Monday, August 06, 2007


(eigo - English)
OK, back to English, though most who read this probably know Japanese better than me... It has been a week and that is way too long for this post, I haven't yet told you about what is quite arguably my best days in Japan.
Nobuko's family were so very nice it was amazing. Her mother and aunt spent all day cooking more than a table full of vegetarian food for me. I cant say I know what it all was, but it was all delicious. I absolutely stuffed myself and they still kept telling me to eat. Every time I took a sip from my beer they refilled it for me as well, with probably my current favorite Japanese beer. (Kirin The Gold) Her mother had asked Nobuko and practiced to say 'Welcome to my home' when I got there which was a really nice thing for her to do. It was a really nice evening where I talked to her family quite a bit. I do regret that I did not get to talk to her dad more, as he went upstairs a bit early and then because of his work schedule I did not get to see him again for the trip.
I could have come with an empty suitcase and her mother would have filled it. She gave me tea, mocchi, snacks that the Japanese eat while drinking beer, gum and traditional Osaka candies. She would have given me a lot more, but there was simply no room in my suitcase. As it was I felt she gave me too much, with all the wonderful things she did for me while I was there. Nobuko and Minor both chipped in to buy me a Junbei, a kind of Japanese traditional outfit that is kind of like a yukatta with shorts. Her mother completed the outfit by giving me Tatami sandals, which is great since my old ones were beginning to fall apart.
The next morning, Nobuko and her mother put out a large spread for me again while they ate coffee jelly and toast... I felt like a king in their home. It was really just too nice. After that Nobuko and I met Minori for a tour of Osaka. Minori had never done this either so it was new to her as well.
First let me tell you that it was about 983 degrees out and humid. Nobuko wore a sweat shirt..... I would have died. There seem to be two schools of thought on beauty in Japan. One is to stay as white as possible (Nobuko's meathod) and the other is to get a fake tan till you're dark brown and then put on white makeup..... I must say between the two I prefer Nobuko's method by far. Minori doesn't seem to care either way. ^^
Anyway, we went for a tour of the rivers of the city by boat and then to Osaka castle. The boat ride was a nice chance to see the scenery around town quickly in the short time I had to see it. I really would like to explore Osaka more. The castle was beautiful on the outside. It  really dominates the landscape of the city, even with all the skyscrapers. It was not at all what I expected inside. It was basically a museum of Osaka history with a great portion devoted to the 'Summer of War' when the original castle was burnt down. There were also family histories and the history of the building of the castle. On one of the floors they had many different Japanese generals' helmets you could try on for like $2. I tried hard to get Minori and Nobuko to do it and we could take a group picture, but they refused. They know too well it would go on the web I guess. ^^;
After the castle, we were all starving. There was a fair outside the castle and we walked thru it rather quickly, the best part is when they used an ice machine to 'snow' on everyone. It felt really, really good in the heat. We headed to an okonomiyaki restaurant (probably my favorite Japanese food) and stuffed ourselves. Then we went to the shopping areas of Osaka and had fun looking at everything. I got a couple manga and CDs at Book Off, but other than that I did not shop as I simply had no room in my bag. Osaka is beautiful at night, they light it up almost like Tokyo.
After that it was time to head home, and Minori parted with us. It is really hard to say goodbye to everyone. I really wish I could stay longer, but I guess that would only make it worse. I thanked her, as I thanked Nobuko later, for taking such good care of me from the day I got to Japan till the day I left.
Nobuko and I headed back towards her house, and went to a little festival for the kids where they had lots of kids games. We also ran into her mother, aunt and her aunt's son and his family. The cousins are about my age and have an adorable son. Her aunt bought me and Nobuko shaved ice and we fed a lot of it to the kid. In Japan they often add sweet milk to the shaved ice which I was skeptical about but it is really good. I would have liked to talk to the cousins more as it would have been interesting to talk to someone more my age, but I was just simply whiped out and did not have much Japanese ability.
After playing a few games, (which I suck at) we headed back to Nobuko's house. As we had eaten just a few hours before, we just had beer and snacks and a nice conversation. As it got later, Nobuko and I headed to the computer room (where I also stayed, do they know me or what?) and played on the computer till 3am when we just knew we should sleep. The next morning at 5:30 Nobuko woke me up (did not even hear the 5am alarm from my cell phone, but I had never used that alarm before) and it was off to the train station to leave. It was really hard to say goodbye for the last time. I really didn't want to go. Getting on the train 1 car early because it was about to leave I was an instantaneous celebrity. The whole car was filled with elementary students going somewhere, and they were all saying 'Hello!' to me. I responded to each one then found my seat in the next car and got comfortable. I sent out a goodbye and thank you email (the previous, previous post in Japanese) to everyone, but sadly that used the rest of my prepaid money so I couldn't respond to the responders.
3 hours on the Shinkansen later, I got on the hour train to Narita, and then it was time to go. The plane ride was uneventful, the most exciting things were that my bag actually wasn't over weight (30.2kg 31 is cut off) and I had a vegetarian meal this time. Arriving back in LA, Jeannine and Chrissie picked me up and we had breakfast at Hoff's hut. Then I spent the rest of the day fixing my parents network they broke (broke the power button on my router computer...) so we could all play on the Internet again.
Since then, I have basically been recovering. I promised my body I would sleep when I got home, and it is quite angry at me I am going to work everyday. Still, I let myself rest all this weekend and I hope to be good today. I was all by myself all last week at work which was quite fun, that will not be the case this week. I am fighting hard for my Japanese ability to not disappear, and many of my friends have been emailing me. The thing is I am too brain dead after work to think in Japanese, so I have been lagging a bit (Sorry!)
Actually a funny side note. I told you about having 2 hours sleep the night before leaving. I sent an email to everyone (previous post in Japanese) saying I had fallen asleep on the train and ended up in Hokkaido (farthest north part of Japan) and was now a beer tester for Sapporo.... Almost everyone believed me... The Japanese are so honest and nice it is scary sometimes.
The pictures aren't up yet, I have been lagging, hopefully today. I am going to be moving my server to a new host over this week so there will probably be some outages. Don't worry, my crappy little site isn't going anywhere.

Monday, July 30, 2007

















Saturday, July 28, 2007





Friday, July 27, 2007


I just wanted to take a half second to say Nobuko's family are the nicest people in the world.

More details later, for now I don't want to miss a thing.


(Nemui - tired)

Well I must be tired. I have good reason to be, up till 5am drinking sake and then up at 9 to finish packing. I wrote a longer post earlier on the computer but I got distracted and forgot to hit post(-"-;) From here on out its probably ケータイ (cell phone) only which means shorter posts and no pictures till I get back.

It is also quite draining to leave everyone. I made adozen new best friends in just 5 weeks and now I have to leave them.Thankfully many have plans to go to Cali soon. Those that dont I plan on convincing.(o^-')b

Now Im on a train back to ihouse to get my bags and then go to dinner at Nobukos house near Osaka where I will stay till early Sunday morning when I leave. There is very little time left...

I am just glad my dad seems ok.

Nobuko and Minori have a full day of sight seeing planned for me tomorrow.Sounds like a lot of fun, I cant wait.

