November 1997

November 1997

Incrediblefact of…. well, the decade!

Japanis a country with four
(didu no that)

TheAnniversary & The Surprise


1 Saturday

  • Out and about in the Tokyo area
    • …with Philip
      • I went to the a very memorable place today. I went back to Tokyu Handsin Shinjuku. This is where I had my first experience by myself in Japan.This is where I bought my adapter for this crazy computer. This is whereI had a great view of the moon, it was a gorgeous sight. This is whereit all began. Today Philip and I went to a Kinokuniya, a book store, tolook for some books — ironic huh. It was fun, I felt like I had come backto a home that was never established. It was, a nice feeling.
    • The CD I bought was:
      • Marilyn Manson “single – The Beautiful People”. This song ROCKS!! Includedon this disc is Sweet Dreams!!! I totally like this version better thanthe original because of the freakiness about the song. — enough.
    • I bought the book:
      • JAPAN-THINK, AMERI-THINK. It compares the culture and society of each country.The topics range from business to dating to food, etc.  It reads reallyquickly. I read one chapter while I was on the train. That’s impressiveif you know how fast I read.
    • … with Martin, Matt, and Ash(another Brit., how many more could therebe? : )
      • While in Harajuku many a thing was seen. Primarily LARGE clothing. I didn’tlike the style its the kind I can see back in the states on a daily basis.Oh-well. We found Condomania and Eddie Bauer Stores. (randominformation) We then went to Matins’ original home stay familieshome.
      • Crazy night! It was fun fun fun! Everyone, but me of course, was drinkingand this lead to some crazy loud conversations. I fit right in with thisgroup of people, people that can have fun talking about random things.Another thing that made me feel very comfortable was the fact that noneof us are at a much higher level of spoken Japanese than one another. Weare all at different levels of ability and they balance out because ofthat. The conversations were primarily in English, but we all threw ourown Japanese into the conversation as best we could. It was nice to usethe language in a relaxed atmosphere, more more more!!! I’ve got to tryto find something like that in or around Asaka. I’ll learn sooooo muchmore/faster!
    • Upon returning home I had a great view of my FAV constellation: The Big-O,Orion! It was fantastic! Of all the things to end the day on…my favoriteconstellation. The day brought me back to the place where I began my presentventure in Japan, and upon returning home, this is relevant, I saw my favoriteconstellation. This was something that happened nearly every night back’home home’ in CT. I felt like I had walked back to my ‘home home’, itwas a nice feeling.
      • NOTE to the above — every night after this I was unable to see the Big-O.He was hidden behind all the clouds, and other stuff in the air. It wastruly a marvelous night looking back. A lucky man gets to enjoy all thereis to enjoy on a daily basis, and I know I was one of those men when Isaw the Big-O and re-experienced everything again. A lucky man…

2 Sunday

  • At Home
    • Ahhhhhhh. Yes indeed-e, I say “AHHHhhhhhhhh.” An easy day of cleaning,reading — all in all a great/superb/fantastic/monumentally relaxing day.ahhhh

3 Monday                    C
U L T U R E   D A Y

  • At Home
    • Yup, another day off. Today is Culture Day. Japan has 15 National Holidayscompared to 11 in the states. Anyone moving now??? I’ve got room for onemore. “There’s always room for one more” Anthrax (song -room for one more)
    • I woke up at 2:10pm today!! Talk about sleeping late! I didn’t do muchtoday. I went to Fujimino’s Rizm (the outlet mall) and bought some stuff– not a very eventful day.
    • The CD I bought was:
      • Mayumi Kojima “A Girl in Mad Love” Strange is the best word I could useto describe this disc. I only bought it because I was able to listen toit as I walked around the store. It’s an awesome disc! Totally not thestuff I hear on the radio here. Very pleased.
    • Incrediblefact of the…. well, decade!
      • I finished the JAPAN-THINK,AMERI-THINK!!!
        I read it in a total of 2 days! If I stayed up last nightI probably
        could have finished it all in one sitting! The book was great!It was
        a fun read and an informative book. Check it out. It is a littledated
        in regards to a few social things, but the majority of issues coveredin
        the book are up to date.  (It is a 208 pg book.
        and,no the book wasn’t filled with pictures – there wern’t any pics.
        For anyof you people that want to crack on my joy and happiness. )   :

        Author: Robert J. Collins
        Publisher: Penguin Books

4 Tuesday

  • Yon-chu
    • Sorry to say it was a very simple day. Nothing interesting at all.
  • City Hall
    • Philip, Liz and I were interviewed, now follow this closely, by three teachersfrom a/some Elementary School(s) in Asaka. They were asking us questionsabout our experience in Japan and the whole shebang. But here’s the kickerof it all, they were asking us questions that related to our teaching experiencein the Junior High Schools. ????HHHUUUHHH???? Philip said it best whenhe said “In Japan you have to learn not to ask WHY.” after we finishedthe interview. Odder!
    • I sent some packages out today. Hmmmmm who could they have gone to? IfI could only say…. : )
  • After Work
    • Nothing that you’d be interested in reading……. y r u still readingthis? …… ok ok, you pushed me to the brink of madness. : )  All I did was eat and study. Boring huh? Thought so…

