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» Sports Illustrated arrived. A nice fun thing to read. Very pleased about its arrival.
» Went to go-chu to play volleyball. I had a lot of fun playing. I found out something that surprised me about the practicing techniques of Japanese volleyball teams in Junior High Schools.
During practice their is no scrimmage. Their is only one time to practice the skills learned in practice — the game. The younger players have to wait until their second or third year of Junior High to play in a game! They don’t get to scrimmage at all! Quite surprising to me indeed.
Went to Kaz’s in the evening.
While with Kaz
» I bought my cordless phone/answering machine. Very happy about finally getting the answering machine. I had no idea if anyone was calling from back home, but from now on I will. ha ha
Went back to Asaka to meet Liz, a NAME NAME NAME for the fireworks. They were more than an hour long!!! I couldn’t watch it all, it was way to long! The festival was very cool though.
» The Naruko Dance. I danced the dance. I wish I could show you what it looks like. It’s a dance that the dancer holds to clapper like things and moved them around clapping them throughout the horeographed dance. It’s a lot of fun! But there were way tooo many groups that did this dance! It went on for two days — that’s a lot of people dancing.
A cool thing about this dance is that old people, young people and every kind of person gets involved in this dance. Disabled people participate as well. It’s a very community involved activity, I really appreciated that. Old fat guys were dressed in these cool costumes, as were the older women. The young children were following the lead of the parents. If was a great spectacle of community fun.
» Liz and I introduced ourselves to all the principals today. Fun! (yeah sure it was)
» I received another Sports Illustrated today…hmm. I like that, getting to things to read on back to back days. Keep ’em comin.
» Liz and I had dinner with Mr. Otake tonight. A very interesting meal. We cooked the meal. I don’t remember what it was called, but it was pretty neat how the food was cooked. It looked a little like a pizza — round with a bunch of topics. there wasn’t any cheese or sauce though.
Saitama Orientation in Higashi Matsuyama starts today.
» We watched some cool things today.
Japanese Cheerleaders —WOW!!!!
They YELLLL and they YELLL and they YELL. This group gives the school cheer at many events and do they know how to yelll!!! It’s incredible I tell ya. INCREDIBLE!
Iaido. They use KATANAS!! I used one for a few minutes. They were real!
A traditional art of drawing a sword rapidly and striking the opponent down in one blow.
Japanese Taiko Drums.
The participants POUND these drums with sticks that are about 1 foot long, and 1.5 inches in diameter. It’s energetic and it’s fun to watch.
email any questions if u have any
» In the evening I went into the onsen (hot spring). Ahhhhhhhhh. I think I as in there for 2-3 hours. Oppps-e, needless to say I was tired when I got out; but it felt soooo nice.
Last day of this stuff, training like stuff that it is — but there was a very cool thing that happened towards the end of the day.
» Students played the KOTO for all the AET’s. They played some English tunes. The titles included : Sounds of Silence and Yesterday. They also played a Japanese tune that rocked!!! What a marvelous instrument! The English tunes sounded soooo awesome!! I’d love to have a copy of it but I don’t think that’s possible. bummer.
Saitama Orientation in Higashi Matsuyama ends today.
» I received a letter from Elissa Harvey (a.k.a. ma) telling me about the move to Florida, and Rille’s future plans for college. I agree with the plans. I think they make sense.
» Can you believe it, another Sports Illustrated. I guess this is my luck week. This is the most recent SI and I got it the same day in here as I would have received it in CT! Very cool. I’ll be very happy every Thursday.
» MIFI in the house! I got my bank card for Asahi. It has Mifi on it, very very very cool.
» Practicing Hiragana, ewwwwww fun.
» Sent letter to Rille.
Hung out with Kazi in Kita Sakado — aka his house.
» The temp was ridiculous!!!! I woke up unable to breath because the air was soooo thin! I am looking forward to the fall and winter months.
» Not much happened this weekend, it was way too hot!!
