Friday, 19 December 2008

sweet!

They bumped me up to business class on the flight to Chicago. Sweet!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

stew

And the tiniest pack of normal out of the box saltine crackers ever! There are 6 in there....yay pre-portioning?


I got fancy (and a new pot) and made chicken, carrot, broccoli, and potato cream stew. The last cooked thing was good. Kouta had some when he came over and said it was good too. I~m getting better?

I really should study a little today.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Here goes nothin

To be honest, I~m a bit afraid of this one.

The prepackaged one is yesterdays fast food dinner...and kimchi. I may wash tonight~s attempt down with kimchi too.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

100th post!

I got insurance today from the state. Yay for nationalised insurance plans. Well, it's a little annoying because they require that every adult be insured, with the national plan or a private plan, so since I wasn't and I didn't have the necessary documents and can't lie to save my life so didn't bother trying, I have to back pay from August, but it's just over 10 dollars a month for now, so I think I'll live. I'm actually a bit annoyed that I believed everyone who said it's so expensive, cause I could have used it a few weeks ago since I'm paying for it now anyway. It's income based, so cheep for me until April, then it goes up... hopefully not too much.

I took a nap when I got home today. I was a bit dehydrated so I drank a bit of a sports drink before I slept, but I was warm and cozy cause the sun was out today so my apartment didn't get cold, so I woke up with a nice headache. Grr.

I need to study. I don't wanna!!!

Sunday, 30 November 2008

It~s 1AM

I~m awake, thirsty, and hungry...so I ate a mikan. It was good.

I noticed I~ve been grinding my teeth a lot lately. Not sure why. My jaw kinda hurts.

Gah I~m gonna be so tired in the morning. But warm! My new heater is on timer, set to go off at 530. Ew that~s early. And ow my head hurts.

I love that my phone jingles! (^-^)

So aside from getting despirately needed groceries (two weeks without shopping.....) I spent all of today (and most of yesterday) watching Buffy and making Christmas presents. I ran out of Torchwood yesterday. Maybe next Saturday I~ll do a Star Wars marathon... or I could do what I~m supposed to and study for my test on Sunday *cringe* Studying tomorrow! Which means my bag for work is going to be heavy...boo.

Ok. I~ll give sleep another go. I think my headache is interfering...or something. Pity a mikan isn~t enough to take motrin with.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Yay! net cafe post!




Woo!!!! New air conditioner!!! Doubles as a heater. I freaked the poor guy out...... he bolted out of my apartment as soon as he was done........ but what else am I supposed to do when there is a strange man working on something interesting in a room as small as mine?? All I did was watch.... and answered his questions.... like the inevitable "Does everyone really have a pistol in America?" *Hits head on something*






Oh, and I have no idea what this thing is! But it's growing on the tree next to the creepy steps that I refuse to go down cause they're not only creepy, but there's a hole in the wall on one side where it curves and... just no. I noticed it this morning though.














And wait for it.....









Christmas decorations!! I went to the craft store, cause it's all 20% off. So I got gifts... which I still have to make... and gummy things to stick on my wall. It's over my burner.....





Oh... and this (look down)













I made it for me.... it's attatched to my cell phone. It jingles, and it's green. YAY!!!

Ok, I'm going to get food now. Or I could go home and just eat rice......... My cold was better, and now it's coming back. WHY!!!??? Well, actually I'm just tired and my throat hurt when I got up this morning. At the moment I'm still caughing up the remnants of my last cold. I need to study......... instead I keep sitting in front of my computer, watching random stuff, and making things cause I'm too tired to use my brain today. Ah well..........

No, I think I'll go to Sizeria and get food cause it takes an hour to cook rice..... and I forgot to eat dinner.... so maybe I'll... either pretend to study or pretend to write something... not sure which. I love my dragon fly! hehe.







Friday, 28 November 2008

ouch

It would appear as though I left the spout attatched to the washing machine on since I last used it - a week ago.


That~s gonna be expensive.

My poinsetta~s dead.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

It~s raining

I need health insurance. I need to be able to go to the doctor when I~m sick and not worry about how much it~ll kill my budget. I~m sick way too often. I never thought too much about it...except that whenever I got sick I was sick for weeks.


The only medicine I have left works but I shouldn~t be taking it. It gives me a monster headache and the first warning says don~t take if you~ve ever had an allergic reaction to egg....

I~m gonna start job hunting again as soon as I come back in January I think. This is dumb.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

help!

It~s dying and I don~t know how to make it better. All the leaves are falling off!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Rice cookers are multi-functional

Since I only have one burner, my pot `o (hopefully) yummy is being warmed in my rice cooker while I cook pasta. I should get a plate.

I~m so happy I know where to buy Campbell~s now. Mm, good! I~m so stocking up on ministrone with my next paycheck.


Oh, my rice cooker also makes cake. But I can~t eat that....and the cake tray is about the size of a tea plate and an inch and a half deep....

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Russia~s just being childish now

It would be more amusing if it didn~t involve missiles. I have to chuckle over the pettiness though, cause all I picture are five year olds going `But that was mine!` and the US 5yr old hugging a missile cartoon style saying `But he said I could use it!` and the kremlin whining again `But that was MINE!`


Ironic that Gazettes Saraba, the hippy part, is playing right now on my headphones.

`An anti-war song. An anti-war song. I sing it all together...` hehe Oh Gazette.


Seriously, get out of kindergarten already! My five year olds are going to have that fight today, cause they do every day, and I~m gonna die laughing.


`But it was mine!`


*eyeroll*

5!!

They had Campbell~s!!!

And 3 for 1000 yen packs of meat!


Now all I want are crackers.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

International news

Why is it that humanitarian aide is stopped as soon as there~s a humanitarian crisis?

Thank you Jenny!!!

Note to self...tatami mat probably not the best place for it...turn it off before leaving the room.

*basks in the not cold*

Train adventures

To start, I have to comment that sitting on the end of the row and having someone shove their rear end into my arm when the train is not crowded makes me want to stick something sharp and painful there. Unnecessary physical contact with a body part I don~t want near me!


So adventure, yes. I nearly passed out this morning for apparently no reason. This is apparently not uncommon for women my age. I want to know why.

I always get on the low heat car cause rush hour trains don~t need to be heated. And I take off my coat before I get on. I was fine until about 30 or so minutes of standing. The car wasn~t crowded. No seats but no body crowding me. All the sudden I started getting really hot. I tried to move my hair. I rolled up my sleeves. I was still overheating. A few minutes later I started feeling seriously naucious. I moved nearer to the door to get the breeze at the next station, and while I was standing there my head went funny, my legs almost gave out, and most of my vision went dark. I could only see the part of the door right in front of me. When we stopped again, thank God the doors I was at opened, I managed to get off, and again thank God there were seats right there cause I barely made it to them. I just dropped my stuff and curled over.

By the time the next train came 5 minutes later I had a nasty headache, but otherwise I was ok. I ate a good breakfast. I wasn~t overdressed. It wasn~t crowded. I~m not sick or overly tired. I didn~t eat anything I~m not supposed to. I can~t think of a single reason why that happened.

Etsuko said it happens a lot to `young women` but that~s probably because their definition of `diet` is `don~t eat` and `thin` is `skeletal.` Trust me, I don~t have that problem. Mmm beef.


I dunno. I don~t get it.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

I cook once a week

My chicken from last week is still one serving left. bwahaha

So I hope this is good. I needed to use up my broccoli before it started sprouting. The meat~s a bit fatty...but it was 20percent off. And the cabbage was partially frozen. But it smells good.

I got a 5kg bag of rice today. If I have to get more rice before January I~ll cry.

Monday, 3 November 2008

bento boxes

The red one is new. My previous experiment says it~s a bit more leak proof than the gray one. I~m still double bagging it.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

genmai tea

It~s basically brown rice tea. This one has other stuff but plain is yummy too.

Gah I~m an adult!

What I bought with my paycheck - point of note...I~m actually pleased with this


glass container - to be used for loose tea
clamps so my futon doesn~t fall off my balcony
sponges
a flat bento box with locks
a green toilet brush and holder
ziploc sandwich bags
a mini 350mL thermos for my bag
a glass bin to keep my pasta away from my insect roommates
30 pack of Blendy cafe ole mix - totally why I got the mini thermos
curry
cream soup
mikan - mini oranges
genmai tea
bags to put the genmai tea in cause I~m without a teapot
organic pasta cause it~s the closest thing to wheat here
a mini spray bottle to take my body spray in my bag - I~ve ran into the need for this SO many times...and it was only a 100 yen
a giant can of sliced pineapple cause it was only 80 yen haha!
mushroom cream sauce
and japan~s attempt at meat sauce


All in all I spent around 8000 yen - under 80 bucks - and I~m quite pleased.


