Golden Week Chilling

29 04 2008

Today is one of those glorious days where I phsyically will not do anything. Not one step out of my apartment. Just recharging the body, mind, and everything else. I will clean up I guess but sometimes it’s nice just to not do one fucking thing and don’t feel antisocial. Lovin it.

As for the rest of the week, another teacher from my company called me and asked if I would like to go to Osaka with her, so that’s the plan. Well, provided I can get a way back. The bus there had space, but when I went to reserve the way back, there were no buses available. But I’m working on it. Should be a good time. Definitly a must hit city before getting thrown off the island.

Since the last episode where I have told you about that website, All Japanese all the Time, I have been studying like a madman. No grammer, just kanji. It’s tough. I’m actually not immediately improving my ability to communicate at all, just write. But to be a truly effective speaker knowing the kanji is essential. I often have heard people ask the kanji for things if someone uses a rare word or something. So… it’s a long road. But I want to get to that fucking end so I’m doing it.

A few days ago I went to the cool city of Yanagawa and rode in a boat through the canals that lace the city. It was a really cool time. Here a sample of the best pictures… more on flickr.

 

 

 

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Japanese of the Day.. I guess just some of the methods I am using will be ok here..

                        

To learn the Kanji, it seems like everyone agress James W. Heisig’s book is the best. It goes through all 2000 or so “general use” kanji. What it doesn’t have, is any example sentences or readings. It’s all about remembering the kanji and how to write them. It gives you a mnemonic device to aid in remember all the kanji. Every kanji is made up of different components, or is a component all itself, unlike what I used to think which was that people just drew what they thoought things looked like.(sometimes that’s sort of correct but 90% of the time it’s not)So this book is step 1 to eventually reading or writing REAL japanese. Not textbook hiragana and furigana stuff. USing in conjuction with an SRS or “spaced repitetion system”, which is supposeively the best way to remember ANYTHING. I guess I can’t give a review yet of these methods because I’ve only been using it for about 3 days but I will in the future.

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Japanese of the Day..Yui – Goodbye Days – from the movie タイヨウのうた or Taiyou no Uta or Sun Song. Solid Sad Japanese movie. They really churn those out and no one likes them more than me! haha. Chill out this week people!

 

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New Motivation

25 04 2008

Maybe the last thing I need on earth is more motivation, but I found this really cool website about learning Japanese today. It’s called All Japanese All the Time. It gave me a quick punch to the balls about my study habits. While most people already say I’m crazy with my study habits, this guy is crazier. But, it makes me want to be crazier as well. To summarize his methods, it means immerse yourself to the millionth degree. No more English movies(I haven’t watched one since I”ve been here) no more English music(not sure I can do this one) no more English outside of work. while I won’t be able to follow this ALL the time. I definitly will try my best more than I have been before… CRAP I shouldn’t be writing this blog then…. but I will press on.

This sentence in particular punched me in the pussy…

2. Getting By
“You can get by in Japan without Japanese. Emphasis on the “get by”, as in “survive”, not “succeed” or “thrive”. You can make it. It’ll suck — you won’t know what most signs mean, you won’t be able to negotiate or search for cheaper housing, you won’t be able to search the Internet for the best deals on electronics, you won’t be able to have meaningful conversations with people. But you’ll muddle through. You can take trains, go shopping, point at pictures in restaurants, and learn basic survival phrases. And anything you really can’t do (like go to government offices), your bilingual Japanese girlfriend can help you with. ”

I know to some people there is nothing wrong with that, hell before I came I planned on getting by as well. But now I know I can’t leave happily untill I’m not just getting by. Typical for me to accomplish one dream only to unearth another…God damn it.

Speaking of annoying bitches..I have one friend who is sooo cool to go out with. Once a week we go eat, just talking having fun. But this other girl who is also fun has turned into drama city. Nothing sucks the spontaneous fun out of hanging out like drama. And before it is someone says that there is drama because you hooked up….yeah your probably right.

Japanese of the Day 

“私は中島美嘉 です。”yeah thats sucks I know..gomen ne.

let’s get straight to the music.

Only one thing seemed approproate today haha

Music of the Day… Survivor – ” Burning Heart” better than Eye of the Tiger definitly


 





Busy Days

23 04 2008

Seemingly out of nowhere, my schedule has gotten busy. I used to have ample time to relax, study Japanese, and plan my lessons at my leisure. But since we got a new manager, this has changed. I’m not going to lie it’s wearing on me. I used to go to work knowing I would not have to work that hard, but know I know I do have to do a lot of work. Sucks. Actual Work Sucks. Golden week is next week( a week of holidays) though so maybe that will recharge me.