5 Wednesday

  • Yon-chu
    • I had a very cool conversation with the volunteer counselor. She playsin a punk band, and the music rocks! She gave me a CD with one of her band’ssongs on it. It’s nice to be able to talk to someone about music that doesn’tlike it for the sole reason of ‘the beat is cool’ or ‘the chorus is cool’,etc…
  • City Hall
    • I found out that there IS Vball tonight. That’s good because I needto  release the tension in my  muscles.
    • I blew away Kobayashi-son at work today with the phrase “kento inoru”. I found out that this phrase is used in place of “ganbatte kudasai” whenan event is at a higher level. Kento inoru translates as good luck, whileganbatte kudasai translates as do you best, I was a little confused interms of usage (actually I still am) but that’ll clear up as I get to useit more often. From what I’ve gathered kento inoru is used in formal situationswhile ganbatte kudasai is used in informal situations. It was a fun timeat the office. I got to use some Japanese and it was enough Japanese tostop someone that was working. How bout that huh? I liked that feeling.He was totally impressed as was I (i couldn’t believe that I rememberedthe phrase). A good thing to look back on.
  • After Work
    • U guessed it, Vball! A fun evening it was as well. Only 6 people were there.All we did was play Vball. No practicing, no drills, only a short timewarming up, Vball all the way tonight – it rocked! Friday should be fun…..curious? You’ll have to wait till Fri. sorry! he he he
    • After that I stopped by Philip’s apt. and we chatted about random stufffor a while. Nothing monumentally neat happened. You like the wording ofthat don’t u…. And then the day finished — just like that. How aboutthat.

6 Thursday

  • Yon-chu
    • Nothin’ much during the day. I was tired, I hope to remedy that later tonightby going to bed tonight, not tomorrow morning.
  • Ni-sho
    • It doesn’t matter if your awake, tired, in a comma, etc. these kids willprovide enough reason for you to get involved with them in class. It’sjust fun going to the elementary schools.
  • City Hall — didn’t even go there today.
  • After Work
    • Karaoke Party with the teachers from Yon-chu, Philip and Liz. Quite theCRAZY MAD FRESH DUMB SILLY CRUMB FILLED NUT HOUSE TYPE NIGHT!!!!!! uhh???What was that Gar? This will help you understand… the last song we sangwas “Ghost Busters”!!!!! We ended up screaming when we were to say “ghostbusters” in the song for some odd reason, — it doesn’t matter why becauseit was the BOMB!!!

7 Friday

  • Yon-chu
    • I had a GREAT conversation with 3 (female) teachers and the vice principal(he didn’t say much at all). We talked about lifestyles in the US vs JPNrelated to maturity of teenagers and ‘adults’ in both countries, JPN havingfour seasons, and a bunch of other stuff. You’ll like the last one, soread on…
      • ‘I think that a 22 year old from the United States is as mature as a 30year old in Japan’ I am doing my best to paraphrase the actual quote fromthe conversation made by one of the women. The 2 other ladies agreed (withthe fact that each person is going to be different – understood and agreedupon by all of us) in the most part, and the v.p. just sat there and noddedand thought about it to himself. I am(still) thoroughly amazed that theyall agreed to that statement, quite the astonishing thing to hear from3 JPNese women aged (27-35ish-40ish). Quite the bold statement. I, beingnew to Japan, am not able to make such a bold statement because I don’thave enough experience with people in the older age brackets outside ofwork. But it is an interesting thing to keep an eye on in the future. A30 year old person from JPN as mature as a 22 year old from the US, aninteresting thought…
      • “Japanis a country with four
        seasons.” This is got to be one of the most commonthings told to a
        foreigner in Japan. When told to me I thought “DUH!What? You
        don’t have five? DUH!” This is something that Philip and I havelaughed
        about numerous a time. Randomly saying “In Japan we have four seasons.”As
        we all (3 teachers and vp) looked through my CT book (with picturesfrom
        winter, spring, summer and fall) this topic came up, due to the factthat
        it reminded me of ‘Japan’s four seasons’. he he he After a while oflaughing
        (primarily me – the vp looked to be a little agitated with mystatements
        and laughter at those same statements) I explained to them whatit
        was like in the states. The vp spoke during this time and said “clearlyin
        Japan”, I said “yeah, the seasons are clearly visible in the statesas
        well.” as I flipped through the book very quickly. I explained to
        them/himhow Japan was on the same longitude as lots of other places,
        so it’s thesame thing there. Like CT is close to the northern part
        of Japan, and Asakais near Washington D.C — both relative to the
        same longitudinal degreeof course. After that, it seemed as if ‘Japan’s
        individuality of havinghour seasons was erased’ from existence. It
        was quite a look on the vp’sface. He almost didn’t want to believe
        what was being told to him. I almostfelt bad, …. ok so I’m going
        a little far with my empathy for him. Itis quite the thing to hear
        though. “Japan is a country with four seasons.”Four words – “Really?
        How a-bout that.”
  • City Gymnasium
    • From 5-9 I was watching/playing VOLLEY BALL! How happy was I? Ans:a little.Yeah, right, a little. It ROCKED!!!! Four hours of jumping, spiking, blocking,etc… It rocked. Liz came to watch (she didn’t play any, bummer aboutthat). She has a desire to play but doesn’t have the confidence to jumpon in and mess up with everyone. H E double hockey sticks, I made numerous,rather countless mistakes. Maybe next time she’ll play. Good luck Liz.Give it the ol’ college try. Oh-wait she doesn’t say college. Give it theol’ university try. Nah, that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. IHAD FUN FUN FUN, and daddy can’t take the T-Bird away. he he he.
  • After
    • Ahhhhhhh, I floated in the feeling of joy. After playing for that long,I just wanted to sit and be happy, so I did. Then I did something else.Whatever that was, I have no idea. Ahhhhh