Now all I need is a place to put it........

Friday, 31 October 2008

haha go figure

I~m going to bed earlier on a holiday non-work night than I do on nights I stay home do nothing and have to get up for work. I had a really good evening though. So I~m going to bed happy. First time in a good long while.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

that~s a new favorite

no other race in the universe goes camping. celebrate your own uniqueness.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

back to real life tomorrow

I really need someone to push me a little. I think one of my faults is that I have so much I want to do but I loose motivation when I~m by myself all the time and then I just get frustrated. Then work just stops feeling worth it and all the bad just gets worse.


I~m kinda wishing I had brought something with me to do. I~m an hour from home. And I need to at least get bread for tomorrow...poor planning on my part there.


I had a fun day though. First time playing D and D since I left home. I~m not a fan of 4th edition but it was still super fun. And 3 hours of karaoke. Cant go wrong there.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

we~ve fallen into some kind of intergalactic wormhole. with real worms! nyaa~!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

oh yay. clean blanket.

I washed one of my blankets today. It smells nice now.


And I wrote 5363 words today. And realized that I~ll be doing a lot more inside stuff like writing studying and practicing cause I~m flat broke. Oops. I need to work on math skills. I think I have a negative there somewhere cause I used a calculator when I worked out my budget for the month. Ah well. I have what I need. And I gotta study anyway cause it~d be rather embarassing if I didn~t pass level 2 at this point.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

I have a lot of stuff I want to do

I realized that again today. How do I go about doing all of it? It almost all involves going back to school but I~d have to get a different bachelor~s to start with cause what I want to study has no relavance to what I studied already...which is likely why I want to study it.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I can see the moon from my window

I miss the night sky. I hope we have lots of clear nights over Christmas.

ooh

And we~re busting out the warm fluffy socks. Of course I could close my window but then I~d be hot.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Mental note to self

Poe may have been okay to read before bed in my apartment in America. Creaky old building made of wood. Noisy pipes. Walls so thin I can hear my neighbor walking around.


Yeah...I remember where Fall of the House of Usher goes. That~s train material. Not bedtime.


Eesh I~ve turned into a chicken!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

my apartment is clean!

Again. I shouldn~t let it get so messy. It~s too small for that.

I went and bought more tatami mats to cover the flooring so i don~t kill it. I~m regretting not buying more of the one I bought before. It was cheeper and made nicer. Ah well. At least my floor won~t die. And I love the smell. And everyone keeps telling me I~m not American for saying that cause apparently Americans generally hate the smell.

heh. Never in my life have I been called normal anyway.

I also finally have a shower curtain. It really brightens my bathroom up a lot. I was waiting to find a green curtain but I gave up cause my towel getting wet just irritates the daylights out of me. I picked the least ugly one.


Oh and I just want to let you know how to leave comments here. On the page where you see my entry there~s what I~m writing now and then just at the bottom of what I~ve written there~s a link that says 0 comments or 1 comment. Click that and on the top right of the next page there~s a white box you can type in. There should also be a place to enter your name. Just submit that. It should be in English...but google tends to do its own thing with my language settings.

In other happenings I~ve decided that Chuck Berry~s bassist had huge hands. Ow~~~!σ(^◇^;)。。。 pain.

my apartment is clean!

Again. I shouldn~t let it get so messy. It~s too small for that.

I went and bought more tatami mats to cover the flooring so i don~t kill it. I~m regretting not buying more of the one I bought before. It was cheeper and made nicer. Ah well. At least my floor won~t die. And I love the smell. And everyone keeps telling me I~m not American for saying that cause apparently Americans generally hate the smell.

heh. Never in my life have I been called normal anyway.

I also finally have a shower curtain. It really brightens my bathroom up a lot. I was waiting to find a green curtain but I gave up cause my towel getting wet just irritates the daylights out of me. I picked the least ugly one.


Oh and I just want to let you know how to leave comments here. On the page where you see my entry there~s what I~m writing now and then just at the bottom of what I~ve written there~s a link that says 0 comments or 1 comment. Click that and on the top right of the next page there~s a white box you can type in. There should also be a place to enter your name. Just submit that. It should be in English...but google tends to do its own thing with my language settings.

In other happenings I~ve decided that Chuck Berry~s bassist had huge hands. Ow~~~!σ(^◇^;)。。。 pain.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

I have clean clothes!

And two extra parts for the pipe connection....which may explain the water spurting everywhere.

It~s a good thing the washer~s outside and I don~t pay for city water!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

My kitchen

Taken by me standing inside of my bathroom.

I wonder when it~ll stop creeping me out.....

I have a rice cooker now though so I~m gonna have to get over it eventually and cook food in there.

A picture

I~d put more but I can only attatch one at a time on my phone.

This is at a park. It~s small and right of a main road but the trees make me feel like I~m in a nice secluded area.

It spans about 2/3 of the walk between Nishidai, the last station on my pass, and Takashimadaira, the next station. My friend lives there and I know the town pretty well so lately I~ve been walking it often. It~s not too far and it~s pretty. I could pay to take the subway but even on a hot day like today it~s just really nice to walk through.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Nightmare

I guess I~ve been dreaming more often lately. Last night was wierd. I had a nightmare that I woke up from and realized I~d been crying in my sleep. And Lindsey apparently had a really bad nightmare too.

I dreampt I was at the airport on my way to Michigan and I realized I had forgotten to get a re-entry permit. In my dream that meant I couldn~t leave the country. In reality it makes it really difficult to get back in. So dream me was incredibly upset-in the hysterical crying sort of way. All my big stressors from the last few months came out..homesick, money, GEOS, all of it. In the end the airport official-who looked remarkably like the nonpsychotic office lady at my school made it all better, but I still woke up with a not so good feeling and was a bit distressed all morning.

Not to worry though. I already had been planning on getting the permit in two Mondays from now cause I have the day off.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

my eye itches

I got a stick in my eye today. Fortunately I saw it coming and closed my eye in time. Now I~m just a little scratched and the corner itches like mad.

Friday, 5 September 2008

I can~t spell delema

To sleep another hour or get out of bed now......


Maybe I~ll read.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Mailing post problem

I`ve been trying to email posts in the last few days, but apparently google is having issues and the emails aren`t going through. I`m at an internet cafe right now, and I posted my last entry that I wrote up Sunday cause yeah, that was special and I don`t want to relive it by thinking about it again.

Freaky.

Dragon flies here are nasty looking too. I think they`re pretty back home. Here they`re diareah green or brown and their faces are just evil looking. And I heard they hurt if you get bit.

So, update on my life.

I left GEOS on Saturday. It was painless for the most part. Nobody gave me too much trouble, but I was made to lie to all of my students and say that I was leaving the country due to illness. It was okay at first, unti I had to tell people I care about, and say it 50 different times, and make up a flight time... Very very wrong. I`m not sure when I`ll stop feeling bad about that.

But I did recieve most of my salary. I didn`t get the comission I`m due for renewals and interviews, or the money for the extra hours I worked.... but that`s really to be expected. I`m fairly sure they cheeted me out of something else somewhere. Whatever. By the time I left on Saturday I wanted to destroy the building. It`s over, and I don`t have to deal with them ever again - except when tax time rolls around. *sigh*

I`m also all moved in to my new apartment. If you want my address, email my phone because I don`t have internet, cafe`s are expensive, and while I can check my gmail account on my phone, it gets a little expensive and I don`t do it every day. Though I will probably end up back here this weekend to pay my bills.... unless I can get to Ritchie`s computer...

The apartment`s small, but the loft is nice. It`s cute, but old an the paint is chipping everywhere, and there are roaches (who are currently being slaughtered -hopefully- by a water bomb) and a very large dead cicada outside my door.... It`s to be expected from cheep housing this close to the station and so close to downtown. The bugs are the only thing that bother me. And the stairs getting to my floor. Especially when wet. Stairs of DOOM!!! Steep, tall, and narrow. Not good for someone as clumsy as me. Guess I learn how to move slowly and carefully. I really don`t want to fall down or up them. There are bug corpses there, and that would hurt. I`ll post a picture or two whenever google decides to stop being dumb.