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Japanese Culture/Language of the Day…. a cool statue that is outside of restaurants in town is that of a Tanuki(たぬき), or raccoon dog. In Japanese folklore these animals are always happy and can shapeshift and be general sneaks. After some wikipedia sleuthing it also appears that they sometimes have huge testicles that add to thier overall humor, or creepiness. Judge for yourself;

an actual tanuki

Statue Tanuki – jury is still out on wether or not those are balls

Mario Tanooki from Super Mario Bros. 3 before and after shapeshifting

Interesting ne?

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Music of the Day… Song from karaoke a few nights ago I heard for the first time…Ai – ” Story”  Off to work… Ugh

 





Skating + Deep Thoughts

20 04 2008

I actually wrote that title without having any deep thoughts in mind, so let’s hope they emerge as I type.

Well today I went skating for the first time since I left America and damn did it feel good. Something about feeling the wind in your face and the scrape of the ice under you makes your blood flow a little easier. While it was nice to skate, it did make me miss hockey even more. Just seeing the goal crease made me want to play sooo bad. But, since apparently they do play hockey here in town, I got some information and will get my Japanese teacher to call and find information for me. Besides my friends and normal portioned food, playing hockey is definitly at the top of my list of things I miss. Playing that will be good for my soul, meeting people, and speaking Japanese. Hopefully it happens.

Last night I went to a yakitori restaurant with a lady friend. Expensive but it was good. I always tell her to choose anything she likes (mostly because I can’t read the kanji menus, but let’s continue) For those that don’t know yakitori is basically shish kabob. But anyways she ordered some and one was just a straight up whole fish on a stick. She then informed me (Tamago wa sakana no naka iru!) Eggs are inside! Sure enough, one bite out of the fishes stomach reveiled hundreds of eggs. They did taste good, but I couldn’t help be feel a little for this porr pregnant fish. I love my meat and beleive it is natural for humans to eat meat, but letting a fish get pregnant and THEN killing it for food is a little strange for me. But I did eat 2 or 3 of them so apparently I don’t care THAT much.

(picture from my phone, a first ever for this site!)

I guess it’s deep thought time… I guess the main thought that pops in my head is… I’m very thankful that I have a much more lively life now than I did for the first two months I was here. I’ve been here for months now(wow seems like so much more) and these last two months I have never had a weekend where I didn’t go out with some people. It’s amazing how my mind can never be satisfied. For example, this weekend I will be going out with three different girls in three nights. Two months ago I would of PAID for that. But now I go out, see all these insanely hot girls, and think why not me? My mind takes solice in the fact that hot girls usually don’t want to speak English, and at my current Japanese level I need the girls to have SOME English. But that’s just an excuse for me to make me feel better. It’s time for me to try to attempt to get what I want. No one can change your life except for you! Now it’s my turn. Thanks for the words of wisdom Winston Phillips.

Right is hot.

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Japanese of the Day…Looks like or seems like… you hear this often enough to need to know it.

Most common usage is for rain but it can be used for any adjective or verb. examples;

It looks like rain.
Ame ga furisou desu. ←-Use “masu form” without masu. ex. furimasusou desu.
雨が降りそうです。

That girl looks expensive.
Kono onna no ko ga takasou desu ne!
この 女の子 が 高そう です ね!

Guest Source: Jero

jero enka singer

A black dude that sings traditional Japanese ballads. He is good. And he has a hungry market. Young people like him because he’s cute and wears hip hop clothes. Older people love him because he is giving young people a reason to listento traditional Japanese songs.. Win win.

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Music of the Day… with clips from Miyazaki’s best movie, Spirited Away – Snow Patrol with ” CHasing Cars. Sort of a gay song, but it goes so well with this amazing movie. Keep it real people.

 





China Students

18 04 2008

Well today for the first time I went to a Japanese cram school to teach a lesson. But, the catch is it was for Chinese students. At first I wasn’t sure how that would be different and in the end, there wasn’t any difference. They all have been in Japan for around 2 years so their Japanese is really good and it seems they think speaking in Japanese is allowed while speaking in Chinese is not. The tough part was.. for some people this was their VERY first English lesson. I’m talking no ABC’s, no pronunciation, nothing. So needless to say that even the simple lesson of “My name is ____” was very taxing and took up the full hour and a half lesson. Plus really no cuties in the group. Bummer. Next week will be easier.

Yesterday one of my students went to the grocery store after class, and after I was finished I went there too. Earilier today we were talking about going ice skating so she spotted me and came over and pointed to her phone. So I just said whats your email? with no other dialogue. As I was doing this unbeknownst to me another foreigner dude was in the grocery store and was watching and said.. ” Are you serious?” and in true 40 Year old virgin fashion…. he said, ” teach me!” haha good timing can make anyone look good.

