Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I’m off on a rocketship, prepare for something new.

Today, I feel very bad for my Japanese teacher. We were studying something very difficult, and she thought that I understood more than I really did. So, she pulled out this really difficult map and wanted me to explain (in Japanese, of course) how to say “First, go straight. At the second street turn left. After you cross the bridge, turn right and the post office is about 50 meters ahead on the right.” Well, in case you don’t know, that’s FUCKING DIFFICULT! So, my brain screamed in pain and couldn’t take it. Then, every stress I’ve had in the past few months burst out and I had a break down right in front of Namioka-sensei. Bless her. She had no clue what to do. I didn’t really either. I wasn’t expecting it at all. That asking me to give impossible directions was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I need to get her something nice from Sapporo as an apology for bursting into tears at her. I felt bad, cuz it wasn’t really her fault. Just at that moment, it was a bad time. And I know it didn’t help that one of my stuents had just been in the room and laughed (yes, laughed at me!) at my feeble attempt to say, “After you cross the bridge, the bank will be on your left.” Oh man, my confidence has been crushed.

Now to the dailies:

  1. I was told by some parents upon walking into school that I am a “charming doll.” In English, no less! Amazing! Sometimes it’s so random the English words some people know. They can’t say, “My name is ___.” But they can say, “charming doll.” Hehehe. Yay Japan. Sometimes it’s so backwards, but I like it.
  2. Today has been a Guster day. From the moment of waking, I have wanted to listen to Guster. Then, it became a Muse day. Now it is currently a PJ Harvey day.
  3. I was just looking over the pictures from my trips to England. I was so very happy then. Remembering those trips makes me smile. I keep having very random memories from them. For example, the taste of the restaurant where we went to have English breakfasts in Pompey. The taste of baked beans with breakfast foods. Remembering eating breakfast with Icle, Alex, and Phil. Walking to Caffe Nero to visit David at work. Knitting in Caffe Nero, chatting to old ladies. Rolling my first cigarette. Sitting on David’s bed, watching movies, while he wrote essays. Rolling and wrestling. Touchin Tums. Walking around Bradford-on-Avon with Cinnamon. My first meeting with David’s mother when I accidentally called her “Mom.” Being lost in Bath, then the pure happiness and relief when David and I found each other again.
  4. I found a small box of mikan (mandarin orange) juice on my desk after my Japanese lesson. That was yummy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Since death is certain and the time of death is uncertain; what is the most important thing?

I am feeling less good today. Let’s hope that I am just tired and not sick. The bike ride to work with the wind blowing in my face actually tired me out. Gah. Wish me luck at Parent’s Day today. I have a feeling that I will be super exhausted after having to be mega amounts of genki for an hour. (edit: I survived it, but it exhausted me!)

  1. I am having a big hot chocolate today instead of coffee.
  2. I am listening to Pema Chodron’s book, Getting Unstuck: Breaking your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality. She is so calming and inspiring.
  3. I wrote a poem last night. It was my first time since I was about 14 or 15.
  4. My student, Ryoto, just waved to me. It may not seem like anything, but it is. Ryoto is a boy who won’t speak to me, won’t look at me. Won’t say anything back to me if I say hello to him. So a wave, that’s a big accomplishment.
  5. I went to Raul’s house for dinner. Then we watched the Cutie Honey Live-Action movie. Wow, it was so annoying! I wish it had only been 15 minutes instead of an hour and a half. Ah well. It was nice to just be out of the house. Also, Raul is cool. AND he gave me half a bar of Ghirardelli white mint chocolate. What a nice dude!

Now I’m home. My tummy hurts. It’s time for an early bed, I think. Good night!

Monday, May 29, 2006

I hear you turning your thoughts off, and I turn mine off too.

  1. I felt less sick today. The day off definitely did me good.
  2. Today, I made three new tshirts. I made them by cutting up old ones. It was a nice way to spend some hours.
  3. I ate an avocado and cheese quesadilla today.
  4. I went to Ikebana tonight, in spite of being very tired. My teacher told me I was getting very good and she lent me a book so I could study on my own. It’s in Japanese, but hey. You take what you can get.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Everybody feels this way sometimes, and I do.