I also started my new job today. I spent most of the day cleaning the room, hanging stuff up, and covering stuff in contact paper. Apparently I`ll be teaching science and math. Math is every morning, science is once a week. I`m excited. My coworkers are all nice, and the expat ones (like me) don`t strike me as the obnoxious type that I`m embarassed to walk next to - the type that make station attendants roll their eyes when a white person walks up to the counter to ask a question like the jerk did with me today - so that`s another bonus. And the teacher I`m working with is really nice. Her voice is really loud though, so it was a little painful when she was going through the curriculum books reading over my shoulder. Hehe.

I have to figure out how to manage my room with no closet. I got a set of metal shelves. They`re small but my arms are going to die carrying them home. And they don`t have drawers, but you can buy cloth boxes or baskets and whatnot... I just don`t have the money right now, and the ones at the stores I`ve been to are dorky looking. I also got curtains, cause I realized last night after my shower that yeah.... two large windows make the room feel nice and airy, but yeah... Well I only bought curtains for the one window cause it`s clear. The other has that fuzzy glass that you can`t really see through, so it can wait until after I scrounge up the money for a washing machine. I considered using coin laundry, but though I live in 1980`s Tokyo suburbia, there are apparently no coin laundry places anywhere near my building. Actually I haven`t seen one anywhere in my town.... I`m not sure how that`s gonna work out, cause I really don`t have the money to buy one this month, but I need to wash my clothes before October rolls around.

Ok, this is long enough. Haha. I`m gonna go figure some stuff out now.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Mutant Bugs

There are days I wonder why in the world I am living here.

I moved yesterday and when I went to settle down with dinner and a book a monster cockroach apeared. With its wings out it was at least as long as my middle finger. I spent almost an hour sobbing on the phone and trying to work up the courage to kill it off the door. It finally ran away and dissappeared so I grabbed my bag and food and spent the night at a friend~s house. I~m on my way back now with spray and traps to meet the movers and see if one of them will pity me enough to kill it or them.

And I don~t have hot water yet so I can~t shower.


I wish at least that it wasn~t raining.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

I~m an attention hog

I really do feel amazingly better when people pay attention to me.


ELEPHANTS GRAZING IN CHIBA!

Friday, 8 August 2008

tokyo from outside or above looks like the deathstar

And the mini Statue of Liberty just confuses me. 自由の女神 Yeah....the Japanese name confuses me too.

But I just ate yummy tacos and macaroni and a salad and spicy tofu and I really love buffets. Even if they are overlooking a wierd man made park just beyond the edge of the Deathstar. The picture doesn~t quite capture it. It was wierder from the train that was conducted by a computer. I watch and read too much sci-fi for that to not be mildly freaky.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

I~m sleepy

I slept 8 hours yesterday too. I~m going to have to go to bed as soon as i get home today. I have to be up by seven.

My 5 day holiday is down to 4 days. Monday I interviewed at an international elementary school. They had me do an impromptu afternoon with the summer school kindergarten so I was there from 11 to 1:30 and they gave me lunch and money for the train. I didn~t think they~d call me back even though I really enjoyed it. The head teacher kept telling me to help out and play with the kids when she~d peek in...the best moment being right AFTER I stood up from a table going over phonics with the kids( ̄▽ ̄;)

She must have talked to the classroom teacher though cause they called me yesterday and I~m going in from 9:30 to 2 tomorrow. I hope I can take that as a good sign. They pay hourly just over what I~m getting now for 6 hours a day 5 days a week with opportunities for adult evening classes and Saturday school. And they~ll help me find an apartment if they offer me a job. And it~s in a really nice town on the border of Tokyo and Kanagawa. I hung out there with Ritchie all Monday afternoon until 10 when we both decided we should get on the train. It was a fun day and so very unexpected.

I also got to play my new bass in a practice studio-one of the halfadozen things Ritchie and I ended up doing out of the blue.

Today I have 6 classes back to back. (´Д`) And I~m so tired. I kinda wish I had kept this whole week off like I had planned. They~re mostly adult private lessons. And there is a ton of space on this bench. Why do men find it necessary to sit so freaking close? It~s hot which means I~m easily annoyed and don~t they know how bad they smell? (`ε´) Go sit next to the Japanese girl. She~s not gonna find a place in your ribs to jam her elbow.

Seriously the majority of Japanese men I~ve met 30 or older are disgusting foul manneredpigs. *sigh* I miss my car. Or the Keihan train. That had individual seats.

Anywho. I~m gonna read until my stop and then dose up on caffeen before my classes start.

that~s something you don~t see every day

there are elephants grazing in a field next to the train station...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

this weekend~s to-do list

You know you~ve reached the epitome of lazy when you use your phone to write a to-do list from bed so you don~t have to get up and turn the light on.


Whatever. I~ve decided that I need to spoil myself when it comes to certain things. I~m too exhausted mentally, and I don~t want to land myself somewhere that will make life harder. So that means I~m posting a to-do list from my bed. Probably not surprising, but it actually is a relief to not get up and turn the light on. I like the dark, and it~s quieter here so I~m not scared of it.

So this weekend~s to-do list..

sort out bills
figure out this month~s budget
pick up my room
get juice
possibly go to yodobashi camera
interview at an international elementary school
possibly go to ikebukuro


I found a copy of the Nightwatch novel. I~m not sure if it was a novel first-I think it was-but I saw the movie with Ben two years ago I think. We watched the second movie Daywatch this last winter. They~re Russian films. I liked the first better. I think maybe it had a lower budget. In Daywatch they did too much with stunts and graphics and it looked kinda silly at times.

Anyway. I got bored with Prince Caspian even though there~s about a chapter left. It just didn~t have the magic I was hoping for. I~d still like to read it in English sometime though. I did really like the first half. I think I just got ancy. Nightwatch is gonna take a while to get through even if I don~t get bored. I pretty much understand it all but I read a LOT slower in Japanese.

Oh! I met with Tom last weekend. I~ll put up pictures and write more about it from my computer later. Maybe I~ll add that to my to-do list-along with translating the MONSTERS DATA BOOK that Lindsey bought for me. I miss Lindsey. I should write about hanging out with her too- cause last weekend was the best I~ve had since I got here. I might cry though. We~ll see.

My hands are going numb.

I still haven~t beaten Portrait of Ruin....stupid vampire hunter being harder that Death AND Dracula at the same time.

Ok. I think I~m done babbling now.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

rollercoaster

i was doing so good. i had the best weekend since i got here. it was amazing and i really thought i would wake up and be able to keep moving forward.

but i woke up not feeling anything. and then i had to argue myself off the train at my station. and now i~m back to crying in the bathroom again.


this is stupid. i know why i~m crying but it shouldn~t be so hard to stop and just do my job. it shouldn~t be so hard to just be okay. i~m never just okay. i~m either so happy or crying. i~m either bouncing off the walls or trying to crawl back into bed.


i keep hearing someones comment last time lindsey left that i look like i lost my best friend. i nearly cried when that was said and mom had to answer for me. everytime i hear that in my head i start crying again. i wonder if i look that bad today. i should put makeup on but it~ll just smudge.

i need to go eat while i have the time. i need to pull myself together before my adult classes start.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Update on me

I'm doing okay. ^_^

There was another earthquake in Iwate, 6.8 I guess. It lasted forever. It was creepy, but no damage. Just a little nausea.

I'm excited to see Lindsey this weekend. And Tom's going to be here too, so I'll be meeting him for dinner tomorrow ^_^ I'm excited about that.

And I took Tuesday off, so I get a three day weekend. And in a few weeks I'm giving myself a small vacation - mental health holdiay ^^ It will be relaxing and I really have no idea what I'm gonna do. Probably just hang around Tokyo and my apartment and do nothing. Again, the relaxing bit :P

For now, I should probably clean my apartment. I haven't done anything productive for over a week now, and it's kinda showing.......

Friday, 18 July 2008

So last night

I took a walk cause I~m in the middle of a three day hyper phase ~now on day four~ and sleep at some point would be appreciated. So it~s really stinking hot here and I~ve been getting a little dehydrated so I stopped at 7~11 and wanted to get a popcicle...no slurpys here. Somebody should introduce them. They~d sell like mad in this weather. Anyway I ended up getting a chocolate one cause the only juice one was watermelon with chocolate chunks and that just didn~t sound appetizing. Anyway my tasty dark chocolate popcicle melted before I got home while eating it so now there are chocolate drips outside my door. The thing is it~s about 5 minutes to walk from 7~11 ( ̄▽ ̄;)

I also learned that British pain killers stop egg alergy reactions. Seriously...hamburger stays together just fine by itsself. Who puts egg in it!?