Till next time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


(nimotsu - luggage)

Well, it looks like I am all packed. At least I hope I am because there's damn sure no room in my bag... I do have 2 other bags I am not even using inside it, but I would really prefer to continue not using them. I am probably over-weight (my bag, I know I am over-weight) so I will have to pay at the airport, I dont care.

However I am going shopping with Nobuko today, and I still dont know what I am doing with my bag in the meantime. Also, if I buy anything my bag will explode.... and those of you who know me know I am going to end up buying something...

Last night a bunch of us went out to eat and have a few drinks for my last night in Kyoto. It was really fun, everyone is so wonderful, and I finally got to see Natsumi again and talk to her. Still as kind and cheerful as ever. I have come here twice and both times I have definately been very lucky to have the conversation partners I had.

After dinner, I ended up staying up till 5am with a few of the people from the Ihouse having a few drinks. Then got up at 9am. Such is my life in Japan.

*** I forgot to post this earlier. As I have a chance to wait for the Taxi I thought I would repost it real quick***

Links of the day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


(omiage - gifts bought when traveling)

I am finally freaking done with omiage shopping. If you dont like what you get, sorry I dont care. Well sorta.... Anyway most omiage will be shipped home in a box tomorrow so I probably wont get it for about 2 weeks, so dont hold your breath.

I also went to Book Off today and spent about $100 on CDs. This may seem like a lot, but Japanese cds, even in Japan, are around $30 new. I got about 10 cds for $100 I find that quite good.

Tomorrow I must pack, pay 'rent' and then go out with friends for the last time in Kyoto before Friday when Nobuko comes to whisk me away to Osaka.

I had an interesting experience today when I finished shopping. I went to a restaraunt in Kyoto station to eat Okonomiyaki, and I had difficulty getting them to NOT cover it in the fish flakes Harry Newman loves so much. So the woman next to me helped me out and we ended up talking for about an hour. It was nice to know I could almost kind of hold up my half of the conversation for awhile. Kind of like 3 years ago at The Hub in Tokyo at 4am.

Right now I should be packing but there is a party upstairs.... so I'll probably pack tomorrow. ^^ I also hope to upload another batch of pics tomorrow, probably the last time this trip. The rest will go up when I get back home and recover.

Dad is back in the hospital last I heard. It is a few more hours before I can call and get the newest details. I really hope everything is ok.

Jeannine, its nice to know you fill in for me making a fool of yourself while I'm away. I can always count on you. ^^ And the pictures are on the 'Gallery' link on the right of this post....

Links of the day!

no. I'm not even using my laptop, and Chinese girls are yelling at eachother next to me...

Monday, July 23, 2007

The great smiley post

Back on the keitai...I think I wanted to do this 3 years ago but never did. Japanese smilies are a wonder to behold and I am going to post all the ones in this phone.Later I will come back and format it.Here goes

1: (^-^) (^-^)v (o^-')b o(^o^)o d(^-^) d(^O^)b (^ヘ^)v (*^_^*) ('ー'#)/ ~ヽ('ー`)ノ~

2: ('◇')ゞ (・ω・)ノ ヾ(*'-'*) (^-^)/~ (*'-^)-☆ (`o'ヾ (^з^)-☆Chu!! ('O')/ハイ! d(-_-) m(_ _)m

3: <(`^´)>エッヘン (¬_¬)ぁゃιぃ (`ε´)ぶー <<o(>_<)o>> (`曲´#) (-"-;) \(`o'") こら-っ {{ (>_<) }} o(><;)(;><)o (*'へ'*)

4: (*'o'*) あっ\(◎o◎)/! w(☆o◎)wガーン (ΘoΘ;) (*_*) ヾ(^_^; (・ω・;)(;・ω・) σ(^◇^;)。。。 ...((((((^_^;) ┐('〜`;)┌

5: (ToT) (>_<) (-_-;) {{{{(+_+)}}}} 。。。。(〃_ _)σ‖ φ(_ _)。o○グゥ (=_=) (´〜`) (ρ.-) (+.+)(-.-)(_ _)…

6:\(^O^)人(^O^)/ ((( ^^)爻(^^ ))) (^_-)db(-_^) ρ(..、)ヾ(^-^;) (;^^)人(^^;) ヽ(*^‐^)人(^-^*)ノ ♪( ^o^)\(^-^ )♪ ( ^o^)ρ(^O^ )アーン ☆(*^)(*^o^*)チュッ ☆ヽ(~-~(・_・ )ゝ

7: (^O^)/C□☆ /(.^.)\ ( ..)φ (-.-)y-~~~ .....((((*^o^)ノノ ε=ヾ(;゜ロ゜)ノ (^〜^)モグモグ ( ^-^)_旦"" o(^-^o) (o^-^)o♪ (・o・ ))(( ・o・)?

8: オリャ(ノ-o-)ノ ┫ o(゜へ゜)○☆ドカッ \(`O´θ/ (^-^)/((((((●~* (・_・)r鹵~<巛巛 ( ^ー^)σ" ポイ (/--)/ ⌒○ (^_^)-c<T_T)キュゥ (^_^;)\('_' ) (・_*)\ペチ

9: (((/ToT)/...‖wc‖ ‖wc‖ ヽ( ´ー`)ノ {[(-_-)(-。-)y-]} (*~ρ~)ヨッテマース ( ・_<)σ…---・ U^ェ^U ^(・@・)^ (・Θ・) (=^・^=) (^O_O^)

10: ☆彡☆彡☆彡☆彡 ∵・∴・★ ◆◇◆◇◆◇◆◇ ■□■□■□■□ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/ //*/*//*/*// --*--*--*--*--*-- 〜・*・〜・*・〜 ☆*:・°★:*:・° └∵┐♪┌∵┘

There, I hope you feel enlightened. Mind you these are just what are in my 安っぽいプリーペッドケータイ(cheezy prepaid phone) I have recieved much stranger.

And now, after a half hour of work, I hope this works...


Seems it worked, tho the font is different which screws things up a bit. About half of these are fairly obvious, the rest are just plain rediculous. I love the dog personally. I also often use the 3 faces falling asleep one.

I am not sure how to edit it better without putting each on its own line and making this post REALLY LONG. I also still need to add the topics instead of just #s, but I am too lazy right now at 1:25am.

Tonights dinner went well, about 8 people came and all seemed to enjoy. For once I was actually too busy having fun to take many pictures. I feel bad that I didn't really get a chance to talk to everyone one on one, 10pm curfew for guests just sucks.


(bangohan, dinner)

As I sit here a bit nervous trying to waste another hour or so, I thought I would fill you in.

I went to Kyoto station yesterday and did some shopping (still not done with omiage~ argh) and found the international grocery store. First thing I saw was potato gnocchi and right then and there I decided to cook for everyone tonight. Thing is it is finals and it's kinda like herding cats to get any number of people together in the same place. So we shal se if anyone actually shows up... I have more than enough food for all. (I hope) Going to do gnocchi in a pre-made mushroom red sauce that I am adding sliced sun dried tomatoes and garlic to, garlic bread and sun dried tomato pesto bread.