  1. Friday night, Pan and I had a nice time just chillin out and being silly. I learned the name of a silly hairstyle for children in Thailand called “juk” or something close to that. Pan spent a while making my hair into a “juk” style. Then, I made her lay on my back. Then she farted on me. What a silly kid!
  2. Saturday, I woke up around 8. Pan and I caught the 9am bus into Mats. I had a hair appointment t 11. …After that, we went out to lunch and I had a delicious margherita pizza and then a milk crepe for dessert. Yum! Then, we went into a big dept store called La Floret. We ended up spending eons in there cuz Pan is a very slow shopper, but that’s ok. No rush if there doesn’t need to be. I almost bought a $50 hat, but Pan persuaded me out of it. It was just as well. I prolly wouldn’t have worn it too much… or maybe I would have. Dunno. We bought some jewelry and then headed up to the 4th floor to look at glasses. Mine are falling apart and I want to buy new ones here cuz they are all fun colors! I bought a pastel pink pair and a neon blue pair. They won’t be ready until after I am back from Sapporo, though. It’s cuz I have to have my lenses a special way that takes time and stuff. After that, I bought some bobby pins and we got on the last bus home.
  3. Last night around 9:30, I went to Karaoke with Raul, Take, and Scott. It was a nice distraction. I sang lots of songs very badly, but it was ok. No one there had a particularly beautiful voice, so I felt ok. I tried Sakuranbo, but failed miserably. More practice is needed.
  4. Today I woke up around 7:30am. I feel a bit ill today. I can’t stop sneezing. Ugh. But I am going to use today to relax and just be.

Friday, May 26, 2006

If the perfect spring is waiting somewhere, just take me there

I feel very quiet today. I wish I could go the whole day without physically saying a word. I just don’t feel like I want to at all. Remember how sometimes back home I would just no say anything for hours. It’s that feeling. Note to self: When you are feeling quiet and strange, Bright Eyes is the best and worst music choice.

  1. I had a cup of tea with my breakfast this morning.
  2. Now that I’ve set up my computer area onto the kitchen table, Ocha has gotten lots more play time. Yesterday he was out over 3 hours. I have to keep an eye on him still, but he’s not misbehaving so much anymore. Although, yesterday he DID eat a huge chunk out of my hairbrush handle. What a silly bunny.
  3. I haven’t had to speak a word pretty much all morning. It’s been nice. I wish I didn’t have classes today so I could just hide somewhere and not talk to anyone. Alas. Well, it is now towards the end of the school day. I haven’t talked much still. Just enough to where people won’t wonder what’s up.
  4. Today after lunch, we had a school assembly. It was another very random one. It was about what to do if an intruder comes to school. It’s so weird though. We are taught to deal with guns and bombs…they learned how many meters to stay away from someone with a baseball bat. As if in Japan, they don’t even have guns. It was so random. This guy had a small fluffy bat to thwap his assistant with. They have all these well-planned things to do in case of an emergency. But, really. Does anyone follow those? I mean, if someone comes in with a gun, you can’t expect to leave it to one specific student to tell the next class. It was such a crock. But it was funny because he kept whacking his assistant (a very petite woman) with his bat and telling everyone to remember that 3 meters away is best, but 1.5 will do.
  5. Right now there is this very weird cleaning thing going on. But I don’t know. On the board in the teacher’s room there was a list of a few clubs and location. Turns out those were cleaning locations. English club wasn’t up there at all. I kinda assumed that we would end up having English club today. Apparently not? I don’t know at all. So now, I am hiding in the kotatsu room, wondering what I am supposed to being doing, and wondering if anyone will actually notice that I’m not there. But you know, when no one tells me, I don’t feel so bad.
  6. I spent all day today not wanting to see or talk to anyone. Now that I am home, I am lonely. So, I just invited myself to Pan’s for the night. We will watch movies and whatnot. Then, in the morning, I will go to Matsuyama to get my hair cut. If she is free, then I will see if she wants to walk around Mats with me for the afternoon.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

the dotted line leaves space for you

  1. I’ve decided. This weekend I am getting my hair cut. I am in need of it pretty badly.
  2. I have 9 days until I go to Sapporo! I am excited about going and visiting David and seeing Hokkaido. I have been researching Sapporo and all the things I might want to do. Lots of outdoorsy things I actually want to do. We shall see how it goes. As for now, I am going to not really plan anything and just play it by ear. Although I really must go to the famous cheesecake place. I think Yoko would kill me if I didn’t come back with some Hokkaido cheesecake. It’s famous!
  3. I’ve decided that it is true that I have a mental block on planning lessons. I am completely out of ideas. I am sitting here trying to think of stuff to do next week and the week I get back. But, alas. I have absolutely no ideas.
  4. Today I came home at 3pm. Elementary school ended early, so I decided to come home then, rather than go back to school.
  5. This evening took me on an adventure through the normal hangouts of Toyo and Tanbara. First, a little before 6 I decided that I should go ahead and pick up the movie for tomorrow’s lessons (Lilo & Stitch again). On the way out of Tanbara, I stopped at Duncan’s and watched soccer and drank tea with him. He just got Sky TV which means he can watch the World Cup, which he is beaming about. We decided to go grab some Joyfull grub on my way to Tsutaya (the video rental place). We ate and then I headed to the video store and he headed back to Tanbara for volleyball practice. In Tsutaya, I ran into Raul, the high school ALT here. He didn’t see me, so I snuck behind him and gave him a surprise hug from behind (and a bit of a scare!). We went to Marunaka together cuz he needed groceries and Ocha needed pellets and hay. We walked around there for a bit. Then he invited me to come over to his to watch some episodes of Golden Girls (he’s an addict!). First, I checked out the brand new huge 100-yen store next to Marunaka. It’s a Daiso, just like our other one. But this new one is much bigger…but full of the exact same shit. Curious. After Daiso, I rode over to Raul’s and we proceeded to have a mini-marathon of Golden Girls. We watched 5 episodes back to back! What a funny show, for serious!! Then, at 10:45, I came back home.
  6. Sweet dreams tonight, everyone. I will try my best to have sweet ones, too. Slurp!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Portrait of a Lady, Poster of a Girl