The girl across from me is reading one of the comics I like. It would seem there~s a new volume out...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

No News on the Job Front

I worked up the courage to actually CALL Sagan Speak, instead of e-mail because the recruiter didn't respond to my email I sent a few days ago. So, the update is that there is no update. The Japanese liason with the school was off for a week, but still there was no contact FROM the school, so off or not there wouldn't be any news. He's calling the school today to bug them, and if there's not a positive response by tomorrow then we're looking at other alternatives.

A performing arts school would have been awsome simply for the collegues. The downfall is that even though I could live in the same area, it's 40 minutes in the opposite direction from Tokyo, so unless I made friends with said colleagues (who are probably way older than me) I still will be isolated during the work week. The other opportunities are in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Pray for me. I've been finding some peace in God. Work has also been a lot less horrid now that Mayuka is gone and Junko is so sweet and actually cares about the foreign teachers and how they are surviving here. I think if she'd be the manager when I first came, I wouldn't be in such a bad place.

Tomorrow I go to Tokyo for training - which is apparently exactly like the training we had in Vancouver which was all about how to make the school money. Nothing to do with teaching. Joy of joys. We're supposed to wear skirts. My skirt falls off my butt, and I have a bit of a beef with a company that says I have to wear a skirt cause I'm female. And it's July 4th, so I'm going to be an obnoxious American and wear a pants suit (and my knee high boots! but those don't show).

Sunday, 22 June 2008

I was productive!

I was gonna get up early and go to church, cause I found one near by... but I didn't hear my alarm and I didn't wake up until 40 minutes after service started. *doh!* So I went back to bed. I slept like a rock. 12 hours, and I needed it. I didn't feel like I overslept at all.

I got up at 3:15ish and right away started cleaning. I figured if I didn't get up for church, I should do something to make myself feel a little better, so now my apartment is pretty near spotless, except the junk on the table that I don't know what to do with. Bathroom is all clean too, and I vaccuumed and washed my floors (I washed them!! I don't think Gary and mom will believe me :P ). And I scrubbed down the kitchen, again, second time this week. Then I went grocery shopping and got fresh veggies (3 dollars for 2 ears of corn *dies* but I really wanted corn.... I have a feeling it's not nearly as good as Michigan corn though.... *sniffle*) and a 5k bag of rice and chicken and a beef/pork ground mix. Then I went to the drug store and got more de-stinky for my toilet cause I was out, and more soap for the kitchen, cause I was nearly out, and more shampoo, cause I had a day's worth left, and then I found de-stinky for the kitchen sink! There aren't any disposals (usually) here, but there's a catch under the flap for the drain, and the filter is REALLY tiny, and it doesn't matter how much you wash it, rotting veggies just stick in there and stink to high heaven. So now my kitchen smells like a pool *wrinkles nose* But I guess that's better than rotting veggies. Oh, and I bought 2 litres of tea, water, coke, and mitsuya cider.... cause it's cheepest there. And that'll last me a good while. I so had better not spend any more money this week on food or drink or... okay, I may go to the show tomorrow, but aside from that... groceries and de-stinkifiers were expensive!

Then I made dinner.



Salad of pretty yummy lettus, moyashi, fresh tomato (^___^), kimchi, and a little bit of parmesan cheese. No dressing. That's what the kimchi's for. Then the hamburger is the beef/pork stuff with yakiniku sauce (I mashed it in while I was shaping the burger) and negi and moyashi cooked together. And then rice with soy sauce and some oil that Sunmi got me eating at Gaidai.

The burger was okay. Good for Japan, but not comparable to a nice juicy ground sirloin burger, or buffalo burger... I shall eat those in December when I visit. Oh.... wait, corn probably isn't fresh any more by December... *sad face*

Then after dinner I cleaned my loft and switched my sheets on my futon. I hate that thing. I'll sleep on the floor, but gaaah!!! that mat is a piece of junk. And the floor is wood, so ow! Last time I had a tatami mat under me, which are quite comfy (and smell really nice!), but goo, I hate my bed. But it's no longer dusty and hairy up there, so that's good.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Something to hold to

I run for dear life to God, I'll never live to regret it. Do what you do so well: get me out of this mess and up on my feet. Put your ear to the ground and listen, give me space for salvation.

Psalm 71:1-2

Thursday, 5 June 2008

and now i~m sick

and as much as i loathe going into work the timing is terrible. i meet with the principal at the high school in togane and if all went well my plan was to take tuesday off to apartment hunt and give my two week~s notice on wednesday. mostly this is just bad form taking sick days right before i quit. i nearly stayed home this morning. mostly because i flat out didn~t want to go. now i~m thinking tomorrow is going to be spent drinking airborne and getting yelled at by my supervisor.

my throat is really tight and hurting when i swallow. i first noticed it on the way home tonight. it~s gotten progressively worse and now my sinuses are filling、 my stomach is upset、 and my head hurts. this may actually mean a trip to the doctor though i~m really hoping not. it~s expensive and i~m only on company insurance (i~m supposed to be on the national insurance which would resolve part of this problem but geos apparently lied about that bit) and nobody bothered explaining it to me. when i ask about simpler things i get a circular answer. something tells me this will be the same. but at least i have the money now if i have to go. and i also have my unemployment form finally so that equals a bit of leveraging power...moreso in terms of if they pull what the tax office did and fire me for giving my notice.

i need to sleep but any way i lay is uncomfortable. i blame the two kids yesterday and today who came in sick. grr.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

i wonder

if i grew shoulder spikes if people would stop falling asleep on me.(・ω・;)

Friday, 16 May 2008

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

pray for me!

i sent nearly 20 resumes out this morning and i~ve already recieved one email reply and a call and i have two interviews on monday.

please pray for me. that the interviews go well and for wisdom and good judgement.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

M3

so my building seems like its about to collapse when a train passes. just got hit with an M3 earthquake (though no need to evacuate). that was special. i really thought this sucker was going down.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

not upset just discontent

i can hear what everyone would say. make the best of it. give it time. you~re living your dream. it~ll get better.


truth is i~m only living a part of my dream but i~m too afraid to even say it much less put everything i have into it. i~ve started my adult life out with enough debt to buy a new corvette. or a house with michigan~s market as it is. i feel like my chances all ended when i graduated because of my debt. i~m racing down a pitch black tunnel and i don~t know when the floor is going to drop out beneath me.


i don~t know why i can~t be content with life as it is for longer than a moment. i like to think it~s because my life is meant to be more. but the voices around me keep telling me that life is what it is. god~s plan and all. if that~s true then i suppose i~ll end up being discontent until it drives me insane.


but how can anyone say or even presume to think that this is god~s plan for me? if it is wouldn~t i be more at peace? would i cry every night when there~s really nothing to cry about? would my heart burn like it does when i let myself dream? or is god just less involved in our lives than we believe?


i~m asking questions i can~t answer. i know what i~d like to believe. i know somebody~s listening when i~m crying out. i don~t know anything past that. and i don~t know how i know he hears me. but i do. but the pat answers i~ve heard for so long when i ask these questions are all i hear now and i don~t buy them.


i can~t buy them.


i don~t know anything right now.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

a slightly frustrated rant

i hate feeling like i~m being brushed off. "ok. you~re not amusing anymore so quit speaking." i hate that the only people i know here make me feel like that all the time.

it sucks that i have this long vacation..the only one until new year...and i cant go anywhere. and the people i know in this city aren~t amused by me enough to want to hang out it seems. i hate being bored. i don~t want to read or play games or sit at my computer. i want to go DO something. but everytime i do i end up in a foul mood cause the people around me are all in pairs or groups and i~m by myself.

maybe i should have suffered a two hour car ride and the awful sun to go to the park. at least my coworker~s HAVE to talk to me.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

well i was doing a lot better

and then today and yesterday have just been so rediculous that i~m back to the point of i don~t know how long i can deal with this school. the bull is fine when i can ignore it but eventually it starts effecting me directly and then i get frustrated.

maybe the holiday will help. i want to be at a place where i~m not wondering everyday how i can get a job that isn~t so rediculous. i know it probably sounds like normal whining. i~m not going to try to explain what this company is like cause it~ll just make me mad.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

haha

tv on my phone! it makes me giggle.

and sa ryang~s va is wierd and disliked. and they fail at pronouncing damdok and a few of the other names. and pe yonjun~s va is also odd but he was only in the preview cause today was episode 3. and sujini was far too girly but her adult va sounded good.

it~s so nice to watch that show and not read subtitles. i~m catching so much more of the dialogue since i was just watching the action and pretty costumes before and wishing i knew korean so i had a clue what was going on.

still not over sa ryang~s voice. or the ~kiha sama~ instead of ~kiha nim~

wierd.

i love that show. i bought part one of the novel last week but i haven~t had the energy to read it yet. i~m so glad it~s just now coming out here. i get to fangirl all over again!