» Studied Hiragana
» Watanabe is helping me out with the surprise as is Kazi-man. O-yeah!
» Sent mom a postcard.
» I read my first word in Japanese today! Ka-n — That’s can! Yes!! the studying has paid off!!
Studied again, I’m reading again…ahhhhh. O-YEAH!!!!
» Faxed AT&T about their Internet service because I haven’t heard heard from them yet. I emailed them a while ago.
Liz and I went to Ich-chu to see Mr. Matsunaga.
» We watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”, an excellent movie! Liz hadn’t seen it, she really enjoyed the movie. I think Matsunaga said it is his favorite movie, at least that’s what I remember him saying.
Enkai for the Naruko Dance
» Everyone that danced the dance came to the party and had a good time together.
» Received fax from AT&T.
» Went to Aki Habara to get Windows 95 upgrade disks.
It cost about 13500 yen!!! That’s about $135!!!! Way to much money. Damn nit! Ahhh I wish I bought it in the states! (you live you learn)
» Gave Matsunaga lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Honesty”
Signed up to AT&T!!! FINALLY I have a cheap way to get email. ahhhhh. It’s only 2000 yen per month, or $20
Went to Wako to meet up with other AET’s in the area. A cool night it was! I had a good time learned allot about Australia — there were 5 Australians and 3 Americans. Hot damn!
Am I sick? I think I’m sick.
Went into Ikebukuru to meet Kaz, Hama, and Nori.
» It turns out that Kazi wanted to wish me a happy birthday, so he got a group of friends together and through a surprise party for me! Very cool! I got a BIG TOTORO!!! Happy : ) I have a big Totoro. ha ha
I am sick, bummer
Here’s a fast one. I CHILLED OUT. ahhhh. time to catch my breath. ok, now I’m ready to go again.
» I slept till 1 o’clock. I think I got rid of my cold. — yup I did.
Met Matt (a Brit I met at the Saitama Orientation) at the south exit of Ikebukuru Station
» I finally found an English Address Book! Now I can carry addresses around with me instead of carrying around my computer… he he he.
» I gave Mr. Watanabe my Nenkyu sheet for the winter holiday. I will have days off from December 20 through January 11 (with one day of school on Friday 1/9). Almost one month off of work. And, almost one month with Rille, very pleased about that, very pleased indeed. : )
» Gave Mr. Watanabe an outline for my meishi and Liz’s meishi. We should have those in about a week. yes indeed-e, my first official business card. ha ha.
» Liz and I went to ich-chu for English Language Club and found out (in person) that Japanese students are ridiculously quiet! But, that’s what we were told so it really wasn’t the biggest of surprises.
Went out with Mr. Matsunaga and Liz — we went into Ikebukuru.
» First on the agenda was the museum. It is inside the train station, convenient no? It was cool, but the pictures began to look the same. They were all painted in the same style, it got boring towards the end, but it was cool nonetheless.
» Wise Owl, one of the bookstores with an English section/floor. There were quite the many books but the price was incredibly high. Entertainment magazine was 900 yen, or $9. Not bad for a $2-$3 magazine huh? right — I bought all the back issues for 1997.
» The Hilton. Next and last on the agenda was the Hilton. We went up to the top floor and had a drink and chatted about life, love(marriage), travel, and many other things. Nothing ground breaking or new was really discussed, just pleasant conversation. A good thing indeed, I like good conversations they can be a lot of fun — do u agree?
While on-line I bought a book for the upcoming surprise for Rille and myself. It should prove to be a very useful book. I’ve been told this is the book to get and I hope what I’ve been told is correct. We shall see in the near future, shan’t we.
» Liz and I went to Ich-chu again for the English Language Club and had the same conversations with the participating students. There was one girls that was basically an American. She is 15 and was brought up in the states, but she was born in Japan; so she is presently a citizen of both countries. She has to decide by the age of 20 I think. But it was wild to watch her mannerism compared to the Japanese students. Very much American. Very much indeed.