  1. I feel a little bit cheerful today. I think it’s because of the weather. This morning was such a cheerful and happy time. I was happy I woke up early so I could relax and enjoy my time at home this morning.
  2. I wrote an entry in my Japanese diary about how mischievous Ocha is. Then I drew a picture of him being mischievous. Namioka-sensei will be amused. Since my lessons for today and tomorrow are all planned, I have been studying Japanese this morning. It’s been a while since I last studied. I guess cuz I am farther ahead in the textbook on my own than we are in lessons. But I am at a chapter that I am stuck at, but I have to wait to reach that chapter in lessons to figure it out. So, I haven’t had as much to study in this time while I wait to get to chapter 24. I guess I could have been studying stuff like kanji or something. Ah well.
  3. I went to eat dinner at Stacey’s tonight with Alex, Matt, Pan, and John (well, and Stacey of course! It’s her house!) Stacey made us some delicious Thai food and tapioca pudding for dessert! What a treat! We were supposed to discuss the new ALTs, but we didn’t really. We just bullshitted and were hangin out mostly. It was nice. And this time, even though I was scared a little, I didn’t almost get hit by 2 cars on the way home again! That was a bonus!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In the end, all the children go to heaven

  1. I am still breathing today.
  2. I did some of my Japanese homework. My teacher asked me to keep a journal in Japanese. So, I’ve started it and just wrote about some my weekend activities.
  3. I am drinking a hot chocolate at work instead of coffee.
  4. Today since there is no English club, I am going to go straight home after elementary school at 4. Hooray for going home early and not telling anyone about it. Muahaha.
  5. Tonight, Duncan is going to cook me dinner, since I’ve cooked for him many times. When he asked what I wanted to eat, he was confused that I wanted a salad for dinner. Hehe. (edit: dinner was good. after dinner, richard came over and we were throwing around ideas about making an english movie for the students. english superheros. i want to be gerund (-ing) girl!)

Monday, May 22, 2006

I staple down my heart; won't somebody please undo this dream

I’m sorry I didn’t post at all this weekend. I was very busy. Saturday I went with David T to my friend’s, Alexa’s, birthday party. We got there after 7 some time and met many people. I ate some delicious yakiniku. It got a bit cold when it got dark, so the party moved inside. After hanging out inside for a while, a circle formed and it was decided (by who, I don’t remember) to play spin the bottle. But as many of us has boyfriends and whatnot, it turned into question spin the bottle. That was interesting. It was a very strange night. I ended up putting myself in charge of the wonderful, but VERY trashed Veronica. We kept trying to put her to bed, but she just wouldn’t stay. She would drunkenly get out of bed and come and destroy something, bless. After one particular episode, she went to the bathroom area. I hear a thud, so I went to check it out. Turned out, she was just laying down outside of the toilet. So, I helped her up, and put her to bed again. I was laying her down and gave her a pillow and then I sat next to her on the bed to help keep her there. Then, she just climbed onto me and fell asleep. It was cute for a while, but when it was time to get up, I realized that she’d clamed her arms around me, so getting out was tricky. I managed it, and in return, I got a back rub from Dennis. Thanks Dennis! I have been so tense lately, I needed it. The knots weren’t fixed, but I felt lots better anyway. Then, I did something that I haven’t done since before I left America. Then I stopped talking.