太王四神記

i have to brag to fay and angie cause at 11:10 i~m going to be watching tae wang sa shingi on NHK from my phone.


really hard to explain just how much this amuses me. but it~s somewhere on the same spectrum of my amusement at the fact that i live in room 304....which only chieko and lindsey are going to understand. darn it all why is nobody awake for me to pester about this!?

and

i~m also geeked that i found my box of aunt tracy earrings i was panicing about having lost. *flaunts bright red dangly sparkly things*

i went back to both hotels and tore apart any container i had big enough looking for that box. so relieved i found it.

ok. the whole typing and walking thing is really not working.

100% better

i have forever until my train comes and nobody~s awake for me to bug. so yeah.

i took a sick/mental health day yesterday and it did me a world of good. i was feeling physically way better when i woke up. and a bit more positive. and then ellie brought me hot soup and another get better bag with yogurt and juice and sports drinks. and it was really the hot soup and her smile. she doesn~t know me at all but she~s always so ready to help. i~m not going to ask someone to bring me soup and juice. but she did and smiled and i thought maybe this was god~s way of saying ~i hear you crying. you~re not alone. trust me~

that really changed how i~ve been looking at everything. there is still a lot that i don~t like. but hearing god speak and answer me so directly and ellie just being so nice really brought me up out of my nightmare. i feel like me again. yeah i~m never going to like everything. i~m far too picky for that. but work needs me too much to fire me for not being the automaton they want. so i~m going to be the crazy wonderful me that god made. with all of my human quirkiness. and i~m going to be the best darn teacher i can be for time i~m here.

god~s awesome. in a few days he~s taken me from super low to higher than i was before i got here. i~m even kinda excited about some of my students. like this one couple i have as a private lesson. their english is really mostly japanese. but they~re so excited to learn and they have so much fun just talking to me that it makes the 50 minutes super awesome. i~m really bummed they~re not coming next week. they~re going to australia. i think its so awesome how much fun they have together. i hope when i~m old my husband will want to study a language and learn horseback riding and travel all over with me. i think i~m going to ask that if i ever find someone i~m considering marrying.

and then there~s one of my students who~s a hockey player. he~s going to hong kong and san fransisco and new york to play. and apparently there~s a hockey stadium in tokyo! i did not know this!o(^o^)o so the other teachers are all ~it~s so cool. he~s half russian~ and i~m all ~dude! he plays hockey!!~*dork*

yeah. my stops next so i~m done now. hehe.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

yup. tried to eat something before my class so i wouldn~t pass out and back into the bathroom. they cancelled my classes for me which means i~m headed home to sleep. which is probably best. but i think that this counts as a holiday which sucks.

i got down the rest of my water about an hour before i got sick so hopefully thats ok.

ugh. thd guy next to me just farted and got off the train. gross.

I`m tired

and feeling rather lost and confused right now. Confused mostly because I have no clue why my body is doing what it`s doing except maybe stress, and that I have no idea what else to do about. I`ve managed to detach myself partially from work stress, because quite frankly if they want me working there I have to. I don`t care about making the company money. I care about being the best teacher I can be right now, and while I`m a teacher, that`s not going to change. I really have never been much for making money unless I really need it. I don`t like money, I don`t care about it, I`m certainly not going to stress out over making it for somebody who`s treating me like crap.

I`m feeling lost because I feel like I`ve been asleep for the last 10 months and woke up into another level of a nightmare. Situationally it`s getting better, meaning that every day my apartment gets a little cleaner and more organised. Every day I do a little better teaching and get a little more comfortable with my students. But, while my co-workers have been nice enough, except for the lectures. I was having a moment on Tuesday, and stuff needed to be said or I was going to pack up and leave right then (no clue where I would have gone, but that was where I was at) so I told one of the co-workers I get along best with that I needed help talking to the manager because I was owed money for the hotel I was never supposed to pay for on nightmare night, my apartment was a wreck, and quite honestly I couldn`t handle being there at the time. So after that first the Business Coordinator came and talked to me, then the manager, then the manager sat me down with the BC and the new manager and explained her level of stress to me, and what the heck am I supposed to say? "I`m sorry your job is stressful. You get paid very well to do it and you can still choose if you respond to me by putting in your headphones and telling me to go away." That would go over so well.

It`s hard to put into words what`s wrong with my job, because it`s really just a lot of things snowballing into me crying several times a day. I haven`t today, but that`s because I got into work and promptly left, and have no intention of going back until an hour before my class so I can prepare for it... which is at 6 o`clock.

This is one thing that`s hard. We`re required to clock in at 1PM, even if, like today, we don`t have class all day. We don`t get paid for the time we`re clocked in unless we`re teaching or in meetings or doing paperwork, which at my school is rediculously unorganised and I have no desire to even begin to do that because no matter how many hours I put into organising paperwork that was a mess before I got to it, I only get paid for 26 hours a week. Technically I`m supposed to be sitting at the school greeting students and chatting with them, which I`ve been lectured for not doing or doing poorly on multiple occasions already. Except I don`t know any of the students and I can manage a few line conversation with someone I don`t know, but since I`m never going to remember their name, much less a ton of information about them, I have trouble faking.

I`m bummed because one of the tests I need to take, and wanted to take this summer, ended the registration period March 14th. I thought it was in April, but there was no way I`d have been able to register for it anyway. So I have to wait until the fall.

Right now I`m okay. I feel like I`m going to throw up again, not that there`s anything left in my stomach, but other than that I guess I`m okay. I don`t know if time will make this better or worse, but right now I don`t think I have much of a choice. I sent my resume to Bloomberg. I`m going to send it out to more places as I find them. But as much as I`m told my language abilities are something special, when compared to someone with language and a technical background, I have no hope of getting a job. I can write. So I guess for now that`s all I have to do. But I have no professional experience. I`m really not that competative, but I can fake it for a while. I know what I want to do, but I haven`t got the foggiest idea of how to get to where I can do that. Maybe that`s what`s wrong with me right now, all of this. Or I`m just sick. I don`t know, but I really don`t want to go back to work.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

i~m confused now.

yesterday i had a cold but i feel better today. except i just threw up. which wouldn~t be all that remarkable except that i haven~t thrown up sick or not since jr high. now i~m all confused.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

the first few days

yay! phone update. japanese phones are fantastic.

uh where did i leave off? sunday was harajuku and shibuya run. that was strange to do alone and without my phone to email lindsey and chieko. then i ate at yoshinoya.

monday i ran all over chiba to register. finally the fourth place i was sent to on the other end of the city was the right place. then i got my phone which was quite exciting. the poor salesman who helped me was super nice. he even stepped into the pouring rain to point out how to get to the bank was its own adventure but i managed to deposit some of my traveler~s checks. i need to go tomorrow before work and take care of the rest so i have money for this weekend. apparently there~s a party saturday for me at the bar near the school. i wouldn~t really want to go on a normal day but sat. morning i have to walk all of my bags from this hotel to the school then after work take them by train to another hotel a half hour away only to move again sunday morning...alone. and they want me to be social and drink with my students somewhere during this. what happened to ゛off the clock is my time゛? not to mention the actual timing. i get off at 8 and have to check into
the hotel asap. the party starts at 8:30.

so that~s where i am. i~m not really up to talking about how work itsself is going. it~s stressful、 frustrating、 and just saps any joy i get out of teaching...which is disheartening. and the company has just been full of lies up to this point. but i~ll make it one way or another. maybe it would have been easier coming in blind and dependant. maybe it would have held off the frustration at least until i was done living in a hotel. ah well. i have to make the best of what i have. i walked into this with my eyes open so i have no one to blame but me.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

I`m here ... sorta

And I just remembered why I`m not a fan of Japanese keyboards.