I also saw Meg off from the station to her 1 week job in Tokyo. It really sucks not having her around, she is so much fun. But so is everyone else, and I plan to have lots of fun even without her. Maybe I will make her jealous. ^^ I think she may already be jealous she can't let me cook for her.

Today I went back to Kyoto station and bought a bit more food (the makings of the garlic/pesto bread) and went up Kyoto tower. Not nearly as tall as Tokyo tower but in many ways a more beautiful view. It is a lot greener. Obviously I took lots of pics and will share them with all soon.

As I expected, the last days here are flying by. I still have to buy several people gifts and am running out of time and ideas.... it is really hard to personalize everything so please dont kill me when you dont get what you hoped for. (None of you gave me orders anyway :P) Tomorrow I hang out with Gaccha and Madoka though I dont know where or when, and hopefully I'll finish omiage shopping then. The thing about omiage shopping is they wrap everything, which is nice, cept when I dont know what the hell (hi Meg!) is in it... so when it gets to you all messily wrapped, thats not the Japanese's fault its mine because I re-wrapped it without even having new tape....

Thursday is my last night in Kyoto and it looks like I will get to hang out with Natsumi, my CP from three years ago, which is nice. She seems very busy I didn't think it would happen.

Anyway I guess thats it. Dad I hope you are doing ok and I will see you soon.

Links of the day!


Saturday, July 21, 2007


(shashin - picture)

I uploaded all the pictures up until yesterday, in which I did nothing because I was tired, and now I still am. :P Anyway there is Weekend 3, Week 4 and the Farewell Party up. Btw since no one seems to be commenting maybe I should explain it- if you go to a picture page (where the picture is bigger than a thumbnail) there is a little bubble icon with a + sign. It is above and below the picture so it is easy to find. Clicking on either one will get you to the comment add area. The rest should be fairly obvious. Then again maybe everyone just forgot about me. I know Jeannine doesn't return my emails. :P

Right now I am just sitting here realizing how fast everything is going to go and how many people and things I still want to see. I needed to rest yesterday, but probably will not let myself do that again. My first day back at work is going to be fuuuuuun...

Trevor leaves today (wonder if he is up yet?) and then I am supposed to go to Osaka for electronic toy shopping, but Meg may be able to meet me for lunch before she leaves to Tokyo so I will probably ditch out on the chance that she can meet me. I have several things in the city I need to do anyway.

Thats it for now, nothing too exciting. Be sure to read the previous post, it's more interesting.

Links of the day!

Hey I got one!
BET - Read a Book (language warning) a 'positive' rap video' I can't take credit for this, Trevor showed it to me last night.

Friday, July 20, 2007


(meccha tanoshikatta - very fun)

Well last night was the goodbye party. Everyone came and it was really fun. Unfortunately Aki, my conversation partner couldn't make it, he just HAD to go drinking in Osaka. (Hey I understand ^^) But Mariko came and wow, she is so amazing. She drew these beautiful pictures for Kyle, Trevor, JC and me and gave them as gifts to us. She even began to cry a little. She is just so very nice. I always make fun of her because everywhere she goes (I mean everywhere) she knows people. But it is easy to see why. She is just an amazing person. She wrote a note to us on the back of it and added 'pease don't forget me'...... how could I possibly forget her.

Actually everyone is just amazing, Meg, Yuna, Mayumi, Tsu-kun, Isson, Taka, Keiji, Yayoi, Gaccha, Madoka, Morimoto, Nozomi... I really should just list off everyone. A bunch of them got us postcards that they wrote all over, they even personalized the picture of the card. JC got a bunch of naked women, Trevor got a cat from a joke he made on the homework, Kyle got a frog (Japanese spelling and pronunciation of his name is identical to frog and 'to return') and I of course got beer. ^^ I honestly havent read it yet, my brain is kind of miswired from everything coming so fast and hard these past 2 weeks.


Thing is I am not gone yet. I still have another week to play. I really want to rest, and today I definately will after being out karaokeing till 5am and then up at 8, but I know it will go by really, really quickly. There is still so much to do. Unfortunately (for me anyway) Meg got a great short term Job in Tokyo that lasts from today till the end of the time I am here (working for the election for $100/day all expenses paid) so I will not have a chance to hang out with her, but everyone else wants to see me and I really, really want to see them.

This morning I got up early and a bunch of the previously mentioned people came to see everyone off. Cept one person didn't leave. My roomate Trevor finally got a chance to print out his itenerary... and he doesnt leave till tomorrow... it was quite funny, esp since he was up so late, even after me, packing.

It really is an amazing program with amazing people. We all put the same thing on our class review- we want level 3! So we can come back next year.

This post may or may not be disjointed. I have no idea at this point. I am tired. I kind of want to call people but all I will say is 'duuuuuuuuh.' Well actually it would probably be 'あのおおおおおお~' (ano- the Japanese word for 'um')

A ton of pics just finished uploading. For some reason the videos are getting out of order. I don't think I will have a chance to care enough to fix it till I return home tho, so deal.

Links of the day!


Thursday, July 19, 2007


(owatta = done)

The speech was better than before, but not as good as I had expected from the practice the night before. Whatever it is over. I took videos and they will be up if they ever finish uploading and I ever have time to make 3 clicks to do it.

Yesterday at lunch was just hillarious. We decide to go to Family Mart, something we rarely do at lunch because its down a big hill, and I see Mariko gigling with her friend. There is a steaming pile of fresh dog doo right in front of her, and she is watching to see who steps in it. She didn't tell me till I got past it but warned everyone behind me! KOWAI!

Anyway I missed the big bang because I wanted to get in line for the ATM before I had to wait in line for half an hour. Some guy in sandals was the one to kick it. Then someone came along and tracked it all throughout the Family Mart. (Think 7 Eleven) It was downright hillarious, I really should have video taped it.

とにかく、I just took my final exam. Went pretty well. Just a nice conversation with the teachers. In just a couple minutes we are going to go to the school to have lunch one final time then go to Kitaoji to mess around a bit with some of the conversation partners before our farewell party at 5pm. After that we go out for Nozomi's birthday.

Then everybody but me leaves the next morning. It is going to be sad. But its not like I cant handle it. It will be nice to finally have free time to do the things I want in Kyoto and hopefully see the friends I have made and kept from 3 years ago.

In other news, my Dad is doing fine. よかった.

Anyway I am late, gotta go.

Links of the day!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007



I got an email today from my mother that my dad is in the hospital. So far nothing serious but then again people dont go into the hospital to have a picnic. I really hope everything is ok and I am worried. I left messages at home and on my sisters cell about it.

So a quick wrapup of other things... Monday we went to Ginkakujin, a famous and beautiful temple in Kyoto, and after that to Arashiyama monkey park. Both places I went 3 years ago but that didn't stop me from taking lots of pictures. Today we went to the official Gion festival, a parade thru downtown Kyoto of beautiful ancient style mobile shrines. Basically the festival started in the 1100s when to stop a rampant plague a bunch of different cities made portable temples and sent them to Gion in Kyoto.