After going to bed around 3, David T and I got up at a bit before 6:30am. We took the first train in to Niihama. We went to his normal Sunday morning hangout with some of the Niihama kids. We went to this temple where they do zazen Sunday mornings. We got there around 8. First, we went into a quiet room with a bunch of people sitting on cushions. I started to sit down, but Yasu and David T instructed me that you sit down a certain way and then turn to the right to face the wall. Then, a monk came in, and meditation began. We sat for about 4 hours just being quiet. For zazen, you are supposed to keep your eyes open (so you don’t fall asleep) and stare at a spot on the wall. Then, the real point of it is to just be in the present. You are supposed to pay attention to your breath. I did David T’s counting to 10 technique for a while, but I kept falling asleep. I almost thought of getting a hit to wake me up (the monk will hit you on the back if you turn your head and put your hands a certain way). I didn’t know what would happen, but I was thinking about it, but just when I was making the decision… KERSWAP!!!! Some guy somewhere in the room got a smack. And it was SO loud and SO painful sounding and SO scary that I decided completely against it. After quiet time, we read a chant outloud, which was fun. I liked that. Then, we did walking meditation where you barely move, just breathing and walking itty bitty steps. At first, I was very impatient. The guy in front of me was barely even moving! How could I walk around the room if this dude couldn’t go ANY faster. Then, it hit me. I realized the point of walking meditation. We take life much too fast. If we took our time, we could enjoy more things, things that we never even noticed before. It was a pretty amazing thing to realize. Abie, be patient. We are all going at the same speed. Just relax. Don’t get stressed about things so much. Take a deep breath and enjoy the taking two breaths for each movement.

Then, we went to a pottery place and it was wonderful. The house was old-skool Japanese style, like a bajillion years old, old-skool. Then, Yasu dropped David T and I at David T’s place. We ate mac n cheese for lunch, which was yummy! Then, David T, Jackie, and I walked to Aeon (the big shopping mall in Niihama) to see DaVinci Code. I liked it. I read the book so long ago that I don’t really remember tons of the details. So, perhaps when things weren’t accurate to the novel, I could overlook it. It wasn’t the best movie of my life, but I enjoyed it. It was cool.

After the movie, I hopped into a cab and went to the station to catch my train home. There, I met up with Veronica and we rode the same train and chatted. When my train arrived, I rode my bike to Rich’s and then was straight off to my old Kyoto-sensei (Vice Principal)’s house. Rich, Kyoto-sensei, his wife, and I had delicious yakiniku in their front yard. Hooray for Japanese BBQs. Hehe. After the BBQ and dessert, Kyoto-sensei took us back to Rich’s I was planning to bike home, but that was too “abunai” for Kyoto-sensei. So, he shoed my bike into his mini-van and drove me and my bicycle home. What a nice guy.

Then I went home and cried. Lucky for me, Karl wasn’t mad when I called and woke him up. Big brothers are amazing.

  1. “Have you ever paid for sex?” “Of course! It’s part of being a man in Japan!” (not exact quotes, but close enough).
  2. David T surviving V’s many attacks.
  3. Alexa’s birthday cake was shaped like a pumpkin. It was yummy and cute
  4. Eating yakiniku 2 nights in a row (I am happy about it, even though today I feel so ill from it).
  5. Getting a copy of the first Harry Potter book from a nice man from the meditation group. I will finally begin the series, I think!
  6. Eating mac n cheese! Yummo!
  7. Drinking a cookies n cream drink at Seattle’s Best in Aeon.
  8. Having the Glass Doctor talk some sense into me.
  9. In class today, my 2-nensei students were very surprised that I had a middle name. They were all yelling “Abigail Lee Mohn.” It was random. I never expected anyone to be excited about that.
  10. I am going to watch movies tonight at Duncan’s with Dunc, Rich, and John. I need it. I need to not be in the house. (edit: I should NOT have gone. We watched a Japanese movie called "Audition." Oh my GOD it was fucked up. I literally had throw up in my mouth during one of the scences, it's THAT fucked up.)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Change the course of history.

  1. Today Ocha has played out for about 3 and a bit hours today. He was loving it! I figured out a way to set up my computer stuff so there is less chew factor, so I can play computer while he is playing. While he was running around, I did laundry, cleaned, washed dishes, and ate lunch. Now, I’ve set up the computer stuff, so it’s so nice! I can’t get too engrossed with anything though, cuz he still needs supervision. :o)
  2. Wow! My mother is the best person of all time. I just got a huge package from here. The contents were: Cadbury eggs, baked beans, 2 kinds of girl scout cookies, tortilla chips, STOVE TOP!, 2 boxes of mac n cheese, twizzlers, and a freakin adorable shirt! Wow! I am so happy right now. I love my mother!!! She spoils me so well! :oD
  3. Tonight I am going to Alexa’s birthday party. I made chocolate and strawberry rice krispies-like treats. They look pretty damn delicious, if I do say so myself.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Nothing comes easy, it takes much practice.