Anyway, I`m in an internet cafe that I`m frighteningly familiar with (that would be Harajuku Alpha......... yeah, been here a lot). I have internet in my hotel, but I can`t get it to work. And I wanted to come here to see something familiar and remind myself of the fact that I`m in Japan. I thought maybe I just hadn`t realized it yet, but I think my reaction just isn`t what I expected. I`m excited to be here, yes, but I`m not actually feeling excited or different. I feel natural - not unhappy, not awkward, just like I never really left. It`s wierd. Mostly now I have to keep reminding myself that my phone doesn`t work and Lindsey and Chieko are on another continent.

But I have a bunch of running to do today, and it`s already getting later than I expected. I`ll try to check in as often as I can though.

Friday, 4 April 2008

I'm alive

I really should be sleeping. My internet didn't work here all week on their wireless, and I just this evening managed to get it to work...

Well, it's my last night in Vancouver. It's been interesting at least. Lots of ups and downs, a good deal of frustration, but it's pointing me where I need to be going (I think) so.....

I still don't really feel ready to be a teacher. I'm a bit more excited about that part, but the company is just... they're more business money-driven than student satisfaction driven. To keep the student paying, make him happy as opposed to keep the student happy and he'll keep paying. I know it's not much of a difference, but it's something that bothered me a lot this week. Espeicially since the training was 50% how to teach, 10% what we should encourage the students to buy (programs, books, etc) and 40% "Make money!" It just seemed too .... like I was being trained as a salesman rather than a teacher... which in truth I am, but I'd rather be lied to and convinced that I'm teaching English for the company, not just a monkey on display entertaining visitors.

That sounds way more negative than I actually am. When I'm not tired, I get excited. I was bummed though, today when I found out that you have to teach 2 years to work with the kids. I'm not staying with them that long. I want a job that's more in line with, well, what I want to do - either translating or being the bilingual contact for companies. I really think it would be awesome to work with the music companies and help bridge them to the English speaking market. That'll take a while. We'll see. And I still want to go to grad school.

I can't believe I'm leaving the continent tomorrow though. I know consciously that I am. Just like I know consciously that I've already made this first step. But I don't feel it. I've been able to delay my freak-out moments until I can freak-out safely for a very long time. I think that's what it is again. I know somewhere that if I really realize what I'm doing, I'd be on the first flight home asking mom to pick me up from the airport. I keep getting little moments of sheer terror, not because of where I'm going really, or what I'm doing, but the idea of starting my career, and starting it in a way that's so very much outside of my comfort zone, really truly scares me.

Pastor was talking last week about how if you act like you have faith, faith will come to you. It made me think of last time I went to Japan, how I really didn't know what I was doing, but I knew that I had to do it, and somehow I just would. Suddenly I was walking down a street that could barely fit one car, with foot and a half deep cement ditches and 6 foot high concrete walls on either side, and I realized that I wasn't just pretending to be where I was supposed to go. I had gone there, and even though I felt so very alone for the first little while, suddenly I realized God was right there walking next to me the whole time.

I know he's with me now, even though I don't feel like I did then. I don't know that this was the way he meant me to take to get to where he wants me to be, but even still he hasn't left me. But I'm still scared. I already feel so far away. I want my mom. I want a hug - I'm crying and getting a headache because I keep forgetting to breathe, and I just want a hug.

I know it'll get better. Life will calm down once I'm in my apartment and working, away from the constant badgering about business stuff, in a place where I can actually be alone at some point in the day, not living out of suitcases. I'll be happy when all of this part is over and I can relax a bit. For now it looks like my schedule is pretty light. 21 classes, and most of them are pretty high level or kids classes, so those should be fun.

I'm in a hotel for the next 9 days, so probably the monday after the Mix Speaker's,Inc. concert, which is next Sunday I'll have my own place. It looks like a lot of the Leo Palace apartments have internet included... which would be awesome! I couldn't find my building on their website because there are probably no open rooms, so I don't know for sure. But I really hope they do! Especially for $700 a month!

Anyway, it's 1:13...so.... I'm mostly re-packed (I have no clue how mom managed to get it all in the first time. It took 3 re-packings and it's still... bigger... than it was when she packed it) but I'm still getting up at 6. I'll nap on the plane I think. I actually managed to sleep most of the way here. I didn't sleep at all Saturday night. Slept from Detroit to Chicago to Toronto, and then until about an hour or so before we hit the Rockeys. So I guess that means exhastion wins over my inability to sleep now. I like this development.

So sleep now... yeah... sleep... hopefully (I don't like sharing a bed -_-;;)

Saturday, 29 March 2008

MSI ticket

My ticket isn't here yet. Yuko had the forethought to send registered mail (Thank you!!!) and it's been in Troy since 5AM Thursday and why isn't it here now!? *freak out moment*

Thursday, 27 March 2008

I don't wanna live in a hotel.......

They said I was an addition, rather than a replacement. Grr. They really need to get their acts together.

I've heard that you'll be spending the first week at a hotel near your school. Of course, this will be paid for by GEOS. Then, you'll move into the previous teacher's apartment. We've been pestering the trainer for the address. He's promised to send it by the end of this week. That's just one more day, so it should be here by tomorrow. Sorry for the hassle.

Er?? Wonderful. I really could have used to know that either a week ago, or not today.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Pardon me while I FREAK OUT!

GAH!

Okay, actually, I'm way better than I was... oh... about a half hour ago. I finished my packet (which was due a week and a half ago) and sent it away. So now I can refocus on somehow managing the mess that has eaten my room and gah! I only have four days left!

That's a freaky thought.

I really had no clue what I was doing while making the lessons for that packet I just did. Zero confidence right now, but I know if they show me how to do it, I'll learn. Just, guh, that was frustrating. I'm terrified of blank stares. Really really not sure what I'd do. I hope I don't make a horrible teacher. I may not make the best, but I'd like to be good..... I like to do a good job, even if I'm not really certain I'm going to suit the job, or like the job, or anything, I still want to do it well.

Ok, really need to crack down on the mess.

Friday, 21 March 2008

That just hit me...

And now suddenly I'm terrified. I'm scared that things are going to be way different. I'm scared that I'm going to leave, and when I come back here it's going to be different again. I'm scared that people I love aren't going to be around when I come back. I'm scared I'm never going to see my dog again. I'm scared that my friends who I care about are going to forget about me. I'm scared that I'm going to end up coming back broke with my tail between my legs. I'm scared that someone's going to come along and prove to me that I'm really just an arrogant idiot. I'm scared that I'm not going to have any friends. I'm scared that my coworkers are going to hate me. I'm scared that my students are going to find me inadequate. I'm scared that I'm missing something important that's right in front of my face. I'm scared that the people here who I care about are thinking that I don't love them because I'm leaving. I'm scared that I'll never see them again and there will always be that fear that they thought I didn't love them.

Funny. I'm not scared of the plane. I'm not scared that I won't find my way around. I'm not scared that I'll go hungry or by some fluke not have a place to live.

But I just can't shake the rest of the fear. Everytime I really think that I'm actually leaving again, I panic, and I stop thinking about it. Tonight I just can't not think about it, and I guess this was the panic I've been trying not to feel. It's aweful.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Cloud of Sparrows

My biggest question is why a Zen master is spouting Pure Land blessings......... This confuses me... but then again all of the Buddhism in this book, as well as every Japanese person, is apparently Pure Land Buddhist.

Anyway, it's good. I enjoyed it. It's not particularly well written, but there was a charm to it that kept me reading. Partly it made me laugh, a lot. It follows Genji who is a lesser Daimyo of 1861 Japan, which is why I got the book because I like that era. I haven't read any English literature about it yet, so that was ... interesting. I don't know that it counts though. The author has a purely Japanese name. I don't know if he's Japanese or his parents are.

Anyway, it also follows Emily and Matthew who are following a missionary to Japan. The missionary is shot within an hour of stepping onto Japanese soil.... which I really can't see what purpose that served except as plot device because Emily and Matthew needed a fanatical leader to bring them to Japan, but the man was obnoxious in the soap-box hell-and-damnation boardwalk preacher/televangelist sort of way. I was dreading the book with him in it, to be honest. Anyway, as annoying as the two Americans were in the beginning, a good number of the scenes with them in it were purely hysterical.

There were a lot of themes that were done to death, and massive amounts of cliche characters and relationships (Daimyo/Ninja-Geisha for one) that require a classification of Samurai love story of the black-and-white B movie variety. But the laughs were worth the five bucks. I don't think I'll be reading the sequal though. I'm mildly curious, but something about the obvious set-ups in the writing style just grated on me.

There was even the bit about the first fallen tear caught in the hand looking like a diamond. Eesh. Cause we didn't see that coming.

