of purity and fertility and overall awesomeness of this one princess chick, and was her dowry. in any case the bok choy plushie is super cute.

when i first got here younger brother told me that "man, nothing is considered rude here" and after staying here for a good 2+ weeks, nothing said could be more true. the most extreme case of would-be rudeness is the non existent respect of space. i guess it's because everyone has been crammed on this tiny island since forever, but everyone totally walks on one another here without a second thought. people never look behind them before moving around - people dont even look ahead of them before moving around, lol. i think theyve all been desensitized about the whole bumping into other people thing. i find this particularly amusing in the case of little children. i swear the adults here literally beat it into their children haha.

im just walking along the street, or along a shopping mall avenue and i see a mother with her 5 year old kid in tote next to her. as they get nearer they dont arc their path or anything to avoid me - theyre totally looking in some other direction but straight ahead too haha - mommy passes by just fine, but little 5 year old totally slams into my thigh *thock!* and im like, "whoa there little dude" but mommy just gives his hand a firm tug and little boy stumbles along almost un-phased lol. i was like, "man the kids grow up to be tanks here haha" this has happened to me too often for comfort here. kids are like their mommies' rag dolls i swear.

oh, and there are no hot mommies here in taipei - and ive been everywhere - the ghetto and the high class places. i think there was maybe one couple that passed as hot young couple with baby, but their kid wasnt as accessorized so i dont count them. haha in japan there are ONLY hot moms, i swear - and their kids are their cute and pretty accessories. moms really play the mom role here.

and the dumpy look never dies here. i think it has a lot to do with school uniforms. kids uniforms all the way up until high school are some pastel sweatshirt + sweatpants combo. you cant get any more dumpy than that. the sweatpants sit and scrunch above the ankle too which accentuates the effect. everyone wears hightop sneakers too - it's great. and theyre forced to sit on the dirty ass floor for everything haha - poor kids.