  1. This morning, my banana for breakfast was delicious.
  2. Today I only had 1 class, and we watched Lilo & Stitch in it. Lucky for me, Lilo & Stitch kept them captivated the whole time, so they didn’t misbehave at all! Usually they are shitheads, but today they sat there with their mouths hanging open, engrossed in Lilo & Stitch. Nice!
  3. I did work today! I prepared my Monday’s lesson in advance. In fact, I have all of my lessons for next week planned and ready. I am such a lesson-planning stud.
  4. Lunch today wasn’t super yucky. I had ravioli (but not in pasta, in a weird soup with weird things floating in it.) I ate the raviolis… but I have no clue what was inside. Could have been anything. We also had date bread today. That was pretty good. I like the days when we have bread rather than rice. It’s very exciting to eat bread (god I am so lame for saying that!) And geebus, I am so full from lunch, I feel a bit sick. I’m not used to eating so much at lunch anymore…
  5. I need to buy a cute white shrug soon. The weather will hopefully be nice soon, and I want to start wearing my spring dresses…but I can’t do sleeveless at work. And even anywhere that’s a public place, it’s weird. So, I need something cute to wear with them! White would be the best, if I can find something here that will fit me. Maybe if the weather is still ok when it’s time to leave, I will run to Toyo and look in a few shops. When I say a few, I mean two. There are only two shops in the area in which I can look, and they prolly won’t have anything. Doh! But it’s worth a try.
  6. Cleaning time was funny! The big 2-nensei boy kept yelling out weird noises to me while I was cleaning down the hall. Then he took his broom, pointed it at me like it was a gun, and said, “My penis is a janken. For those of you who don’t know, Janken what they call the game Paper, Rock, Scissors. So, what he said really didn’t make any sense. After that, he and the boys he was cleaning with kept yelling out “My name is ____. I love you, Abie!” lol. Then while walking down the stairs, they argued with each other, “No, YOU love Abie.” “No, YOU love Abie!!” Very strange, but it at least kept me entertained for the 15 minutes of cleaning time.
  7. Rich and John came over tonight to play video games. I played Sims. We chilled. It was cool.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You see your breath in the air.

  1. My lessons this morning were great. The activity I had planned actually worked! Yosh! I was pretty stoked about that.
  2. Rice was yummy at lunch today. Lucky for me, cuz it was the only think I ate again. The soup was ok at first, but then I crunched down on something truly disgusting and was completely turned off the soup.
  3. After elementary school today, I went home for about 30 minutes to recover. I ate raisin bread with cream cheese. Yum!
  4. Tonight Yoko and I went to Richard’s for a movie. He originally invited just Yoko and not me, then she invited me. I thought it was a “him trying to put the moves on Yoko.” So, I called him and was silly and asking him about it. But he thought I was just being a bitch, which is not what I meant. So when I went over, we discussed it and I apologized for seeming like a bitch. I mean, I think it is ok if Rich likes Yoko. I don’t know if he does or not, but Rich is a cool guy, and Yoko is a cool girl. Plus, they really get along. Anyway, yeah. I dunno. Sorry Rich!
  5. Yoko and Richard performed a “milk plant” dance for me. It was… interesting. And very silly.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Click goes the remote, there you have my vote.

  1. I sometimes do things on the spur of the moment that perhaps sometimes people would prefer that I not… but I can’t help it.
  2. I went grocery shopping last night. It was nice to finally get some food for my apartment! I got more cereal, too, so that’s exciting!
  3. At Fuji, I had a little 6 year old girl named Momoka walk around with me. She was looking at toys and so I started talking to her a little. Then, I said goodbye. But she followed me to the next aisle. So, I walked around with her for about 20 minutes while I was shopping. Japan is so funny how it’s not a weird thing to happen here. They trust people so much. My mother would never have let me wander Kroger at 6 years old. Never.
  4. Since the beginning of April, I have lost about 4 kilograms (about 9 pounds). The cereal diet works! I haven’t been good about exercising…but I just stopped really being hungry. Now I only eat when I am hungry, but not late at night. No eating late at night. It’s bad to go to sleep with a full stomach. But, it’s not like I’m NOT eating. I eat a healthy amount AND I take vitamins. So, yeah. 9 pounds in about 6 weeks. That’s a healthy weight loss, I think.
  5. I need to get to planning my lesson for today. I told them we would do a Pet Shop activity…but I just don’t feel like it. I may see if we can finish Lilo & Stitch. I think Miyata-sensei will be annoyed, but…I’m not sure I care. Well I do care. He is nice…but I just am so unmotivated with my job… It’s horrible, yes, but I have completely lost motivation to strive for excellence. I am looking for mediocre. It’s also just that they want to pretend to play in a pet store… but today’s class is a mix of Teroyoshi and Homare (who are the ones who want to do this) and 3 other kids (who will be too cool for school about it). So, I don’t think it would work anyway.
  6. Today I had to interview 8 students. They are all competing for a spot on the study abroad trip to America this summer. It’s for a week in Minnesota with a homestay. Anyway… bless. The top two kids are the ones I already knew would be amazing. Especially Yasuyuki. He has such personality! But the other kids… well, I am in between kids. The other girl with better English didn’t smile much and was just quiet and boring. The other two contestants are more interesting, but less quick on their feet. Only 3 of the 8 get to go from my school, and Kasumi and Yasuyuki are for sure in…but the other spot. I don’t know who should get it! Ahhh!
  7. Tonight I am buying something, a surprise something. Then, I am going to volleyball with Yoko, Duncan, Richard, and their friends. I will be a spectator, as I don’t enjoy playing volleyball. Wooooo!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I know I can be what I wanna be. If I work hard at it, I’ll be where I wanna be.