Friday, 7 March 2008

1984

That was probably the eeriest book I've ever read - mostly because, while it would take pretty much World War 3 to get there, I can see it happening. The main character, Winston Smith, was simply believable. And the whole thing was very well written, I thought. Big Brother scares me. Actually, not so much Big Brother as O'Brien and the Thought Police. Mostly O'Brien. Mostly the fact that he doesn't just let you die or fake believing in Big Brother. He makes you learn Doublethink and Crimestop, and love Big Brother, then he lets you die, or he lets you live like that. Either way, he doesn't let you out until you're no longer your own person. Most of the book was Winston's struggle to keep the Party out of his head, but in the end it was the Thought Police who almost set him up to betray the Party so they could get into his head.

At any rate, it's a creepy book, but one I'm really glad I read. I can't believe it's taken me this long to get around to reading it. But I couldn't put it down. I'd say it's up there on my list of best books, but I don't know that I'll be able to read it again for a long time, just because the type of story doesn't lend itsself to being read over and over. Unless I was in a lit class. That could be fun to do in a lit class with an intelligent professor and maybe 5 intelligent classmates. I'm so glad we never read that book for lit though. hehe.

Friday, 29 February 2008

The Last of the Mohecans

I remember catching a part of the movie years ago... I thought it was the end.... it might have been that final battle scene cause I remember the Mohecan dude and the one woman on a mountain..............

Anyway, just finished reading the book, and, well, I gotta say, it was good until the end. Ok, so Le Subtil should NOT have survived as long as he did. Hawkeye totally shot him in the head half way through! Or at least that's what I read, and I read that part twice because the very next scene Le Subtil scampers off with his tail between his legs.

Anyway, Le Subtil is a Huron, fighting with the French during the French and Indian war. The biggest thing that bugged me was how vilanized the Hurons were, not just Le Subtil who was, quite clearly, the main villan. Vilanized and made into total barbarians, while the author didn't show that much of a racial slant against the Indians in the book with his depiction of the two Mohecans and the main body of the Dakotas. They're very romanticised and depicted as overly simple, but the Hurons were shown as completely opposite in every way to the point of revolting. I dunno, that just irked me throughout the book.

Anywho, at the start of the book Le Subtil is fighting with the Mohawks against the French (allied with the British Americas). He's appointed as a guide to escort the British commander's two daughters to a fort that they know is currently about to be attacked by a huge French force. (uh..huh... yeah, not too bright). Anyway, Major Heyward, who is with them, figures out that "An Indian can't get lost in the woods" which Le Subtil apparently has. (Also with them is a pretty useless bard, David) They conveniently stumble on a British scout, Hawkeye, and his two Mohecan friends, Uncas and his father Chingachgook. Le Subtil manages his first escape, and the party retreats to an island they believe is totally protected. It's not, they get attacked, and David gets shot but doesn't die. Hawkeye, Uncas, and Chingachgook make it off the island barely, while the rest get captured by the Hurons. During the rescue scene is where I was pretty certain Le Subtil got shot in the head.... but apparently not, and he gets away and the party is reunited.

They make it to the fort, barely make it in, the fort surrenders, and the prisoners are massachred by the Hurons. My history knowledge of that particular war is pretty hazy, so I have no clue if that's based on an actual event or not. Fort was called William Henry. I'll probably look it up eventually, cause I'm curious. Anyway, Le Subtil is with the attackers again and actually has apparently instigated this attack. The sister's and the singer are captured, and it's a hunt to rescue them.

Anyway, I won't say the ending in case you actually want to read it. It irked me because it wasn't in tune with the rest of the book. But I probably would have thought the book romantic rubbish otherwise, so the book gets a 3/5 from me. It was just wonderfully refreshing to read something I hadn't read before that wasn't.... crap. It was an enjoyable read though, to be truthful. I'm just a bit of a critic, and the typos in my version were getting on my nerves... and I pretty much wanted to smack everybody but Hawkeye, who is, in a word, awesome.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Three hours of sleep =

BAD! We don't function too well on that little sleep to begin with, and I'm missing Ryan a ton, and people were cranky at work because my boss lacks a concept of time, so today was just.... exhausting. I managed to hold back tears till I got into the bathroom though. Stupid not being able to sleep.

I have to do my taxes. Wonder if I'll get anything back. Probably not. I barely made anything. Last year I owed a few bucks. Boo. I need to get my resume together and reapply (for the third time) to manga translating places. I've been doing a lot more translating lately, partly to fill the time and keep my Japanese sharp, partly because I need something to obsess over. It's actually kinda fun, well, that material is anyway. I love Mix Speaker's,Inc. They make me so happy.

I might get to go see the Monster Wars finale! But I have to find someone in Japan to pick the tickets up for me next week. That's the only hitch in this plan. But otherwise, I'm totally going!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Sleep

Sleep is good. I almost complained about another three day weekend (third in a row) but considering how much I need it... not complaining any more. I think Wednesday is going to come too fast.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Eesh

Well, the days go by insanely slow, but considering it is already Thursday, February 7th (miki's birthday!!) and I was slightly surprised to realize that this morning, I guess the time is going faster than I thought. I've lost a lot of the genki recently though. I have moments, a few hours at a time where I'll be really energetic, but mostly I've just been trying not to be too angry and bummed that I have to wait until the end of March. It makes for some trying days. I'm sure I'm driving my mom nuts with my mood swings.

I'm off to the UP tonight despite the snow. The weather looks fairly safe for tonight.... a little snowy down here, but the UP, for the most part, looks completely clear. Fay said the roads are dry, so I'm hoping they stay that way. I'd really just like to go to bed when I get home from work, but not today. I'm excited to see Fay though. Anything gets in my way I'm going to break it!

Monday, 4 February 2008

(≧∀≦)

My right knee is very happy in its brace, but apparently my left knee now wants one too because every step I take it screams at me..... grr

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Hopefully something near set-in-stone....

I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed, but I'll live. I'll just be a few months behind in paying off my loan.... (I was initially ahead in my plan but oh well... can't do anything about it now)

So, GEOS called me today and here's what's going on:

I have training in Vancouver from March 31st to April 3 (...what happened to March 10th? *puppy eyes*)
April 4th I fly out of Vancouver and land in Narita airport on the 5th.

I won't be going to Tokyo, but fairly close actually. The prefecture is Chiba, city of Urayasu. I couldn't tell you how big it is, but if memory serves, it butts right up to Tokyo right on the water (Chiba does) so I'm going to imagine it's fairly populated.

I have the option of sharing a hotel with 2 other girls for the week, which takes the corporate rate of $70/night down a lot... but I don't know how well I'd handle that. Right now is a bad time for me to think of stuff like that because my head's pretty wonky at the moment. I was looking at hostels with private rooms. If I can get one for cheeper, I might go with that. At least I've heard Vancouver has a good public transportation system. We'll see what I can dig up.

Anyway, I'm happy that I know. I'm a little disappointed in the results, but at least I'm going and at least it's not Aomori or some backwater town in Hokkaido or Kyuushuu or somewhere I want to visit but never live. And now I have a date, and hopefully my boss won't be too disappointed... after all it's only 2 weeks before the end of tax season.




I can't believe this is taking so long. I really thought I'd be leaving in a week or two.....

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Blessing

God really does answer prayers in amazing, unbelievable, slightly awkward, shocking ways. I'm still, to be quite honest, partially in denail, and partially waiting for a really big catch. Thing is, my boss at the tax office sent me out shopping with his daughter to buy me clothes for work, knowing full well that there is a strong possibility I'm leaving in March sometime. About $200 later, I have two more suits, gorgeous shirts, and two pair of shoes. Let's rewind.

Earlier this week, Gloria, the office manager, approached me and said "You know how Fred is, right? He's just a really nice guy." Yeah, I agreed. He seems very generous with his clients and just, yeah, a really nice guy. "Now, don't be offended. Okay?" .... o..k.... what did I do? "He noticed that you wear the same clothes here all the time. Now, he likes the way you dress, but he'd like to send you out with Veronica and buy you some more clothes for work."

...........................................................................................

I wasn't offended. I was really embarassed, especially after I had the time to think about it. I only have two blouses I was wearing, plus one funky fake-blouse-vest thing, and I tried to vary it by changing the pants around.... but I guess it is kinda noticable. Anyway, Gloria told me to accept it, even though they know they might loose me before tax season is over. She's been fussing over me ever since about what I should get and how she gets hand-me-downs from her friend (I think she could tell I was uncomfortable with it).