It worked, and the plague dissapeared, so they continue the tradition and it is 1 of the 2 big festivals in Kyoto and one of the 3 biggest in Japan. It is amazing how they turn these giant wooden things that have no suspension or turning ability on their own. I really wanted to get a video of them turning it up close, but we left all too early so we could go practice our speech. Because I had been out all weekend, speech practice was also the first time I read my speech.... it did not go well. By that I mean disaster. I have been practicing since and I think it will be a bit better tomorrow afternoon when I have to present it.

Tomorrow before the speech we learn causitive form, then Thursday some Keigo and Friday is an individual 20 minute oral test. Then free till the farewell party that night.

I have no idea when I will upload the next batch of pictures, I took a TON this weekend and have no time to label them all. In some ways things will get much quieter when all the IJP people leave on Saturday morning. It will also be a bit sadder, and I still will have a lot left to do.

Anyway, I need to practice my speech, but dad, I really hope you are ok...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

ashi ga itain

(legs hurt)

Weellll... ya, after dancing till 6am and getting 4 hours sleep the night before, walking semi-aimlessly around Shijo (we had places to go but kept passing all the same places) got old after about 5 hours. Problem was it lasted a lot longer. we left at about 1:30pm and got back around 11:30. Thing is everything is just so damned fun. ^_^

Gion matsuuri (Gion festival, one of the 2 big festivals in Kyoto- think like 4th of July) is in full swing and the streets are packed. The actual parade itself is Tuesday I believe, but the fun parts are all the food and trinket stands and hundreds of people in yukata everywhere.

We went to the Shakeys pizza (all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad and... curry?!?) to refuel me and Kyle from the night before, did a little omiage (gift) shopping, I got more time on my cell phone, and then bowling (I sat out and returned emails, my legs were done) and finally went to The Hub for dinner / beer where I actually had a nice conversation with Tsu-kun since I finally got to sit down and regenerate some energy.

I also ran into KANA there! Jeff's conversation partner from 3 years ago. I saw her sitting over by the stairs and immediately recognized her but couldnt exactaly place her. It is amazing how in 3 years people look different but still the same. It is true of Nobuko, Eri, Minori and Natsumi as well. But there was no doubt I knew her so we talked a bit. Not for very long, but I got her email (so I can give her Jeff's blog) and we plan to meet at school soon.

It is amazing what a small world it is.

Today we go to Ginkakujin temple and then Arashiyama monkey park. After that we come back, don Yukatas and go back into Shijo for Gion again. So my semi-rested legs get to do it all over again. (Did I mention Arashiyama is a mountain? The monkeys are at the top...)

I have a metric ton (Is that a lot? I don't know metric...) of pictures from Thursday on. I have no idea when I will actually get a chance to label and upload them. Hopefully tomorrow.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gaijin Guntai vs The Typhoon

(Gaijin Army vs the Typhoon)

We win. But let me start chronologically...

Friday night we went to dinner and then Karaoke with a couple of the conversation partners, including Mariko and her friend Yayoi. (Not sure how to spell) My roomate Trevor and Tsu-kun kicked the rest of our butts. Towards the end of the night they found out I like Shiina Ringo and sang several songs by her, some of which are still stuck in my head. Anyway I had to call it quits at about 3am because I had had almost no sleep the night before....

Oh! Almost forgot! I gained a new nickname. Yayoi had a cell phone keychain of Majin Buu from Dragonball Z. Someone asked her to explain his name, and basically Majin means monster and Buu is like a sound word for big, fat, over-inflated, like a balloon. So instantly I reacted and I am now Gaijin Buu. (Gaijin means foreigner)

On to last night. There was a Typhoon coming and it was raining cats and dogs all day. For one of the guys on the 4th floor it was his last night in Japan, so they were all planning on going to the Gion festival, then dinner then clubbing. Well because of weather it got shrunk down to clubbing, and while I didn't want to sit in the dorm all night, I'm not much for clubbing either. Me and Kyle started playing Pokemon wirelessly and I just gave up on going out.

11pm rolls around and the girls are still here... They weren't going to leave till 11:45. So I decided to go. It was a blast. It wasn't raining that bad when we got there at all, and of course it was indoors. I got Kyle to go with me too and he danced for 5 solid hours. I took a few breaks but otherwise I was out there with everyone too. Neither of us are dancers.

When we emerged at about 5am, the typhoon had lost. There was actually bits of SUN that are STILL HAPPENING. You don't understand I am sure, but this is Japan. Go look at my pics. There is no sun here this time of year. Sure its the 'land of the rising sun' but this time of year the sun quickly runs away.

Near as I can tell, there will be clear (well for Japan anyway, which means not much rain) all day. We had beaten the Typhoon.

We went to McDonnalds afterwards, a tradition they have that left me wanting a couple of red burritos, and then Taxi home. My head hit the pillow about 7am, even though I really didn't feel that tired. Now its 12:24pm. I woke up at 11 and laid there for half an hour before just deciding to get up.

Sleep is for the weak.

I wonder when I will practice my speech and do my homework...

Links of the day!

Hey I got some!
The Ultimate Showdown Oldie but new to me. A good one.
Gaijin Smash I linked this before about a year ago but the URL has changed since. Read what it is REALLY like to live in Japan and laugh a lot too.
Mythbusters results Results from every single Mythbusters test.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I never thought I would spend so much time in a womans bathroom...

2nd ケータイ post because I dont want to go downstairs and set everything up when Im leaving in 20 minutes...

Last night when I was pretending to study (new pics up) there was a going away party for the 3 german students. It was 11pm so I thought I'd hang out for an hour... well that became a lot longer of course but not for the usual reasons. The party was in the tatami room and it was a blast. It was like the United Nations in there, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Americans.

The german girl (Adriana I believe, I suck at names) (Ok, I gave up on typing on the keitai now) needed some help walking upstairs so I brought her back up to her room. But before that, one of the Chinese girls threw up in someones face... So I laid her down but others decided to drag her to the bathroom, where I guess she was quite productive. I decided to check on things so I knocked on the door and a very worried looking french girl answered saying she just didnt know what to do with her. I asked if she was decent and she invited me in. I spent the next hour or so talking to her keeping her brain moving.

(er out of time, ill edit later. live in suspense...)
(welcome back to the most disjointed post ever)

She was 20 (legal drinking age in Japan) and rather inexperienced. She could answer most questions but didn't know what she had to drink. She never threw up in my presence, do we decided to put her to bed, so we carried her up the stairs and put her to bed. She seemed to be doing better when we got her moving, she was appoligizing and stuff. I honestly don't really know who she was or could recognize her, 95% of what I saw was the back of her head with her face down in the toilet. She should be fine tho.

After that I spent a couple minutes back at the party so I could actually talk to some people. I went to bed at 3:30.

Now, I am my roomate's alarm clock. We have one, but I am the one that gets up to it. I wake up at 7, shower, eat and wake him up at 8. Then we get to class (starting at 9am) with about 13 seconds to spare.

I woke up to a pillow hitting me and my roomate saying "dude- its 9:15" Wheee... So I took a 5 min shower (hey I'm late anyway) and we got to class 45mins late.