8 Saturday

  • At home
    • A nice day to relax. It was sunny and breezy. A near perfect day, except,well I was alone. Anyway… I won’t get into that.  As it comes toa conclusion, I look back at the day and realize that it was a very productiveday. I got to clean, relax, study, study, read a little, buy FOOD(mmmmm,yummy), etc…
  • Received the AVENGERS (NOV)#13 issue — Something good is happening aroundthis place. This place? What place? Huh? Wait, what r u talking about?How much do fish go for on Tuesday? Ohhhh! I get it, your ….. Alex Trabeck(sp?) All those were the questions, duh… I get it.

9 Sunday

  • Kawagoe Concert
    • A group of students from GERMANY have come to Japan to sing. Their agesrange from 11-15, I think. That’s what I was told anyway. Well the concertwas cool. The bummer of it all was that all the voices were way up high!Nothing down looooooow. So the singing got to be a little monotonous, butPhilip and I stuck it out, Liz left half way through it and went shoppingin Kawagoe.
    • After the show Philip and I went back to the Asaka but not before havinga really good chat about our significant others. I’m very happy to be ableto speak freely with someone here in Japan. We’ve been developing a goodfriendship over the past few months, I’m pleased about that. To him I wishthe best of luck in the future with his girlfriend, Anri, and his music.Good luck Philip! Thanks muchly.

10 Monday

  • That’s right one more day. He he he. and now to the day….
  • Ni-chu
    • I’ve gone “FULL CIRCLE”. That’s right, this is where it all began, forme that is. I have gone all around Asaka ending up where I started. Howabout that. It’s a good thing in my opinion, it doesn’t feel as if it’s been, let me see ….. about 8 weeks since my last visit to this school.I no longer have to do my damn introduction speech. YIPPIEE!!! HAPPY HAPPYHAPPY!!! JOY JOY JOY!!! A sigh of relief, *sigh* ahhh that felt good. Somethingneeds to be done regarding this crazy setup for the AET’s in their firstyear in Asaka City. Something to break the monotony, something to get someexperience before the 10th week of teaching!!! 10 weeks and I have verylittle experience in TEAM TEACHING and I think that is going to affectclasses for a while, until I get my brain organized and reset to come upwith new ideas, other than things related to my intro. ahhhh *YEAH I’MDONE HAHAHA!!!!*
    • The classes went smoothly today, ichi-nensei is still the bomb to teach- at any school, and ni-nensei is ok, a split between a fun class and aboring class is common.  Enough of my rambling, as if I’d really begun..: )  Im looking forward to tomorrow, as I know many other people areas well —– NEWS after 11.

11 Tuesday

    • It’s been one yearto this day that Rille and I
      have been together officially. Tonight (welltomorrow morning at 1:11am
      11/12 in JPN — it’s 11:11am 11/11 in the USat that time) I will call
      and let the surprise out of the bag! It’s beena long time comin’, since
      MAY! GEESSHHH how’d I keep it from her that long?Got me, but I did. :
      )  ….read on….
  • Ni-chu
    • A decent day at the ‘office’. Nothing special happened, Some questionsabout my, soon to happen, late night conversation with Rille from someof the English teachers, but nothing worth taking time to chat about…
  • City Hall
    • Hmmm, what happened here? OHHH I NO!!! I REMEMBER! nothing, no package,it’ll probably be here tomorrow.
  • After Work
    • I slept from 8-11!!! Yes indeed I needed to sleep! My head has been poundingfor the past few days, and my eyes were hurtin’ as well, but now… I feelGREAT!! READY FOR THE CALL!! he he he. Bill-e-boy, r u ready? Let’s doit….. Read on.
  • The Surprise
    • I called Bill-e-boyand we set the plan into action.
      Rille was expecting a call from me at11:05 but got a call from her director
      telling her “to get down to Res.Life immediately!” Bad bad bad! hehehe
      Bill-e-boyand I began talking business stuff as he handed her the pieces
      of informationleading up to the surprise, until ….. well, read on and
      click click click.

