Long Time No See

19 05 2008

Hey. It’s been a while I guess. But my computer totally crapped out on me last week. So I guess that’s my excuse. I lost 2500 songs. That’s the worst part. And since Itunes doesn’t allow you to import songs from Ipod to PC, I now have a hugely filled ipod but a severly lacking comp. Sucks. But as life goes on.

No real new news going on in my life, I recently have become really good friends with a student, about 32 which seems strange when purely looking at the numbers but she doesn’t seem that old so its seems ok to me.

My school also recieved a new manager after the previous manager only had a three month tenure. Let me try to explain this in as minimally boring way as possible. Every school has a sales goal. These sales can come from new students, current student renewals, and book sales. So, our last manager went to every last possivle student to see if there was any new money to be sucked out. While this is ultimately bad for the student, it worked as she acheived goal in all of her three months. But because of this, now our school is sort of dry on new money. SOOOO they send her to a new school where there is new money to be mad. Good for the bottom line, bad for students. But I didnt like her anyway. And the new manager is cute so I just might ask her to dinner tomorrow.. but we shall see my friends..

Japanese Culture Lesson… On the phone.. Bye, or a japanese counterpart is RARELY used. 99% of the time there is no English “bye-bye”. Usually just an “sumimasen”(excuse me) or an Onegaishimasu(please) is used. So when talking to a Japanese person on the phone this can really leave you wanted more. Like you wait for that last confirmation that the call is over… and BAM.. click. Chalk it up to a cultural difference I guess, but it really leaves you with an unfinished feeling. Call it phone blue balls.

Kanji Progress Report…I’m up to 567.. I have wrote over 3000 kanji is three weeks. A callous has formed on my finger, but I won’t lie I wear it has a badge of honor. I WILL master this fucker. So this is just part of the ride.

Kou Shibasaki checking in……..

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Music of the Day..Yuna Ito – “Journey” Just a cool song.

I promise to make a post of more substance in the days to come.. I’m just loving Japan at the moment…..


 





Plugging Away

11 05 2008

What’s up? Week back after vacation is always tough, and this week was no exception. But I used to today totally recharge the batteries and restore my usual positive outlook. So I’m feeling good now.

On the studying front, I’m up to 500 kanji in 2 weeks. I guess I didn’t think it would be so hard, but I was warned so I guess I should of been prepared. 1542 left. I have been totally negleting grammer, but I still have improved from seeing the kanji n sentences and things. But damn its like running uphill on in a fucking river. One day I was busy and I counted to any reps, and it totally fucked up my head. You can never stop. And I won’t.  I totally think the best part about being in Japan and learning Japanese is that if I EVER feel burnt out, I take my bike and go for a ride. Just looking around, enjoying the city or the countryside just makes me want to be able to read everything so much. I always come home determined to study and learn. Instant motivation by opening my door.

My birthday was last week and I got so much cool shit from students. I’m really lucky. I feel really appreciated. I realize they would give shit to whatever teacher they had, but I mean the presents were really tailored to things I liked and thought was definitly put into them. So it’s nice. Also got some food from my parents so I’ll definitly be gaining weight in the next few weeks enjoying ho-ho’s and beef jerky in excess.

Someone recently asked me what kind of girls do I like. I had to stop and think long and hard. Of course since girls were around I said look don’t matter, personality(jinkaku-人格) is most important. But we all know thats a lie…But afterwards I stopped and thought about it and I tried to break down what I think is important for your reading pleasure.

Personality

1. Independence + Dependence
Sounds strange, but hear me out. I want someone totally independant, but is also totally dependent on me, for that independence. So without me she wouldn’t be so independent.
2. Laid Back
Nothing is worse than a worryer. It stops me from being my chilled out self. This was almost number one. For real friends this is #1.
3. Not uptight
Being able to let loose and have fun is also very important. That doesn’t have to mean drinking everynight, but I mean being able to totally act stupid occasionally. I think that is good for the soul. I try to act stupid once a day, even if its alone.