I think I did way better on the test than I expected and better than the previous two. I may ask my senseis for it today as otherwise I think I may have to wait till wednesday. Learning in the program is basically done, Monday is a holliday 海の日 (ocean day) and then Tuesday is the Gion festival. I will write about last night later.

Thank you for reading the most disjointed blog post ever. I wonder if you understood anything.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Keitai test

Since I can never quite remember the address, I thought I would test.

In other news I am talking to Paul about keeping my room in the IHouse till the friday after the program ends. I realize there is nowhere I would rather be than here with my friends. I will have time to explore the city more and can still take day trips.

now that I typed all this on a cellphone keyaoard, I hope i got the address right... It is so much easier typing in Japanese on these things... But Blogger sucks at Japanese and none of you would understand it.

PS I got it wrong again...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I found my place..

It's in kindergarden.

Those of you who know me probably arent supprized. But today we went to Sumedia (spelling?) Kindergarden and entertained a small army of 3,4 and 5 year olds. It was quite a frightening and fun at the same time.

After the 'entertainment' period, we were split up into groups of 2 and ate lunch with them. That was quite fun. Having 20 kids surrounding me asking me questions like 'what is 'bento' in english?' (there isnt any) 'what is 'basu' in english?' (bus) etc etc etc ALL AT THE SAME TIME AS LOUD AS THEY CAN WITH THEIR MOUTHS STUFFED FULL, and still managing to remain quite charming. After lunch, I got on the floor in the corner and started pointing out things and giving them english names, but that didn't stop them from all talking at the same time (this time with empty mouths at least)...

Er, did I mention I was wearing a cheezy little cat mask on the top of my head? It was made as a prop for the other group's 'Neko Neko, Inu' (cat, cat, dog; changed from duck, duck, goose) Well at this point I lifted it off of my head and re-adjusted it. this made them all instantly realize that it can be moved... They spent the next 5 minutes taking it off, throwing it on the floor, then someone else would place it on my head properly, then someone else would cover my eyes with it. They seemed to be equally divided into 3rds on the opinion of what to do with it...

Then, for no apparent reason, several of them started pounding on my head like a drum saying 'obeka' which means 'being western'... it didn't hurt at all so I just let them do it. I actually couldn't stop laughing.

When it was time to go, about 250kids all gathered all over the place on 2 different floors to say goodbye to us loudly and repeadedly for about 15 minutes. My cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing.

After that, we went to Shijo (major shopping area in Kyoto, its the name of a street) and did some omiage shopping and ate at a Shakeys pizza... closest thing to real pizza I have ever seen in Japan.

Right now, the gallery and it seems Picassa are PISSING ME OFF. The Gallery refuses to import 100 of the 175 pictures I took at Biwa and I have just now troubleshot it down to a problem with Picassa, meaning I have nowhere to turn for help. (I know the developers chat rooms for Gallery) How or when I will fix it I do not know, I have no freaking time to worry about programs bought out by money grubbing companies that don't work for shit. Oh wait, I am writing this on one of that companies' sites now arent I?


Links of the day!

still no

Monday, July 09, 2007

Yay filler!

As I sit here waiting for the rest of my pictures to finish uploading (there is some weird problem, out of the 171 pics I took at Biwako only 75 get imported.....) I thought I would share some side things I keep forgetting. Assuming I remember them now...

I think the most interesting Japanese test I have had so far is 'Shogakuseichan' at Biwa. ( I honestly have forgotten her real name, I need to re-get it.... ) But she decided to tell me at about 1am that she was a shogakusei. (Jr high student) This put me in the interesting predicament of trying to prove her wrong in Japanese. Of course it was pretty much impossible, but very fun. I asked her what school she went to, who her principal was.. but how would I check the answers? I asked when her birthday was and whether she had brothers and sisters and what their ages were. Ultimately I was unsuccessful, but it was quite an interesting experience.

Hmm, what else. It rains a lot, but last weekend was actually really sunny. That ended this afternoon.

OH! Ways to tell you are fluent in Japanese:
1. You can read upside down (the conversation partners often sit across from us and read what we are writing. I can do it but at about 1/4th speed)
2. You understand what people say on loudspeakers here. Thing is I think this disqualifies most Japanese from fluency...
(I want to add more to this list)

Hmm, what else. The Tsuru no Ongaeshi Blooper Special has made a resurgence and seems to be a hit with the conversation partners and I even got 2/3 teachers to watch it...

Tomorrow we go to a kinder garden to entertain 80-100 EACH of 3,4 and 5 year olds. I will be Simon in Simon says for the 5 year olds..... Kyle told me about a joke him and his friends have about if you were given 1 weapon how many 5 year olds could you take out before being overwhelmed... The only weapon I want is a cup....

Gaijin power is quite interesting. It allows one to reserve an entire table at an otherwise extremely busy eating place on campus just by sitting down. It also always guarantees an extra seat or two next to you on the train no matter how busy it is. We are aliens here, and from what I have heard from long term dwellers that never changes. However, Japan is a society of in-group-out-group. That is how the strangers act towards you. But once they are friends they are the most thoughtful, caring people in the world.

I know there is a lot more I want to say, and my uploads are still going, but I am out of ammo atm. Enjoy the update. No one comments anymore cept for H-mac, I wonder if anyone reads. Comment on the pics ppl, that's my favorite part...

Frank- I want to call you and congratulate you personally, but times didn't line up well, I either have to be up way past bedtime to call you at 7am or skip school and call you in the evening... Anyway, congrats.

Links of the day!

what do you think?

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Lake Biwako just absolutely rocked. I was somewhat sceptic (as my previous posts show) but it was very fun. The lake is the largest lake in Japan. It is no Michigan but you cannot see across. I wonder how it sizes up to say Salt Lake... The water was cool and nice, but if it was Lake Mission Viejo they probably would have it closed to swimming. The only bad part of the whole time is since it is a lake, the 'sand' isn't quite smooth because there is not enough wave action (hey I learned something in Oceanography!) and my feet got destroyed. I always wear shoes so my feet are pretty tender. After a few beers at the bbq, I forgot about it and just ran around barefoot (the sandals dont fit) beating them up even more. (I gained 2 large cuts on the bottom of my big toe)

Everyone was just great and it was a really great time. It was the mini vacation we all really needed and I really didn't want to leave. There are a lot more details in the pictures I am uploading now. Unfortunately school starts again tomorrow..... And I have yet to do homework so I will keep this short.

Links of the day!


Thursday, July 05, 2007


Sorry, I didn't mean to leave such a depressing message up so long. I really only felt like that Monday and Tuesday. Even in just 1 month they can't all be good days.
Wednesday was the fourth of July and I celebrated it by having a few beers at a British pub and then killing everyone who was wearing a red coat.... Well ok maybe not that 2nd part. It was pretty fun tho if not perplexing, and I got to celebrate basically when you were all still waking up. Actually since it was a day off I would bet a lot of you were asleep. For instance it is almost 10pm now and it is almost 6am the same day back in Cali.