May 15, 2006

  1. Last night I went to visit Pan. We cooked a delicious chicken and potatoes and salad dinner. Then we watched Lilo & Stitch. It was cute. Hanging out with Pan is always good. She is such a bright, cheerful person. Very easy to adore. J
  2. I’ve decided that I want to watch Lilo & Stitch in as many classes as possible this week.
  3. Today I spend a few minutes pretending to write things in Word so I looked busy while Kyoto-sensei walked around the room going to each desk to snoop. He can’t read what I’m typing, so he can’t say that I’m not doing work (though I’m not really doing any…)
  4. After English club (which we ended an hour early!) Kasumi, Ayaka and I went shopping. They took me to a shop in Toyo that I had never been to before. It was lots of cute things. It was like a miniature, Japanese Junkman’s Daughter. Cool cool! I bought some socks and just a few little other things.
  5. Ikebana was nice. I didn’t do as well at it as last time, but not so bad. I think also now that the teacher knows that I like it and want to get good at it, she is being a little more strict on me. It’s good. Last night’s flowers were very strange though. I’ll put some pics of my finished product on flickr soon.

May 16, 2006

  1. So yeah, last night Ocha chewed thru my internet cord. Doh! Well, he can’t play in the kitchen anymore cuz of it. I trusted him, but… no more! Muahahaha! I’m not really mad at him. I’m annoyed that he did it, but he’s a rabbit. He didn’t know any better. He just saw a thing and wanted to chew it to see what it was.
  2. I had a silly time this morning. I made toast with cream cheese for breakfast (since I’m out of cereal!!!). I was running late, so I thought I would try to eat it on the way to school. If you don’t know, I ride a bike to school everyday. That’s an important part of this story. Oh, and it was raining this morning. So there I am, trying to juggle an umbrella, steer my bike, and eat a piece of cream cheese toast. As you can imagine, it was tough as I only have 2 hands to work with. So, I was just a few feet from my apartment building when I hit the bump to go down to the road. Well, I wasn’t totally prepared for it. I dropped my toast and then cuz the umbrella was in the way, I ran into a cement wall! Not hard, but my bike bumped it. It was silly. My super sweet, old lady neighbor saw it and chuckled a little at me. I felt silly, but it wasn’t so bad. I’m just sad that my toast was ruined!
  3. I am going to make something at school today. I don’t have any classes until 1:45pm. It’s 9:40am right now. That’s a while, ne?
  4. Tomorrow I have to interview a few students. They are applying for a very competitive study abroad trip this summer. I think my school gets to choose 3 kids to go. I already know two of them. Even if they fail the interview, knowing them before makes a difference. The 2 who are shoe-ins always talk to me and are very nice. That’s the most important thing, I think. Even if your English is so-so, smiling and being friendly is the biggie.
  5. I have no idea what’s for lunch today, but it smells like Ocha’s pee. (edit: The pee stuff was a chunky soup with lots of yucky things in it. I couldn’t bring myself to eat that. But, today’s lunch was more successful today because I had milk, rice, AND fish. Yesterday was just rice and milk. We also had a dessert with lunch that tasted sweet and ok, but the texture was like putting fresh mud in the mouth. I didn’t eat that much of that either…)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Do you sleep, do you count sheep, anymore?

  1. I’ve had a very good weekend. Friday night, I went to a Reggae party in Saijo with Stacey, David T, Jesse, Dennis, and other kids. It was cool. There was a good mix of gaijin and Japanese in the club. It was funny though cuz the majority of people dancing were foreign. I guess Japanese people don’t dance so much. But David T and Stacey busted their bums on the dance floor. It was excellent!
  2. Yesterday I spent all day with Yoko. She picked me up at 10am (I was so hungover!). We went to Matsuyama and picked up her friend Emi (who is also rockin good fun). We then drove off to this town called Tobe outside of Mats and it was BEAUTIFUL! I have never seen anywhere so green in my life. We went up this mountain to this little building where you can make pottery. It’s surrounded by trees and is just amazingly beautiful. I made a white and purple bowl, a pink plate, a brown and green cup, 2 little incense holders, a flower vase, and a leaf-shaped plate. In 1 month, we will get them back, all fired and stuff. I’m excited to see how they look!
  3. After pottery, the three of us went to a cute café and I had a cinnamon coffee and a tuna sandwich croissant! It was amazingly delicious! I haven’t had a croissant in ages. Croissants are evenmore rare than bagels here.
  4. Last night, Yoko, John, Pan, Richard, and I hung out and watched a movie, Sgt. Bilco. It was John’s choice and was funny. I got home around 12:30 and completely passed out. I was so exhausted. It was nice though.
  5. Today I am relaxing this morning, then walking to the station to retrieve my bike (I left it there on Friday!). Then for dinner time, I think I am going to head over to Pan’s to play.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Baby, everything's alright.