    • Some words from themouth of Rille upon discovering that her surprise was: A     TRIPTO AUSTRALIA!!!!!A one week side trip to CAIRNSduring her trip to Japan. What the h.e.double hockey sticks, it’s only8 hours away via Qantas, compared to 24 from CT!!     Rille’sReactionary Comments Were…
    • So needless to sayshe was happy with the surprise,
      after all the madness I put her through.Curious what I did to her over
      the past many months?
      via email at
      .I’m sure she’d love to tell you
      how bad I was…. he he he

12 Wednesday

  • Ni-chu
    • A very quiet day, only one class. But I did have some fun, I guess youcould call fun, with Mr. Kobinata at the end of the day. He was tellingme about one word in Japanese that can mean three things!!! HASHI – pronouncedone way it can mean chopsticks, another way, bridge, and lastly edge. Icouldn’t get all three! I could muster 2, but not all 3! ARRGHHH! It wasquite the difficult thing to do!! RRRGGGHHH!!! I got the English teacherswith “RED LORRIE, YELLOW LORRIE.” It’s realllllllllly difficult for themto pronounce that phrase properly, how a-bout that. What an interestingway to end the school day…onwards!
  • City Hall
    • Package from RILLE w/something from Bill-e-boy (Bill Villineau) includedwithin the package. “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY” reads the heading on the letter.It arrived in Japan on the correct day in the US. Got that? A day latein JPN but right on time in the states. Got it? — gewd. Some picturesfrom graduation, a painting and a Halloween with Dr. Doom excerpt (guesswho sent that — hint — it wasn’t rille). Everything ROCKED! The letter,the pics the Halloween thang, and the painting! ROCK ON!!!! LIVE IT UP!!!Thank you both! Bill-e-boy you were the perfect liaison for this surprisethang! Rille, can you put together a sentence yet? hehehe…
  • After Work
    • Guess —  What practice was canceled tonight — that’s right, VolleyBall! Again! Ahhh, will it ever happen again? Sure, next week. : )

13 Thursday

  • Ni-Chu
    • I think I’m understanding why Philip puts so much time into class preparation(ohh! – by the way, have I ever told you that Philip putsa lot of time in to class preparation, well he does). I’ve beendoing the same class a lot. I wish I could have come to this conclusiona while back but, not with the schedule of the Asaka AET’s bummer.
  • Roku-sho
    • What else can I say about these kids? They are absolutely nuts and it makesclass so much fun. It is very difficult but worth every bit of energy requiredfor the class. We finished up PHONE CALLS today. For fun we played ChineseWhispers (with a minor adaptation of a few things in the way — so thekids could run around). It was cool.
  • After Work
    • BIG MAIL day. A big ol’ package of comics came in the mail today. Thesewere the replacement copies for the issues I hadn’t received while overhere in JPN. I got a new one as well (THUNDER BOLTS #8 — it was prettycool).
    • Sports Illustrated came in as well. A nice bit of stuff to come home toafter a long day. I likea da juice.

14 Friday                               SaitamaPrefectural

  • City Hall
    • I was there for about 45 min because we didn’t need to be there and myeyes were killing me! I can now say I know what sinuses feel like! I don’tlike the feeling. Because of the weather here in Asaka, my body is a bitconfused. In CT it is supposed to snow this weekend, my body is ready forthat, not this 70F stuff! I want WINTER!! When that comes I’ll be worryfree of this sinus stuff. YUCKY!!
  • Ikebukuru
    • Bought a bunch of stuff. Including: Cacti! 3 different types. They lookreally cool! The perfect plant for the person that’s home all the time,or something. I bought something for the shower, a magazine (WIZARD –comic stuff OCT iss.), a CD, a 500 piece cardboard puzzle of PINGU!!!!It rocks!!! and, I think that was it, but I could be wrong. Memory wasn’tsomething that I had put on the list to get.
    • The CD I bought was:
      • The Nields “Gotta Get Over Greta”. A Cranberry like band, but a lot moreexperimental with their music because they aren’t big stars in the musicscene. Want more info? April’ll haveit for ya.