Got an email from the fam, apparently the internet got broke again. Yay. Nothing like 10000 mile tech support.... Anyway, I finally got my keitai so I have email. If you want the address, email me at my regular email address. If you dont know that, well then I probably dont want to give you my cell phone email :P

Tomorrow is a test I havent studdied for yet... whee. Saturday we go to a lake which is supposed to be famous but I keep hearing the water is dirty and it is probably going to rain. Thats ok, you know I am not much for swimming. We are not allowed to bring textbooks or dictionaries, but screw that I want my dictionary. Should be fun.

The 1st weekend pics have been up for a day or so, and I am going to start uploading this past week of pics now, they should be added before bed... maybe. benkyo shitakunai yo...

Heather- thanks. youll probably take over my desk by the time I get back so you dont have to carry your water buffalo upstairs... ^^

Links of the day!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


For the last couple of days, I have honestly been fairly burnt out. 2 subjects I have never been able to master (particles with ageru, kureru, and especially morau and qualifying nouns with sentances where I seem to screw up word order) have come up, and every day its basically school all day, then homework, food, a bit of time on the computer to communicate and tag/upload pictures (uploading as I write) and then bed. And bed is late. I seem to have no time to study other than homework to fill in gaps, etc. And our two projects, entertaining ~300 3-5 year olds and our speech are now starting...

I still really love it here and I knew it was an intensive program and I am getting a lot out of it but I guess I am in a bit of a slump.

The good news is I got a cell phone yesterday and will get practice and such out of it, it will also enable me to update this durring my last week in Japan. I may or may not share the email, it is somewhat expensive, but not really. I am waiting to see just how much use I get out of it.

We also are going to lake Biwa on what is basically a spring break this weekend. We are not allowed to bring our textbooks. We will see how that goes. I want to learn. The lake gets very mixed reviews. It is apparently a very famous place but the water is dirty, etc. Oh well, what is, is.

Links of the day!

should I just delete this? I'm way too lazy

Sunday, July 01, 2007

tanoshikatta shuumatsu

Another ep of eD in Japan.

Friday Nobuko, Minori, Eri and Yukiko came over to make me dinner of Okonomiyaki and Inari. It was the most I've eaten since I came to Japan, it was really good and I stuffed myself. It was really fun and my roomate Trevor impressed all the girls to no end by the fact he brought an iron to Japan and could cook. (Ya, we dont get it, but they were very impressed. I was trying to get Nobuko to mary him.) It was a shame the night ended at only 10pm. (When guests must leave the dorm.) But it was really fun.

Saturday the night didn't end so early. ^^ We went for a walking tour of Nara and several of the temples around Todaiji temple. Afterwards Paul, Onozaki sensei, Kyle, JC and I went out drinking to a few gaijin (foreigner) bars. No, no eD, but I had a blast anyway. ^^ I kinda want to go to more Japanese style places but it was still fun. No pics of the night out because my camera battery died. Thankfully today I found the second battery I thought I left in America. Without that my last week here would pretty much be pictureless.

Today was rest day. I spent a few minutes talking to Jeannine and Chrissie till Skype died on me. I had a small hangover and we were all starving (no food from the cafeteria on Sunday) so Kyle, JC, Josh and I went on a nice tour of the side and back streets of Shijo area. (Aka I got us lost for a bit) Once again I got rejected getting a cell phone. This time I had my passport but I didn't know the dorm address.... I will be going back tomorrow after class.

Now, it's 10pm and I still have to do my homework...... it's only 2 pages so whatever. If you are very lucky I will upload pictures tonight.

Links of the day!


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shashin ga aru

First- I have won the war. The first two sets of pictures are up. Expect the next set sometime this weekend if I get a chance. Links at the right, I'm sure you can figure it out...

Today was a little shopping excursion in which we were made to bug honest shop keepers with stupid questions like 'whats the name of your store', 'what is this', 'what is it made of', and 'what do you use it for.' Though good practice, its pretty much a total waste of time for the shop keeper unless you buy something. So I bought a few small food items, and my first omiage. (for Bonnie of course ^^) But seriously, I refuse to ask what an apple is made of and what it is used for...

Anyway, tomorrow is our first test. I should do alright other than the fact I cant spell katakana for anything. Seriously, its a messed up version of my native language I cant spell in the first place. I know all the characters and can read it, but I cant spell. The same level I am at in my native tounge. NEXT!

Talking with some of the year long students from places like Italy and New York, they envy our program and our teachers, because it is so intensive and we are getting so much out of it. They are in the same book as us but just begining to learn kanji from the first book because their teacher sucks. Teachers are gods here, unless they do something blatently illegal they are set for life with a great paying job and lots of respect. (...hmm maybe I should become a teacher...)

Thing is, I wish I could have a little more fun. As previously stated, I want to learn as much as humanly possible out here. But part of that IS going out and doing things that are NOT structured. The trips to the market and stuff are great but a night on the town on your own without a safety net is important too. I should get that chance this weekend however.

We did so much the first weekend I thought to myself 'slow down a bit, its a long time, you have time to do things.' But I dont. Time is very short and I already feel it slipping away. I've decided I dont need to sleep anymore. I got a great night's sleep last night and I was still tired all day. I think I am just not used to sitting in a classroom all day. Also, I fell asleep about 11:30 and from 4:30 on woke up every half hour, my body basically saying 'wth are you doing.'

I found out I cant use my old cell phone here. My pictures are forever trapped in it. I still may buy a new one for ~$60 with minutes, from the practice I got last time it was worth every penny.

Minori, Nobuko and Eri are coming over tomorrow to cook me dinner, should be a lot of fun. After that I have no idea what will happen, but I may not blog tomorrow. Let my pictures keep you busy.

Anyway I should study.

PS- I am glad your giant squid is a female.

Links of the day!

nope, I got studying to do

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

hi again

Hmm.. I'm not sure about this daily update bussiness, if I post every day it gets boring.

Anyway, today was Skype day, I tried to pick people I thought would be up at 6am. The first call was to, because they apparently decided to reset a lot of peoples passwords without telling them, preventing me from uploading pictures... uh, thanks guys. Next was my family- hi mom and dad! (and Andrea) Guess my brother got a job, yay. Then I left a message for Adam and Beverly, and maybe I will call Chrissie after this. I know better than to think Jeannine is up, and Minna is probably still partying with 8 guys. :P

Today was the speech contest, I was extremely tired all day. The speech contest was fun and the party afterwards was a lot of fun too. I met another ton of people who's names I will probably forget, along with new words I have already forgotten. There is just so much to do and see here, even though I've been here before, and I want to do it all. I want to make the most of every second. But I also want to learn as much as humanly possible, and being half-awake all day doesn't help that. Tonight I will get a good night's sleep.

In other news, I won the battle with the school's IT department AND my domain host and the pictures are uploading now. Once done it should only take a few clicks of the mouse for me to share them with you... but who knows, it has been pretty hard so far every step of the way.

PS- please dont post comments annonomously, use the second option to fill in your name. Also, I will respond to comments as neccesary in the same comment thread after I post a new post. I may not respond to everyone, because well, I'm in Japan and I have better things to do.


Links of the day!