  1. I got a call from David last night! I was so happy. I raced to wake up as fast as possible, cuz I knew it was him. It was so amazing to hear his voice again. I miss him so very much.
  2. Today I made Mother’s Day cards in all of my lessons. It was nice and laid-back.
  3. I had ANOTHER boy talk about my boobs today. Geebus. Are they growing or something? This time is said they are as big as apples. It was weird. I don’t think he knows that I could understand him, cuz then he actually said to me, “Abie, I like apples.” I was like, “That’s nice. Good for you.” Hehe. Weird.
  4. Tonight I am going to a party in Saijo with Mr. T and his friend Mayu. I don’t know anything about the party, but it should be fun. I have a busy weekend ahead of me, thank goodness. Saturday, I am playing with Yoko. We are going to make pottery! Wooo! Saturday night, I may get a bit tipsy with John. Drink it up and chill, I think. Sunday I am going to Pan’s house to play. Weeee!
  5. I painted my nails bright red last night. Red nails are fun. They make me feel like such a woman. It’s nice.
  6. this is not good news. A teacher at my school, who is super duper sweet, had a stroke a few weeks ago. But I never knew. She just didn’t come to school and everyone just said she was on “holiday.” 2 weeks later, I find out that she had a stroke and is in bad condition in the hospital. She was the English Club Advisor for us. She’s such a sweet old lady. She’d bring us sweets and stuff. Bless her. Anyway, today and next Monday, we will put together a nice care package for her. I want to send her some nice flowers, too. I hope she gets better. I know how hard a stroke is. My Grandma had one years ago, and it’s been so difficult for her and the whole family.
  7. Next week I will be interviewing students who want to study abroad in America this summer. Kasumi, one of my English Club girls is applying. I have no doubts she will get it. Gambarre, Kasumi-chan!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Sun in the sky, you know how I feel

  1. Today I had a male 3-nensei student yell across the room to his friend that he saw my boobs and they were “sugoi.” Most amusing.
  2. I had a full day of lessons today. Not one break. It sucked, but it was good cuz my day went by really fast.
  3. The class I was dreading most (which was actually an elementary school class) was very good today. Since they became 5th graders, they got less insane. Still fun, but not completely psycho anymore. Thank god. I think it’s a huge part cuz their teacher (Kurokawa-sensei, the only Elementary teacher’s name that I know) is amazing and loves English. Not so good at it, but knows funny random things. His favorite thing to say to me (and thus the students say it, too) is “No Prooooooooblem.” It’s silly
  4. I went to the grocery store cuz I’m out of food, and the only things I bought were a box of soymilk, bread, raisin bread, and cat litter. I’m so weird.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Maybe not from the direction you are staring at

  1. I have my Japanese lesson today! I am excited to see Namioka-sensei and chat to her. She’s such a cool lady. I’m going to miss her so much! I wish my students wanted to learn English as much as I want to learn Japanese. I was afraid that after I’d decided not to re-contract or stay in Japan that I would become super de-motivated to study and learn Japanese. Luckily, that’s not the case. I want to keep studying even after I leave Japan.
  2. I added chocolate mix to my coffee today. So, I have a choco-coffee drink, and it’s delicious.
  3. Today after getting home, I decided I wanted a bit glass of bailey’s and milk. Well, now it turns out that at 6:38pm, I am feeling a bit tipsy. Oh life is so funny at times.
  4. I just killed a fly, and picked it up with a tissue. I squished it by accident in the tissue and it got blood everywhere. I didn't know flies had a ton of blood in them. . . Yuck.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The history books forgot about us, and the Bible didn’t mention us. Not even once.