Looks
1. Hair
Always been number one. Some care has to be shown here. I really don’t like short hair, but I can warm to shorter hair if it looks cool on that person. I guess the main thing is showing care. Ponytail everyday gets old quick..
2. Face
I like a pretty face, but would DEFINITLY rather take someone with a uniqueness to them than a model anyday. Cool mole, cool smile shape, even a SLIGHTY lazy eye can be sexy on a person if it makes them unique.
3. Boobs
Explanation needed? No. Am I in the worst country? Yes

I really am not that picky, but nothing makes a person sound more selective than a six part list. But there you go.

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Japanese of the Day…since I said I forgot….wasureru – to forget

忘れる - わすれる

I forgot her number.

Kanojo no bangoo o wasureta.

かのじょ の でんわ ばんごお を わすれた

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Music of the Day..even though they are gone, Mika Nakashima  can sing about anything and I will listen… ” sakura”

not crazy about the old lady hair… but the ballet suit is nice, plus bangs are generally always sexy… GOODNIGHT!

 





Osaka and back in 2 nights – Semi Epic Post

7 05 2008

Well I’ll start this with a one paragraph synopsis. Upon arriving in Osaka at 6:30 am after taking an 8 hour bus ride that I probably got at most 2 hours of sleep, this just seemed a little different. I didn’t feel the open arms of a city taking me in. Things were a little dirtier, gritterer(<–word?), and different than anywhere else I’ve been in Japan. Maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy(some of my students said that Osaka isn’t as nice a place as where I’m from) but I managed to have a GREAT TIME, but I wouldn’t want to live in the city. Maybe the lack of sleep contributed to these feelings as well.So bottom line. Great Time. Seems almost American. So of the top 10 biggest cities in Japan, I now have 3 down, 7 to go.

I met up with one of the people I trained to come to Japan with. It was really great to talk with a really person that has been through everything I have, from training to come to Japan, getting adjusted to a new country, working for a new company, and all the other stuff that goes into transplanting your life to a new city for the exact same amount of time as you have. We really had fun together experiencing Japan, even though I doubt either of us had enough fun to go back. But I know we are both glad we went.

EPIC PHOTO GALLERY

First up was Osaka Castle! Visually impressive, but the inside was sort of… blah.

Then since we were so tired we followed my advice and got a karaoke room for 3 hours for a nap. Upon entering and promising to sing ONE song, we ending up drinking 2 pitchers of beer and not sleeping a wink.

So we treaded on with still almost no sleep. We next went out to eat and shop before getting ready to party it up that night. To make a long story short, we ended up walking around Osaka, hoteless, burnt out and tired untill eventually crashing at another karaoke place untill 4 am. Upon waking up, the city was still alive! After some more chilling and walking around, we crashed again and an internet cafe for the night.

The next day was more shopping and exploring and checking out a zoo. So while it seems we didn’t do much, we had a great time and got to experience a lot of the true feeling of the city. It would of been nice to have more sleep, but hey you can’t have it all.

After my first ride on the plane of the earth, the shinkansen I was halfway across the country in less than 3 hours.

2 days later I was back at work.

Yeah this recap REALLY lost steam. But I’m sleepy. Sorry.

That was officailly the worst wrap up ever.

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Music of the Day..Bruce Dickinson – “Tears of the Dragon”  a song I clearly remember listening to on the way home, contemplating life. This song is about overcoming fears. What are you afraid of?


 





Vacation Blog

2 05 2008

Hey.. I guess I’ve taken this Golden Week as a chance to have a vacation from everything.. except learning Japanese, so don’t expect much here. My friend just came over and we took some shots while watching Titanic, so as per usual don’t expect any spell check during this post.

These days all I have been doing is studying kanji. That’s it. I’m up to 350 in 3 days. Yes that is very fast, but the goal seems so fucking far away. Kanji also helps speaking 0%, so it makes you think this is the right thing to be doing, but if I want to be a beast of Japanese this is a river I have to cross at sometime so might as well be now. 350 down, 1650 left. God damn it.

umm yeah girls wear hot clothes in japan these days..

random people think it’s cool to yeah out hello! to you… please think of a clever response.. my favorites I use are; konnichiwa! Wakarimasen(I don’t understand) and Nihon-jin desu!(I’m Japanese)

Thats it.

Random pictures I took time.

 

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Music of the Day…Mika Nakashima – “Find the Way” is there a face more beautiful on this earth?

 





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!

 





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.