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.