Downloaded AOL Instant Messenger so I can I.M. people just like I could if I were signed onto AOL. Very pleased about this. If your interested in being able to chat in real time with someone on AOL and you are not a part of AOL check out the AOL Home page and look for the AOL I.M. program. Confused about what I’m talking about? Send me an email.
I received a letter from Rille, with two black and white photos, thank
you very much hun. Happy happy happy. Joy joy joy. etc….
» PAY DAY!!!!!! Ohhhhh YEAHAHHAA!!!! First real pay check I’ve ever received. Hot Damn, this rocks!!! I have money!!!!!!! but I can’t spend it. I’m saving for a few things, but it rocks to actually get a paycheck that has more than 3 figures. Rock on!
And when there are paychecks there are bills. I have to pay my rent today as well. It’s not bad at all though. Only $365.00 a month. Not bad at all. The other bills will paid for by automatic withdrawal, a nice
» Ahhh yes, 16 days ago it was the principals today it’s the vice principals. yeah. What a fun thing it is to introduce yourself thousands of times!!! How many more times? Many more times Gar, a many more times.
» Arakawa-sensei had a ton of fun with Rilles B/W photos today. He made photo copies and handed them out to everyone in and around our section — at least 30 people, maybe more. Then he got a frame and well take a guess what he did. He framed the copies — the ones he enlarged. Awww man it was funny!!! I was laughing for a good 15 minutes! A funny day to look back on, goo thing I’m doing this huh?
» Didn’t do much at all. A slow and boring day. bummer. I’ll look back on this day and say: “Aw man I wish I could relive that day today.” when I get into teaching and anything and everything I bet.
» I typed about 11 emails!!!! I have time on my hands don’t I.
» Received Sports Illustrated. A day late but i can forgive them I guess.
» I am going to sign up to Telehodi for my AT&T service. It will activate September 6th. I don’t like the fact that I can’t sign up for it and have it start as soon as possible. I guess I’m spoiled with the American motto of the customer always being right. It’s not that ways here. I don’t like that, but then again who would?
» » It took 1 week for the information to get to the city office. Kind of a long time for a letter to go a short distance huh. It takes 1 week for a letter to get to the states. Damn! Hurry up people! I gotta get the info, no time to lose, lets move it move it move it!
» » Telehodi is a phone service that will allow my to call a phone number for an unlimited amount of time for a flat rate. In Japan the phone charges work according to time and distance, even if its local! The service will cost 3600 yen or $36. The useable time is 11:00pm to 8:00am. Its not the greatest of times to be online when you have to get up early in the morning, but it’s a lot cheaper! Questions? email them to me.
I will type some about it later. It’s probably going to take me a while, so email any questions if you have any.
» Helped Mr. Fujikawa with a verbal test for his students.
» Typed a few emails. There’s something new. It must seem like I’m having fun at work, I am, really, I am. maybe.
» Paid NTT(phone company- the only one!) 7550 yen, or $75.50, not bad, but it’ll be cheaper once the Telehodi thing activates. (what’s telehodi gar?-click here)
I received a post card from Marianella. A very nice thought Mare, Thank you again. The picture was of a double cheeseburger —mmmmm cheeseburger. yummy.
Atsuke brought over her old Kotatsu. She said she didn’t need it anymore. I tried to give her a small gift — something for dessert , and she got upset. “Why do you give me a gift for my nuisance?” Uhhhhh, (I thought I was in Japan where you give someone a gift instead of giving them money — confused — searching for a response.) Please take it, I do this in America (fast thinking) I like to give someone something if they have given me something. Please take it for tonight. She ended up taking it, but hot damn! Talk about not happening the way it’s supposed to happen. geeeshhh.