15  Saturday

  • At Home
    • Talk about lovin it! I slept till 1:20pm! Ahhhhh. Sleep, I likea da sleep.The night is planned and soon to happen.
  • On the way to Omiya
    • In the mail box was — THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Jan. #430 (yesthe January issue came to me in November…. you got me..)
  • Omiya
    • 5 Guys & 5 girls. One place. The time, early, the day, today, is Garyrambling, yes, was it raining?, no, was it cold, Gary didn’t think so buteveryone else thought it was a bit chilly, it that all, no but it’s wayto long of a sentence, so  (i’ll end it here).The night was a lot of fun! I was able to determine that my speaking abilitiesaren’t as bad as I thought they were. One of the guys that was out withus has been studying, but he’s been focusing on Kanji — yuck. So he wastaking notes all night. I felt better for a little while, because the otherguys are at the same level as I or higher. SORRY if that was confusing,I’m typing as I think and my brain is going back and forth… AHHHH
    • Anyway the began at about 6 and went until 11ish. It was fun, lots of laughsand a lot of alcohol — I doubt that there was a connection… : ) To wrap this up as quickly as possible, I would say this: The night beganearly and ended early (because of the train schedule — they stop runningat about 12), there were a lot of laughs, new friends have been made, thekaraoke was cool (the guys-only 4 at that point- weregoin nutz, just because), and I think that’ll do it.

16  Sunday

  • At Home
    • I finished the PINGU puzzle! A 500 piece puzzle finished!!! It looks cool!There’s just one problem, there aren’t 500 pieces, there are four hundredninety nine!!!!!!!! Excuse me for  moment …  (*Y$#(R*UW FOWNEF) WE~OWN (HE WOUEN (WEHWEONC E(HC WEN (*HEFOWE8vhVIOEWJV)j …. ok, had tovent for a second and look at that I almost typed a few words. I actuallysee 3 that are correct, bow bout that. hummpphh. I have something to sayabout that but I’m going to type it then create a link to it, check backLater. Sorry I’ve gotten busy(11/28). Mythoughts on the 500 piece puzzle.

17  Monday

  • Ni-chu — if there was something interesting that happened today; it wasn’tin my part of the country.
  • City Hall — dooo do do. duuunn duun. dooo wooop diddy do. uhh, sorry.
    • I got a letter from HONEY today. That’s my grandmother, in case you didn’tknow — not Rille (my honey). She told me that things were going well witheveryone that is living in the house. A good thing to hear. She was ratherconcerned about food though. Her topic of choice other than the happeningsof the family. She was very concerned about the food situation, I’M OKHUN! THE FOOD IS OK TO EAT HERE IN JAPAN! Just in case she couldn’t hearme, I thought I’d yell. : )
  • After Work
    • Iaido
      • In three weeks I will own my very own FAKE Katana!!! You’ll probably besurprised by the cost of the Katana, carrying case, cleaner, etc. It’sgonna cost me about 4 man. That’s a hard ‘a’, it’s not gonna cost me 4men, that would be sick! Stop that! Bad reader BAD!!!! Here’s the number4 man so you can freak, 40,000 yen. For those of you who don’t understandthe exchange of dollars to yen, I’ll give you an example to relate 4 manto dollars. $1 = 100 yen. Using that exchange rate, the FAKE Katana willcost me about ……. did you try? NO!? TRY!!!!………. ——————-{{{{{{{{{{{{{}}}}}}}}}}}}} === +++ \\\\|||||////. Ok the cost would be$400. Yes indeed, a FAKE sword will cost me that much, imagine the REALsword! OUCH!!!! We shall find out though, won’t we, in due time.

18  Tuesday

  • Ni-chu
    • The infamous NATO was served today at lunch! WOW! It smells realllllllllllllllybad! YUCKY! ewwwww. I couldn’t get it near my mouth, the stuff reeeeeeked!Peeewww!
  • After Work
    • Got a THUNDER BOLTS issue. Unfortunately it was the same one I just read,bummer. O-well.

19  Wednesday

  • Ni-chu
    • RED LIGHT? go? GREEN LIGHT? go? I do, you shouldn’t…. more later.
  • City Hall — not one person was in the office when I went in to check onV-Ball, wierd.
  • After Work
    • V-Ball? Will it happen? YES!!! IT HAPPENED!!! WAHHOOOO!!! It was a strangenight, the captain of the team, another guy and I couldn’t do anythingright. It was STRANGE!!! But we had a lot of fun messing up. O-well.
      • Good news! I was asked to join the city hall team for a tournament December7th!!! They take this stuff seriously! That means a LOT!!!! I’ve been acceptedby the V-Ball crew! They think I can help! I am sooooo honored! I’m veryhappy about this, it’s a big deal! It might not sound it, but it reallyreally is a big honor to be asked to play with the team! PUMPED!!
    • Had my first conversation with a Japanese person that I met in Japan tonight.One of the girls from the Saturday gathering called asking lots of questionsabout random things. Her name is Nania. Vital stats: all I know is herage, 19.  She’s studying English with Sesame Street English Books!I wish they had that kind of book to learn Japanese! Bummer! It was aninteresting phone call, (obviously.  I wrote about it),plans are in the works for another gathering. When? Got me….