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Japanese of the Day… Using a picture of Ai Otsuka.. some kanji study 

The Kanji says… Daisuki(大好き) da yo! 大塚愛 (Otsuka Ai).  meaning… I Love! ***Ai Otsuka!***

***********************thanks for the correction from loyal reader Daniel****************

Music and Japanese of the Day… the band Deen with  – ” hitori ja nai” – literally not(ja nai) one person(hitori) – but translated means not alone! Got to love the guitar player that is WAAAY to into it. Rock out.. in a sort of churchy sounding rock way. But it’s uplifting at least.

 





Return to kindergarden..

14 04 2008

So recently at my Japanese lesson my teacher has been given me old Japanese children’s stories to read and translate for practice. Today when the lesson was almost over, my teacher asked some random person to come over. Then it was time for me to read one of these said stories. I was nervous and felt like a kindergardener again, but it was good practice. To make it worse the girl was cute. And trust me there is nothing less manly then reading like “One d-d-day they person, Oops people went to the p-p-p-park.” But she clapped when I was done so that was cool. All on the path towards the goal I guess.

Last night was a big guy’s night out with the some guys from town. I drank way too much, but it was a sweet time. All you can drink dinner, than all you can drink karaoke for 3 hours. Apparently I am known as the guy with girls now. I always deny it and really don’t think it is true, but I am usually seen by those guys with various girls. But there are much worse things to get made fun of in life than having a lot of girls. In actuality I’m not like a ladies man at all, but I am just always seen in town by those guys when I do have a female companion. One dude was especially jeoulus and even asked for my number so I could help him out. To my ego crazy brain, nothing felt better. But as usual I need more. I want a knockout.

There’s one funny thing about my tastes in Japan. I sort of think the girls that dye their hair blonde are sexy… but apparently to girls that don’t dye their hair, they are total sluts. These girls are always with the guys that dress all ghetto and look like junkies. I don’t understand it. They are sexy as hell though. They always wear those thigh high tights that I love. I don’t like Ganguro, which is tanned as hell along with the blonde hair, but dyed hair with a nice skirt is sexy. But it seems those girls aren’t really interested in foreigners, but I will attempt to break that trend. I prefer the black, but I don’t mind the blonde movement. Some google examples..

(eyes enlarged?????? that’s a debate for another day…)

Got to have a guy as well to be fair…

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Japanese of the Day…………………………..since today I had one… let’s go over hangover..

二日酔い = futsukayoi = hangover
二日=futsuka = two days
酔っ払い=yopparai =drunk
Together means = Two Days Drunk!!! Funny ne?

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Music of the Day…Awesome Finnish European Symphonic Metal…. Nightwish.. The Poet and the Pendulum.. Slow start but when it kicks in.. it rocks.. their new singer isn’t as good as there old one, Tarja Turunen, but this song is still good. Rock out.

 

Goodnight Tarja……





Karaoke Playa

11 04 2008

So last night I went to Karaoke with one of my friends after work. Karaoke has become my go to activity with the ladies. At first I thought going just with one other person would be awkward, but it really isn’t. At least I make it not awkward by singing a crazy fun song and get really into to put her at ease. Another bonus is its cheap as hell, around 8 bucks for all you can drink for an hour. At a bar its 5 bucks for a beer, but here its 8 bucks for all you can drink and the pleasure of singing! I’m also ok at singing, so the people always act like I am Barry Manilow. But it is a really solid entertainment choice. At first I didn’t appreciate it but now I do.

Speaking of my new sort of cute student, today I played my usual game of telling her if she wants to meet foreigners I can take her to a foreigner party. So I give her my email and tell me to email me, and I will tell her the details. After that, I write back a message half in Japanese and half in English so they are surprised and start up normal outside school conversations, which lead to going out alone. I sort of feel like a dick as I type this.. but who’s the victim here? No one. It’s not like I use them, I just hang out with them and let them speak English. Work also says it’s totally cool. So I don’t know why I am defending my actions in this space to myself. I guess that means something is wrong with it, but I don’t know what! So I’m sure I won’t stop.
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Japanese of the Day… is the email I just sent her..

すごい!すばらしい英語!!ごめんね、パーテイは学校にないよ!私は佐賀が見たことがありません。

Wow! Great English! Sorry… the party is not at school! I have never been to Saga…

Guest Source Thoughts.. Ayumi Hamasaki..

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Music of the Day… Ayumi Hamasaki .. Mirrocle Word.. not sure if the mispelling is on purpose, but the song is good. It’s a new single coming out soon, so the signs are everywhere. Not necessarily a bad thing……….Good night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbwghwx-YD0