Now, I totally appreciate it so much more than I could ever write down in words. Because of him and this job I've gone from not being able to afford to get to my job in Japan to more ready than I thought I would be. I just can't express how thankful I am right now.

But I'm still waiting for the catch, even though everything is telling me there isn't one. This is the third time someone I barely know has done something monitarily huge for me.... I guess maybe because money is such a big deal for me because I don't have it.....

The Japanese trained in to me felt like I should be bowing. It seriously took a lot of will power to keep from doing so when I dropped Veronica off at the office. They were all so casual about it. His wife was there too and it was like.... just.... casual. It really surprised me. (Yes, I know bowing is completely inappropriate here, but to me it feels respectful and like a perfectly normal show of gratitude - had no trouble adjusting to that going to Japan... lot of trouble adjusting back to here.... wierd)

Anyway, it's late, and I'm exhausted, and I have a ten hour day tomorrow. But at least I'll be well dressed. Really hoping my feet survive the shoes..... mom's jealous of them. I think they'd look good on her. I hope she can find a pair in her size. They were clearance XP which makes them 10X better.

10 reasons I run every day

1. Endorphines = <3>
2. + 2 to Fort., negates critical failure
3. thirty minutes when nobody is coming near me for fear of B.O.
4. asthma my foot. Haven't touched my inhaler since 2006!
5. me and MSI, we need some alone time
6. how else can you burn a litre of soda's worth of calories in 30 minutes?
7. energy out = cleaner energy to burn later ^____^
8. sweating is surprisingly refreshing
9. never know when I'll need to be running from zombies
10. oh, and supposidly it'll help my cholesterol level later.......

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Good and Annoying

Annoying first: My "overnighted" transcripts took a week to get there. So departure is delayed for either March 10 or April. GRR!

Good: I got a brace for my knee so running doesn't hurt anymore!! Yay!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

So far this week

I'm actually pretty pleased with how most things have been going. I'm enjoying my new job, even though for now I have a ton of down-time just waiting for the phone to ring. But everyone in the office is really nice, and they're all being super patient with me learning how things go. For my credit, I don't think I'm doing at all bad. I got talked to today about being too polite and formal with the people in the office. o.O Ok.

I spent yesterday giggling over a book Chieko gave me for Christmas. ^__^ I guess they're making a movie about L (DeathNote)? Anyway, this book has a short story about L, a spin off of the DeathNote movies, and then a hand full of picutres of the actor who played him. That actor was perfect for L. Much love for him. He did wonderfully.

So, I think I'm going to start posting about random favorites for now, since I don't have much other interesting information. But not right now because I'm not at my own computer and I can't upload pictures from here. Bwaha.

Oh, and supposidly my transcripts were sent to GEOS on Wednesday. They're supposed to notify me when they arrive. I paid for overnight shipping.... so I'm a little irked that they're not there yet. I mean... Friday at the latest.. it's only Vancouver! But here's hoping for an early March departure.

Friday, 11 January 2008

A little more patience....

I'm really not so good at the whole patience when it comes to working with certain types of people (that was about as nice as I'm capable of wording it at the moment). Not only did it take pulling teeth to get the letter from the university saying I've graduated, there's no seal (I was told that over the phone) and apparently the signature is a stamp! Nobody told me that part. So that's a bust. I ordered offical post-graduation transcripts.... but those can take up to six weeks.... so February.... when I was just told I may be able to leave March 3rd GRRRR!

As soon as I get my diploma and transcript, there will be letters written. And I'll have free time. Why? Because they're sitting on their butts with an out-of-date system that wastes my "fees" money, farting around designing worthless letterhead and ordering signature stamps and delaying my getting a "real" job which, darn it, I earned!! Months ago!!

Very unhappy essie right now.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Breakfast, Lunch, and a Temp Job


We went to a strange little cafe for breakfast today in Norfolk. Charlie's Cafe.... it was yummy - I ate lunch. No breakfast foods for me :( It was cute inside though, and I ate a really good burger.

I also got a temporary job at a tax accountant's office as a receptionist. They still want me through April - actually the guy asked if there was a I way I could push GEOS to extend my departure until April........ I don't have insurance until I land in Japan, and GEOS pays more. I feel a little bad, because it's a family run place and his niece is the one who got me the interview, but I made it clear that I'll probably be leaving in the middle of March... so that's all I can do.

I'm sick. I caught whatever Dad and Anna have had, and my face feels like it's going to explode. I took a nap this afternoon and felt a little better, but I hate sleeping when I'm sick because i get really wacked-out dreams. I think dinner's soon... I wonder if I'll even taste it. Ah well, here's to heavy doses of Vitamin C and Airborne!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Promise for me

"We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don't know what to do, we never give up. In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I had an interview with an income tax office for a receptionist on Friday. Angie got me in. I got the job, dependant on if I can stay for all of tax season. Friday I also found out that I probably won't be going to Japan in February - possibly by March, and a small chance it might be April. Needless to say, I had a very upsetting day. That and it was my last day to hang out with Fay unless by some miracle I can make it up to Winter Carnival with Ben. I spent a good while on the phone with my school and GEOS, but the letter my school sent might not be enough to get my visa. It's hard to accept that it's really out of my hands. I'm still working on being okay with that. But anyway, I called the tax office today to let them know of the possibilities, and I didn't get to talk to the head person, but I talked to the office manager, and she said that they'll probably call me later to bring me back in and I'll have the job. I'm hopeful.

I'm in Virigina right now. Ryan brought Rochelle and the boys over yesterday and spent the night. I enjoyed being with them, though I'm worried about the boys like crazy. Sometimes it's hard to keep my mouth closed. I had a nice talk with my brother... one that was very needed. I'm going to see them again Saturday for Derick's birthday party.

So for now, I'm trying not to worry about getting that job. It doesn't pay too much, but it's 40 hours and I only need a few hundred dollars more to cover all of my trip expenses and be comfortable my first month in Japan. I'm disappointed with the delay, but if I'm working full time, I'll be more okay with it I think.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Han'guk

So, after finishing the 40 page preface and Chapter One of KLEAR's Integrated Korean, I've decided that each attempted learned language comes a lot easier than the last. Maybe it's because the grammar structure of Korean is so similar to Japanese. I'm having a good bit of trouble with the alphabet because the sounds of one letter change so much depending on what's next to it or where in the syllable it falls... or if it's (for example) p, puh, or buh. Kinda confusing, but I was surprised how quickly the alphabet came. I really only spent three or four days on it with some breaks in between.

The first chapter was mostly stuff I had picked up from TV or learned from different sites I was looking at, so that's partly why it went so fast (about an hour and a half with the review exercises). But the vocab is also sticking fairly well considering I glanced at it once, listened to the recordings, and then just did the exercises. Having some trouble with country names... cause they don't all make sense to me.

I'm excited though. I love learning new languages. I'm sure this one will be a good challenge, even if the first chapter was a breeze. Maybe once I get a good job I can take some conversation/language classes to suppliment my self-study... you know, so someone could feasably understand me when I talk.

I mailed off my introduction poster to GEOS yesterday. And the EMU auditor should have written my letter of graduation (but I'm calling her in the morning). I'm getting more excited now. I worked out a chunk of my loan stuff, and my personal payment plan is almost double what the minimum payment is, so that makes me happy. I'm thinking this is another lesson in patience, and I'm thinking I will try to stick out the full year simply for the sake of the bonus and reference, and to learn the full lesson in patience I think God is trying to teach me (again). (I'm really not a fan of these lessons, and I want them to be over, to tell you the truth.)

Job hunting tomorow, and then I'm off to Virginia for a week to visit my family. I need to find my old bag from highschool to see if I can shove my monster laptop in there.... It doesn't fit in my backpack (monster).

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Last bit of insurance usage

And here's to hoping I don't need any medical attention until I get in Japan. I get one more visit to the Podiatrist to check my foot in two weeks. I went yesterday and now have a hole the size of a nickle in my foot. The needle HURT!!! She put it in through the top of my foot and it felt like she was trying to jam a knitting needle through the sole of my foot right around an already sore area. GAH! Pain. T__T

Of course, she told me to stay off my foot yesterday and what did I do? I was either driving or moving around with shoes from the time I left the office until 2AM. Yeah, I'm an idiot. It really hurt last night. But I slept like a rock, which never happens. I wonder if injuries help you sleep better......

Anyway, happy New Year! I'm looking forward to it.