» Liz and I went to Ich-chu, again, to see Mr. Matsunaga. This time we learned, rather heard a lot about Saudi Arabia. Tons of pictures were to be seen as well. And what were they of primarily? ANSWER: sand. Yes there is a lot of sand in Saudi Arabia. But it appeared that Mr. Matsunaga had a good time while he was there.
» Later we went to Kawagoe (usually a 13-18 min train ride) with Ito-sensei via car. I took us 1 hour and 30 minutes!!! I was happy to feel the wind on my face again, but I was scared from this dudes driving! He realllly doesn’t know how to drive that well. NOT GOOD especially when the roads are really narrow. Narrow enough for two cars, and maybe a pedestrian or a biker. maybe.
» Received a package from mom! Happy happy happy. I believe it was more slides for my introduction. YEAHH tanks mom! :0
» I received my first COMIC while in Japan!!!! AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #427! Talk about being psyched!
» I received the JET Handbook to teaching. A very useful book with lots of ideas for teaching.
» I received the book I ordered online. It is exactly what I was hoping it would be. Very cool. Very Cool.
» And lastly I received a letter from Alice Alarcon telling me about her visit to Montana. She also sent a picture of her graduation –cheesy smile Alice, very cheesy indeed. ha ha. Thanks for the letter Alice.
» » Damn I had a great afternoon! I got to read through all this stuff during the later part of the day. Ohhh rapture! Ohhhhh joy!
» Volley Ball this evening! O-yeahh! It’s all good.
» I can Read KATAKANA!! It almost happened RANDOMLY! I actually tried studying it last night and awoke being able to read katakana. I brought some CD’s into work and practiced. Here is a link to the email I sent to everyone telling about me experience. HOW HAPPY AM I??? i’m ok. nothing big u no. im just READING ANOTHER LANGUAGE!!! ok. ok. so I don’t know what I’m reading 90% of the time but at least I’m reading! ohhhhh-yeah!!!!
» Sport Illustrated arrived today. Nice and punctual, very nicely done SI very nice.
» Oh- yeah. One more thing, I’VE GOT MEISHI (business cards)!!!! I sent a bunch to Rille, so if you want one, call her or email her if your local email@example.com. Happy happy happy!!!! I have a professional business card! Haa haaaa!! I’m officially in the working world, I’ve got business cards! : >
» Gave my into speech to the Ich-chu student body. Interesting. All the students just sit and stare. Very quiet …..indeeeed! I think I have to change that… : ) indeed.
» Philip, Liz and I went to Seiyu with NAME and bought a bunch of stuff.
» » I got a “pan pan, whap whap thing-a-ma-bob” confused? email
» » A seat to sit on in the tatami room.
» » A blanket for the winter time. very very verrrrrryyyyyy soft. grin.
» Went to the Britain Q&A session.
» » A group of students went to Britain for 10 days or so and this was a session for parents and other people to ask the students what they thought Britain was like. The mayor was the MC for the introduction questions. Then they opened the floor to everyone else….I had to ask a question. It worked out well. But Watanabe said that there wouldn’t be any English speaking people at next years session.
» » Later he said it was great that I asked the question. He said it was perfectly placed because it showed everyone that the trip was worth the cost.
Hung out Kaz at his place.
» We chatted about true friends and the not so true friends.
» » It’s interesting. What happens when someone leaves a ‘common’ area and goes to another region – be it another residence hall, another town, another state, another country, etc..(mars is nice this time of year) What happens to the ‘true’ and not so true friends is interesting. A few will keep in close contact with you, some will contact you a few times, others just disappear. Its kind of a let down to the person leaving. I now know what it’s like to be the person that leaves. TO THOSE OF YOU WHO KNOW SOMEONE AND HAVEN’T SPOKEN WITH THEM (in what seems like forever) CONTACT THEM SOMEHOW. THEY WILL APPRECIATE IT, EVEN IF ITS only a letter saying hello, or a minute phone call, they will appreciate it with enormous gratitude.
On that note I say to you click next ….. You’ve just finished AUGUST.