20  Thursday

  • Ni-chu
    • I’d love to say something great  happened, but that would be a lie.Three san-nensei classes put me into the health hospital. They really doa good job of taking any and every amount of energy out of you and justletting it dissipate into nothingness. How do they do it? If it’s figuredout by a world leader, they’ll have the ultimate weapon. Something thatwill knock out the opposing armies, without one bullet begin fired. Whata weapon! hmmmmmm…..
  • Ni-sho
    • Liz lead the group today, and did a good job of it in my opinion. It wasthe calmer of the two schools, even though some of the students are crazycrazy crazy! It’s a balance that works nicely for we crazy AETs.
  • After Work
    • Slept from 8:30ish till 1ish because I was so tired. I didn’t get to sleepuntil 4:00 this morning, so after work I napped for a loooong time. Itfelt gooood. Ahhh.

21  Friday

  • Ni-chu
    • Revived with sleep, I went to ni-chu for the last time this term. It wasa good day in class
  • Go-chu
    • Well, I don’t have class till Tuesday (National Holiday onMonday). I have to wait to see how things will be there. I hopethey go better than last time. I’d rather have fun, than have the stress.
  • After Work
    • Cleaned up the APT., it needed a good cleaning. It was ravaged becauseof the crazy week I had. Lots of, get in the apt., and then get out ofthe apt. In and out and in
      and out…. busy. That’s good… Kaz arrivedafter I finished. We’re scheduled to go out with Nori Takanaka tomorrow.I haven’t seen him since the surprise party.

22  Saturday

  • At home…. NAH out in Tokyo.
    • NORI canceled! He’s sick, bummer! Ueno (a part of Tokyo) was the placeto visit today, and my wallet liked the merchandise stores. It left allit’s contents behind, well most of the contents.
    • I bought a bunch of stuff, including: A Spider-Man tape dispenser (it sticksto the wall!!!! how cool!!!), a Spider-Man piggy bank (the JPNese spideylook), a PIKACHU thing (a pocket monster- character -JPNese comic book),a frame for my PINGU puzzle that I put together, a pencil case and mugwith the team logo of the Kashima Antlers on them, and a sticker and amug with the Japanese National Team Logo on them. Anything else? Don’tthink so, but I could be wrong. I had fun today! I haven’t done that ina looong time. Just goin out and finding fun stuff to buy, ahh the fun!
    • The CD I bought was:
      • Ugly Kid Joe “As Ugly as They Wanna Be”. I got it for 500 yen, cheap! Bonustrack too! This album came out a loooong time ago. This album was releasedwhen I was going to Holy Cross. I now have it on CD, not bad — it onlytook a few years for me to get it… hehehe.