Teramachi One of my favorite places ever. Think Irvine's Rectum only not so damned full of its self and expensive. Also a LOT more crowded and some ancient temples thrown in for good measure. We will be there tomorrow for class.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hi, remember me?

Well, sleep isnt really happening lately. It is 10:30 now and none of us have even started our homework because the welcome party was right after school today.

The welcome party was really fun though. There is so much to do and learn here, talking with the Japanese is far more educational than any homework in my opinion, but I do know that the homework is important too.

Now for trouble. I cant seem to upload any pictures. The school has locked down everything thats not basic web surfing or email. Sounds like another place I know.... I WILL defeat them, I am working on it now. But as I said, I have homework to do.

So just know I am alive, learning a lot (tho not as quickly as I would hope) and I will try to get those pictures up tomorrow. We have already designated tomorrow night as rest day. I plan to come home, nap, do homework and then get the pictures up and actually talk to my family.... sorry parental units.

Uh... oyasuminasai

Links of the day!

as I said before, here I dont have much

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Steven from NY and Andre from Italy on the 4th floor (year long students) took us to Osaka today. Tons of walking. I think my legs might fall off by the end of the trip. We went to lots of electronics and game shops, and I BOUGHT THE NEW DS ZELDA. Not out in America till (supposedly) November, so it is definately very nice. (and I know jealous people are reading this... FRANK) I also found 'Mexican' food. I took pictures so you will see. It was good because where we went to eat all the ramen had Pork in it, so I stopped and ate while they hit the arcade.

Went to Super Potato in Nipponbashi, (videos of the Akihabara one are on a place with TONS of video game stuff thru the ages. I got to play a virtual boy for the first time ever. It was a pretty cool Gradius-type game, but the console was rather low so I had to bend over the whole time and hurt my back.

Osaka seems like a big place, lots to do there. We went to Nipponbashi, Shinsaibashi, and briefly in Nanba. Nobuko has promised to take me back when the program ends. Should be fun.

Classes start tomorrow and I am very, very tired. So bye. If youre lucky I will upload pictures tomorrow.

Links of the day!

no, tired

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I am reborn

Hello, and welcome to another episode of me back in Japan.

Yesterday was pretty quiet, most people in the program did not arive till late, so I went for a walk in the pouring rain to get a umbrella, then did a little studying.

In the afternoon, Minori, Nobuko, and Eri (friends from last time) came to the dorm and brought snacks and drinks to welcome me. It was really nice of them. They also said they want to cook dinner for me this Friday, and asked me 23 times if it was ok or not. No, I hate free meals. ^^

While they were there, my roomate came. He was really tired and wanted to take a shower so we headed downstairs and they ended up leaving. Unfortunately, Minori left her cell phone in my couch and I still have it... hopefully she can come get it tomorrow.

Last night, some of the students from the 4th floor (they are the year long ones from various places like Italy, France and New York) invited us to Karaoke just across the street from I-house. (International House- where I am staying) I do not sing, but my roomate is very good. So was everyone else there, meaning I am really not going to sing. But then someone picked a Madonna melody, and no one knew the tunes. I actually did so I filled in on a couple of them. Thats right... eD singing 'Papa Dont Preach.' At least I proved why I shouldnt be singing. (Actually I was going to duet 'Take Me Home Tonight' by Mike and the Mechanics(?) but they didnt have it.) We ended up being there till 3:15am. I fell asleep around 4 and woke up at 8, just in time to miss breakfast. Wheee~~~

Today, we had our orientation and a walking tour of Kyoto. Most stuff I had already seen, but In Kyomizudera we went thru an underground area that was completely pitch black with turns and lots of bumping in to eachother. In the center, is a special carved rock. Completely round with a raised character on it. You pat it and make a wish. When we got out we were told it was supposed to simulate a rebirth experience. (Hence the topic) However, I dont think I had glow in the dark shoes during my birth. We had them in bags we carried with them (shoes off area) but when I noticed them glowing I pulled one out for some fun. ^^

After that, more of Kyomizudera (the fountains were closed because of a leak, isn't a fountain a leak?) I walked between the love rocks with my eyes closed. (again) Gion temple, and several other things. We ended it near my beloved Teramachi.

Everyone wanted to go home, and so did I, but my stomach won out over my sore feet, so a couple of us went in search of food. After a bit of browsing, we settled on a little Kirin bar. (I should have taken a picture, but I ate there before so I am sure I already have one...) After that, a nice little adventure getting home. I mostly followed people around last time, so this time being the guide is a bit difficult. However I got us back alive.

Took a shower and now I sit here. We were just invited by some of the students from the 4th floor to go on a day trip to Osaka tomorrow. I kinda stared blankly rather than reply, as I've had 4 hours sleep and walked probably 8 miles today. (Actually I am having a hard time finishing this blog because my brain keeps momentarily shutting off) I gave a tentative yes but I am emailing Nobuko for her permission. It is her hometown and she has already offered to show me around and I definately don't want to ruin it without her.

I was thinking about uploading the 1st batch of pictures, but I think I will wait till after tomorrow. Besides, I need sleep.

PS- After a good 2 months of testing remote access to my home network, it worked for all of one day in Japan. Now all my computers say offline... Parental units / sibling units, the task is to walk into FRANKS room, hold the power button in on the BLUE COMPUTER by the desk for several seconds till you hear it turn off, then turn it back on.

I plan to call you guys soon, but I cant get a mic to work on my computer (forgot my bluetooth mic...) and therefore cant use Skype, and calling from the dorm is expensive. Plus I dont want to call you just to say 'reboot my computer please' Honestly, I do miss you, I swear.

PS2- Work-people. I can't email any of you because I am considered spam. No email from friends but you can still get all the viagra you want, spam detection at its finest.

Till next time.

Links of the day!

no, I need sleep

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'm alive- sorta

Well I'm here, I'm alive, if you were worrying- well I'd be supprized but anyway you can stop now.

After 3 days of basically no sleep, I still only slept about an hour total of an 11.5 hr flight. I then took a 45 min train to Tokyo station, then a 2.5hr train to Kyoto, then a taxi to Kyoto Sangyo Daigaku where I am staying.

I am very, very tired. So tired that I'm not sure I can sleep. Both from delerium and the fact that I have to create a bed from a pile of blankets and a matress before I can sleep. Taking a shower probably didnt help either, but it felt sooooooo goooood.

But I also have to eat- one of these days I will get smart and start remembering when I book travel to order a vegitarian meal... so as soon as I am done with this I will go to the Circle K and grab some delicious convinience store food and then hopefully go to bed.

Links of the day!

Dont expect these much while I am here, but I thought I would give a few travel related music videos. Only the first one is in English, but they are all good. The second one is especially funny. 2 planes and 1 train in the mix.
Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly
Tommy Febuary 6 - Magic in your Eyes
akeboshi - yellow moon

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Tomorrow I leave for Kyoto. Looks like I'll have everything ready to go by 6:15am tomorrow when I will leave my house for a flight at 11:40am.

