Sunday, 13 September 2009

The dead quiet of summer...

... was not actually dead or quiet, in which case I would have actually updated instead of thinking about doing so and having a moment of utter panic in which I decide to stop thinking altogether until something less stressful presents itself to think about.

But the summer's over, and I'm back to my routine, and, well, it's not any less stressful, but I'm bored at work right now, so I figured I'd give it a go at updating this thing.

May was the last time I updated, but I don't remember anything of significance happening in May.... So let's skip ahead to June. In June, Chieko came from Hawaii for a school trip to Sado island, which makes me giggle for reasons only she and Lindsey actually get, and Lindsey came to Tokyo for a week, and the three of us together went to see Japan's most fabulously rediculous band, Psyco le Cemu's 10 year annaversary live. We made 2 of the 4 nights. We had tickets for 3, 1 was in the wrong city, but Lindsey and I both had the wrong date written in our calendar, and we missed the finale by a night. GAH! That was upsetting. But we were super close both times we went, and it would have been weird to see them without Chieko anyway (she was in Sado by that time). Aside from the concert, June just about sucked. There was no break in the work schedule, which would have been less stressful had I been more comfortable at my job and more able to handle the bratty students at the one school at the time. The first week of July saw a temporary reprieve from that nightmare, and my schedule opened up significantly.

Except that at the other school, at which I am contracted to be only 3 days a week, we were scrambling to put together the listening exam which was due the second day I returned after summer break, which, I might point out, we barely finished on time. Midway through July, that school let out for the summer, and I had a week off, which, if I remember correctly, I spent doing absolutely nothing fun. The next weekend my friend Carrie came up from Kobe and we hit Disneyland with Ming. Fun, except for the nasty cold I got that morning. By night I was feverish and could barely swallow, which did absolutely nothing to improve my temper. But the park itself was fun. We watched two of the parades, though the electrical parade is less impressive than I expected, the first was amazing. We also sat through a performance on one of the stages. I kept trying to get pictures with some of the characters, but I've pretty much decided that, unless you're asian, they ignore you completely because more than once they looked directly at me trying to get their attention and beelined it for the group of asian adults on the other side of them.

The next day I started the first of the summer camps, through which entirety I was incredibly sick and made it through class only by sucking on throat drops one after another. One more week off and I went up to Niigata for another camp, which was actually a camp this time. That was fun. I wanted to smack one of my coworkers whenever she opened her mouth, but it was good to not be alone in that sentiment. Niigata was gorgeous, and I want to go back in the winter, maybe try snowboarding. The girls at the camp were fun, and the staff was really supportive. The food was disgusting, and most of it I couldn't actually eat, which was fortunate really cause I didn't want to. We made a traditional dessert called "sasadango," which is made out of mochi and anko (like mochi, hate anko) and wrapped in leaves. It was fun to make, and mine turned out really pretty! I have pictures somewhere that I'll upload at some point. I was going to give them to my friend who was supposed to be watching my cats for me, but I didn't see him right away, so I just tossed them cause they were going to go bad and I wasn't about to eat them. My cats were also, apparently, alone from Monday night until Thursday evening, because my friend is a genius of the smrt variety. But they were good, and no damage to anything. They had enough food, and the air conditioner was still on, but their water was filthy and they were lonely. I felt really bad about leaving them for so long.

The day I got back from the Niigata camp, Lindsey moved down from Hokkaido. Shortly after that I started paying my residential tax, which is a special tax above federal tax, kinda like city tax, but that exceeds 1000 dollars. My payment is between 200 and 150 a month on that, on top of my 100 in federal taxes. Then the city also decided that I don't owe them 40 dollars a month for insurance, I owe them 200... which I in no way can pay with the taxes, cost of living, and loans. Even with the overtime pay I got from the camps, I ended up completely in the red and nearly depleating my entire savings account, again, this month. I'm still working on a way to deal with the insurance fiasco, as it's been officially named. It's crap insurance, and the doctors it allows me to see are incompetant, and frankly, I don't care what the state says, it's worthless and I don't want it. Not to mention, I in no way can afford it. So I have to go back, for the third time, to the city office on Friday, and hopefully that'll be the end of it.

A few weeks ago Lindsey and I stumbled on a summer festival at one of the local elementary schools and got shoved into the dance by a middle aged woman who was way stronger than she looked. A couple of older ladies showed us how to do the dances and helped us keep up. My feet were sore from my sandals, but it was a lot of fun!

I'm back to work now, have been since the last week of August. My classes at the one jr. high have gotten worse over the summer instead of better, and despite being stricter, the kids still spend the entire class chatting or otherwise not participating. The first week back at the other school was a series of one bad thing after another, but it's over, and after this week I don't have to come back here until October. I have to work at the other school, but at least I'll have some breathing time. The weekends are just so short.

This is already obnoxiously long or I'd babble some more, but I'll save that for another time.

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