23  Sunday 24  Monday

  • In and out of the place I call home.
    • There was no separation between these two days. What do I mean? Here’sthe scoop: The day (not sunday — THE day) began atabout 2 because of a late night the night before. After waking up Kaz andI put the movie “HOOP DREAMS” (a documentary about 2 kidsreaching for the NBA). The verdict about the movie — it was good,well, it was ok. Way too much complaining by almost all the people!!! Waytoooooo  much! (notice how i’m complaining, :->  he he)   Anyway, it was a 3 hour movie (excuseme – 2hr 53min, Kaz was watching the counter) and nearly made uslate for our dinner date. Dinner date???? read on…
    • That’s right, dinner in Omiya. Omiya again? You went there last weekenddidn’t you? Yes I did. Didn’t you meet a bunch of people there? Yup yupyup, on the 19th, and we meet someone from that group tonight. This isthe same person that I’ve spoken with on the phone, Nania. But this timethere were only four people: Kaz, Nania, Yori, and me. Yori can speak Englishreally well but, as Kaz and I found out, she doesn’t know HOW to use thelanguage completely. (That’sa tough one to explain, so ask me to and I will.)  My reasoningfor telling you that? I think it would be because I want to tell you aboutthe loooong day, and the more you know, the more I know you know. You know?ANYWAY.
      • We had dinner at a cooool place! But, I found out after we paid that wehad paid 500 yen for the table! Weak! I was surprised, but the others weren’t,shows the cultural differences huh. The setting was an Indiana Jones typeplace with rock like faces on the walls, rock like walls, and a small riveron the edge of the restaurant. It was, how you say, COOL!
    • After dinner. What does one do in Japan after dinner? Why KARAOKE of course!Even though Nania and Yori had gone to karaoke this past Friday, we wentagain. Yori said that she wouldn’t sing, but she couldn’t help it! Of courseKaz and I had no part in the song selections (innocent look– with a sneering laugh  hee hee). So that was a lot of fun,but! That should be a big but, so, BUT!!! It was way late when we finished,almost 12am. Trains stop running at around 12am. PROBLEM!! or was it? readon sucker… heehee
    • I’ll tell you this first. If we were to make it back to Asaka-dai (thestation connecting to the train line of which Asaka is a part.)then we would have to get 2 trains. One from Omiya to Minami Urawa, thenfrom there to Asaka-dai. A challenge and a half. It was 12:10 when Kazand I ran to the gate that we needed. The train …..was……… not….gone. ha ha. We boarded the train with minutes to spare. Whip the sweataway. After Kaz and I got settled on the train, I see two ppl. run up tothe train, basically in the door. It was Nania and Yori. HUH??? I thought,what the hell? They don’t need this train. Strange….. I shout a quick”yo!”, but got no response, rather they took off running away from thetrain. HUH??? yes, I thought it again. (isn’t this fun? –hehe) Ok so now they are far away from Kaz and I, so I yell andmotion to them to come back. They come back to the door and eventuallycome in and sit down. HUH??? — can you believe it! again!! WOWZERS! OK,here’s the deal.
      • It was a cool night. Lots of fun. Great company. Laughs and laughs andlaughs. The night was now over, right? right? wrong! XXXXXXX sorry that’snot on the survey! Jones family, it your turn to try to take the bank!
    • They stayed on the train after a little discussion about what was happening.The low-down was that Nania wanted to talk to me more and was a bit shy.YORI is, well she thought of the train thing – nuff said.  This iswhen Yori couldn’t use English to tell me what was happening. I was a bitworried that Nania was interested in me (this was based on happenings fromtonight and last week. Observations that I made. Yori said ‘she wants toget to know you better’ or something like that, not — ‘she wants to hangaround with you more to become good friends and nothing more. she knowsthat you have a girlfriend, so don’t worry about that.’ Her English abilityis far beyond that level, so she could have easily said that, but she didn’tknow exactly what to say only because she hasn’t (a) been abroad to learnthe subtleties or (b) been able to use English in this way for an extendedamount of time. Anyway, they both came to Asaka with us…. There’s more.Aren’t you curious why this is one day? NO!?!? Ok, if you insist, I’llstop.
  • Wow, December is right around the bend! How about that! Cool! One weekand that’s it. I’ll be leavin soon. Time for some warmth in the sun, ahhhh.Oh sorry, did you want me to finish? OK.
    • Where was I… OHH YEAH, back to the apartment at about 1ish. This wasjust the beginning. The night was starting all over again. We settled inand began various conversations about home (CT) friends,etc. After that we got to some fun stuff. Difference in cultures, thatwas for a little while. I was basically teaching Nania English throughCalvin and Hobbes, other comics and lyrics. It worked well, with a fewdifficulties because we weren’t using dictionaries, we were using Kaz andYori. A cool night. This went on for a good 5 hours. Yes that’s right,5 hours! It was 6 when they left. Sleep time! Yes sleep, I’ve heard ofthat before. So as the night finally ended I was able to sleep — so beit that the sun was risen. Oh well. A cool night, Definitely worth thetyping I put into it. A cool night.
  • After waking up from my sleep I spoke with Rille for about an hour anda half. It was a fun conversation, lots of cracks on each other. A goodsign that we’re both doing well in our respective crazy worlds. : )
  • The day itself was actually stressful. I got so frustrated while I wasstudying. It got unbearable, but I had to stick with it till it passed.It didn’t pass, nor will it for awhile — it’s just a thing that happens–> culture shock. Nothing I can’t deal with, I think, I hope. Time willtell. But I do think that I’ve found a way to remedy some of my cultureshock. Nania is going to help me with my Japanese and I’m going to helpher with her English. This something that I’ve been looking for since Igot here. Someone to learn Japanese from, in an environment that will allowtime for thought, lots of mistakes, etc.  First lesson —— thisThursday (moku-yoibi). Let the bulls out! Let thefun .. begin? Let’s hope so, I need it……
  • So t
    hat’s why this was one day, not two like on all the calendars of theworld. Questions? Let ’em go…. Get’em outta that head of yours…..