If all things go well, (for instance, I dont get arrested at the airport for having 18354 electronic gagets in my cary on) I will land in Narita at 3:05pm the next day (11.5 hour flight + timechange) then get on a 1-2 hour train to Tokyo station, then a 2nd 3-4 hour train (if memory serves me correctly) to Kyoto station, then a taxi to the dorm I am staying in. And hopefully I get all this done before 11pm or I have no place to stay. ^^;

Anyway, I am tired and dont have much to say right now. Soon enough I'll be on another planet, but I plan to get little sleep between now and my spaceflight there...

PS- those of you playing along from home, dont miss the gallery link on the right, its where all my pictures will go.

Links of the day!

Just one, but it rocks
Food Veurisim! A kaiten sushi restaraunt somewhere in Japan. Lunch is around 8pm PST so feel free to move the camera around, and dont forget to turn on the speakers! (icon at the top) for some reason this is so enthralling...

Monday, June 04, 2007


It's official, I leave on Jun 20th and stay till July 29th. Four weeks of it will once again be at Kyoto Sangyo University in their IJP program, the advanced version of the same program I did in the summer of 04.

I have held off posting it here because I am still scared a meteor or something will conspire to jynx the trip. However at just over 2 weeks away, it feels pretty certain now.

If only I was ready.... I've still got lots of loose ends to tie up and am insecure about my japanese ability. Last time was the beginners program, so the fact I knew any Japanese gave me a huge leg up.

I am trying to test the fesability of blogging from my palm, even though I am not sure my Treo will have internet access in Japan. This post is being done by email because Ublog crashes my palm every time I hit send...

Links of the day!

too much work from the palm. But I have some good ones so maybe I will edit later.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

One year old country

One year has passed and an inept, ineffective government with poorly trained and under equiped soldiers struggle to figure out what to do next. Many if not most of the population still wishes the old regime was in power. Without outside help, the old regime would indeed still be in power, because the under educated, unsofisticated, rural population, most of which live just over the poverty line, either dont know how or dont care enough to do anything for themselves.

It truly is a pitiful state of affairs. It makes you wonder why we even bothered.

Yes, Iraq's new government is a year old as of a couple days ago. But I was actually describing another country- America. I won't say that there aren't obvious differences between the two situations, but I think looking at the similarities is worth some time.

One of the big differences is of course that the war in Iraq was externally stimulated instead of internally. But as much as everyone hates the French, without them we might still be England's property. Probably a lot of other places as well. Our break away inspired a good chunk of the British empire that they could do it too. Which, coincidentally is what we are going for in Iraq, inspiring the surrounding countries to come out of the stone age.

Another big difference is that if Iraq ever DOES get it together, they will be filthy stinking rich. American soldiers were ready to mutiny after the war as the government had no money to pay them (and no ability to collect taxes) and they returned home under threat of debters prison.

I could go on, but instead why not do a little reading and think for yourself? Here is a great place to start: American history: Formation of the United States of America So much of what we read today is so very biased. While Wikipedia isnt perfect, it's quite a bit better than the nightly news, no matter what station.

As I stated there ARE signifigant differences, but we dont expect a one or even ten year old child to fend for itself. We started this, for right or wrong and whatever your opinions we should do it right. One thing to learn from reading just a bit further back in American history is why we were able to break away from Britan. Besides the help of the French at sea, the big help for the colonials was that Britan fought with one hand tied behind their back. Much as we do now.

I dont usually get into politics here, but I do have strong beliefs, and almost wish I was old enough to run for president- because every candidate I have heard is an absolute idiot on at least half of the issues.

Links of the day!

And now for something completely different...
Cop Steals Pot, Makes Brownies, Calls 911 The title says it all. Don't miss the 911 audio.
The Power and Peril of Praising Your Kids. I cant say I HAVE kids, but its an interesting perspective for why my generation is so damned self centered.
Illegal Immigration Counters How could I neglect the only political issue that gets more headlines than Iraq? See some numbers for yourself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The essence of Humor

Humor is one of those very elusive things. It is not easily defined, nor is it easy to point out why many things are funny.

However, today an online friend of mine Zain sent me a link that hits funny dead on. It is George Takei's (Mr Sulu from the original Star Trek, and no I am not a Trekkie) response to the anti-homosexual comments by Tim Hardaway. Apparently this was on ABC somewhere but I dont really watch much tv so I dont know what show or why.

Anyway, watch The video before you read more.

The response hits directly at the suposedly secret fears that someone like Tim Hardaway has to make such statements. Mind you I do not believe all 'homophobes' are secretly gay, but there is a level of vigor that Hardaway took it to that makes you wonder.

They didnt even make one joke about his name. I mean, comeon 'Hardaway'....

I'm sure one day soon this video will be pulled making this post worthless, but get it while you can. It's damn worth it.

In other news, suddenly as of today many things are brewing in my life. But I want to wait another day or two to see how they flesh out before I report....

Links of the day!

Speaking of humor... This guy went to jail for it.
Ever wonder what the heck 'Nintendo' means? Find out here.
Apparently Alabama prefers the traditional way of doing things... aka use a relative.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

SUPERBOWL & Effort Rewarded

Well, my beloved Bears lost the superbowl rather disappointingly on Sunday. The offence was non-existent and people are saying the defense didn't play well, however I think considering the defense was out there THE WHOLE GAME they did a great job as tired as they must have been. I still can't believe they let a dome team beat them in bad weather.

In other news, I got a letter from my school. It seems 12 years of College education finally paid off, I have an Associates in Science: Cisco emphasis. Which is funny because I took the classes but basically remember nothing about the Cisco IOS because I never use it.

Life has been running me down a bit lately, work-school-work-school repeat. Oh well, just got to do it.

Links of the day!

A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection I am sure this has been everywhere by now, but it is really eye opening. A must-read for any computer enthusiast.
The 300 Club It never ceases to amaze me the new and exciting ways humans conceive to kill themselves. I would die in the sauna....
The history of video games Wow, someone has too much time on their hands, and I thank them for it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year- Wii!!

So ya, happy freaking new year. I didn't do much of anything, just had Jeannine come over and watch Superman Returns and Taledega Nights. Both good movies but not much of a new years. December sucked and I got sick just before new years so I didn't feel much like celebrating. I am sure Jeannine didn't either. She is doing as good as can be expected, loosing Dustin was a terrible loss for everyone. She is leaving for Maine on Friday to go check out the University. She is planning on moving there. It will be weird without her, but its at least a few months off.

In other news, I got my Wii replacement straps! They dont really look much stronger than the originals, but I guess its the best they can do with the small hole the Wii remote has. I guess these will take 6 months to break instead of 6 days. But I dont swing the Wiimote around wildly like a five year old.

The new DS Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is an excelent game, only a slight deviation of the previous two, but since I loved both I dont mind.

In a parting shot, I once again have something to blame O.J. Simpson for. Because of him, we can't call Mark McGuire "The Juice"

Links of the day!

MapWii A site to add your Wii code to so you can find others near you on a google map. Kinda cool, I havent added mine yet...
How Ms Nevada lost her Miss Universe Title Warning: Not exactally work-safe, but not too bad.
Burger King 911 Kinda old but hillarious, a woman calls 911 because they didn't take her order.