25  Tuesday

  • Go-chu
    • It was actually a decent day. The stress didn’t cause me to grit my teethat all. HAPPY!!! Hope it stays this way. I have realized that I do needa break from this stuff (teaching, culture stuff, etc.) though.
  • City Hall     nothing worth taking up your time.
  • After Work
    • I just typed that loooooong thing above and man o man is it loooong! WOW!!It was a fun day though. Yes that’s right, one day…. he he. Here’s agood one for you. What does this mean?  HA HA. Funny ha ha? nope.respectful way of saying father. How about that one? Something I got agood ha ha about. hehehe. : )
    • I FORGOT to write that Hiyori, from TPU, wrote me a letter and it arrivedtoday. Her English has gotten sooo much better!! It’s great. Her sentencesflow with one thought. It’s absolutely fantastic.
    • Late in the EVE I received a phone call from Nania, and a friend of hers.I spoke with her friend for a while and then Nania about random stuff,but the important thing is that I felt great about studying Japanese afterI got off the phone. I learned something else!! It’s great, I think therehas been something new everyday this week. I could be wrong, but I don’tcare!!! I was in a great mood! It was a great natural high

26  Wednesday

  • Go-chu
    • It was raining today. It has only rained during my visits to ni-chu andgo-chu (the two schools that happen to be the furthest frommy apt.) WHY!?!??!?! Anyway. I think that the ice has been brokenbetween the teacher that drove me nuts the first time I visited go-chu.We had a really good chat about restructuring the AET schedule. I hopethat it stays this way, I think it will.
  • After Work
    • VBall!! Yes indeed, what a night! I worked hard tonight! My ABS were hurtin’!YEAH BOOOY! PUMPED!!!! Possible party Friday…. hope it goes through,it looks like it will. : )   fun… but tomorrow —— the 1sttutor session.. drum roll please….

27  Thursday

  • Go-chu
    • I’ve been offered help by Mr. Saitoh. With what you ask, with Japaneseof course. He said he can help me every Thursday. Beautiful!!! I’ll studywith him on Thursday’s and with Nania on Tuesday’s. COOOLL!!!! Fun, I’mactually getting into this thing called, studying. Ewww- that just doesn’thave a nice ring to it — studying. YUCK! : )
  • Ni-sho
    • Another day with the students that love to jump on you and have you carrythem from the classroom to the teachers’ room. This group is fun/strange/huh/cool/disorganized/icould go on/loud/but i/scary/wont/4/u.
  • After Work
    • The session went well. The damn train thing put a block in my session,but was figured out. So, the next time will be different. I would say thatthe evening was an 85/15 split in favor of English. This was expected though,so I wasn’t upset about not being able to practice more. I need a vocabularyto be able to make a sentence. Ahhhh. It’s in the process of being deepened,but I know it’s gonna take a while. Soooo, I look to tomorrow and thenthe next day, etc….

28  Friday       DAYOFF!
School tests for the next two days = no school for we AET people.

  • At Home
    • The party was awesome! Staring (in order of appearance) Martin, Matt, Mark,Nania, Makiko, Summer (her english name), Kaz, andPhilip. Amount of beer/sake consumed: a lot. Amount of fun: lots and lots.People that slept in my tatami room: 6. Time we turned off the lights,and got into bed: 2ish. More things I can think of to tell you throughfactual statements: 1. Time I had to get up after the party to leave forYokohama: 8:00am! AHHHHH!!!!
    • To break away from this format I lead you into the amazing world of, of,ahhh, I can’t think of anything — sorry. BNNNNNN (is that my alarm? -nope) To summarize the evening I’d begin with the, ahh, with …. the beginning.Nah. I already summaized it, why do it again? I’m being bad. Maybe causethe month of, juni-gatsu is comin closer and closer. Yes indeed, countdown begins. For what? Lots of stuff.
    • The end of:
      • my go-chu visit – that means that there’s only two weeks of school left.
      • I wont get into this now, there’s plenty more stuff to do. Bad Gary, bad!

29  Saturday

  • Off to Yokohama
    • I saw HIROAKI ENDO!!!!!! Who’s he you ask. Why, he was my first roommateat Teikyo Post University!!! Talk about wild!!!!! He got my attention whileI was looking at some stuff in the Warner Brother’s store. ROCK ON!!! Wild!!!It was soooo cool!  I hope I get to see him again — he lives about10 min. from this HUGE mall type place. It was mad up of THREE BUILDINGS!!!!Lots of floors, and there were elevators that were in a C shape!!! Talkabout a cool place! I wanna go back to —– SHOP!! BUT, that’s a big but,not till next year. I’ve got plenty of things to spend my money on now.

30  Sunday

  • Kawaguchi
    • Get this — another concert. Yup, they love singin’ in Japan and they wanteveryone to hear, so there are concerts like every month! This one wasone of the better ones because there were deep voices and high voices.The bass was greatly appreciated, I’ve heard enough soprano and alto fora while. A nice relaxing day, ahhhhh.

Well that’s it there crazy people. If you’ve read througheach month so far, I commend you for your patience and your interest. Thanksmuchly, if not, no prahhh-blem. Have a crazy day and enjoy all of what’shappening. Just because that why.

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