  1. The first thing that was said to me this morning at work, after “Ohayo Gozaimasu” was… the school nurse cornered me and told me I needed to do a urine test. Except, I didn’t understand what she was saying until one of my English teachers began yelling out “pee!” and “piss!” and “urine!” It was funny cuz no one else knew those words but me, and she was just yelling them out. The other teachers had no clue what she was saying! Apparently all of the teachers must do it. Anyway, so I have to pee in a cup and then use an alien eye dropper to suck some pee out. But I’m not peeing in just any cup. She took a piece of paper and folded it up for me to pee in. A paper cup to pee in and then suck out my pee! So weird! So, when she told me (Nishi-sensei helped translate), I just started cracking up because I will be peeing in a PAPER cup. So hilarious!
  2. I have a Mash-up on my new CD and its Hey-ya by Outkast vs. We will Rock You by Queen! It’s Queen words set on Outkast’s music. Amazing!
  3. I made a necklace tonight while I let Ocha out to play.
  4. I got a package from Aubree today! It contained a HUGE package of tortillas (OH MY GOD!!!) and ***4*** boxes of Cadbury Eggs! She loves me and I love her!!! I ate a Cadbury Egg for dinner! Delicious!

Monday, May 08, 2006

We rappers is role models. We rap; we don't think.

  1. Last night I cooked dinner for Rich, Duncan, and John. It was nice to have them over to just chat and eat. I made mashed potatoes, little steaks, and raw veggies with salad dressing. For dessert, we had a peach and pineapple cobbler. It was exciting. When it’ just me, I don’t cook at all. I just eat cereal or something. But I like cooking for people. Especially, Rich and Duncan. I could make anything and they would think it was delicious.
  2. Last night I had a very vivid dream that I got pregnant, and then had a baby. Dream dictionaries say this about pregnancy: “New life. Creative. Inventive. Prepared to produce something. This dream forecasts a happy increase in material wealth.” About children (because later in the dream, he was a little boy of about 4ish): “Happiness. Rebirth. Trust. Innocence. The new self seeking to develop. Part of self nature is childlike. If your dream featured children…its augury is one of happiness in domestic affairs and/or business interests, whichever concerns you most.” It’s all very interesting because I have been very sad and uneven lately. But yesterday, I began to feel better.
  3. I love the song A.M. 180 by Grandaddy. David put it on a mix CD for me ages ago, and I liked it then, too. But today, I’ve re-discovered it and I like it a lot. And I am enjoying listening to other Grandaddy songs today, too. It’s nice and relaxing.
  4. Yesterday, I got to talk to Bonnie a lot. That made me happy, just to chat with her about stuff. She is such a cool gal!
  5. Nishi-sensei just said to me, “Something is different about your face…” Oh yeah, I got a sunburn over Golden Week. Hehe. It’s just such a random way to say it, ne? :o) “Something is different about your face” makes it seems like I got a nose job or something. Hehe.
  6. Today I found out that all my special kids are in one class. That is good cuz its easier to plan for bigger classes, BUT it’s bad because they are all VERY different levels. Very different. But now Teroyoshi and Shiori are together. They are two of my faves! Anyway, today in class I brought old magazines and we made beads out of strips of magazine. So, we made magazine necklaces for Mother’s Day (Which is Sunday, don’t forget!!)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

You're a long way from New York, Constable.

  1. I have done a lot the past few days. Sorry I haven’t been updating as much. I will get better now that I must go back to school. I have been very busy, so that’s been good. It’s been a very emotional past couple of days. It will be ok now though. Sometimes things just need a discussion to help settle them, ne?
  2. On Friday, I went into Niihama again. I did a lot of shopping. Not really for me. I was trying to find some nice presents for people when I get back home. I want to have some cute and nice Omiyage for people.
  3. After shopping, I walked towards David T’s apartment. I ended up meeting him at Ikku Shrine (an amazing shrine with the biggest trees I’ve seen in my live. It’s so amazing that in the middle of the city there is a huge shrine with the biggest trees over.) I met him, Kieran (who brought an extra bicycle for me), Michelle, and Ashley (Michelle is a GEOS person I just met and Ashley is her Canadian friend). We all then took a very long bike ride up to the park I went to the other day with the Niihama kids. It was very nice. I played with some kids in a fountain and made a new friend. She made me pat her belly so I could see how wet her shirt was. It was cute.
  4. After we came back, David and I went back to his place. He painted and I knitted. It was very comforting. For dinner we went to Fuji near his house, and I got a gyoza set. I only ate one gyoza. That’s all my body wanted. I got full after a small bowl of chicken broth, 1 gyoza, and a lil bit of rice. I don’t know why sometimes I just can’t do Japanese food. I used to like it when I first arrived here, but now… I just can’t hack most of it. I don’t know why.
  5. After dinner, we watched Requiem for a Dream, which I liked much better the second time around. I had seen it before, but I was very disturbed by it the first time. The second I could appreciate it much better.
  6. Yesterday morning, David T and I went back to Aeon to buy a gift for his friend’s birthday. I ended up buying my first CD in Japan. I got a Mash-up CD of hip-hop and rock! It’s really fun. I like it. After shopping, we walked back to Mr T’s and ate some raisin bread and cream cheese. Delicious!
  7. I came back to Tanbara around 4ish. At a bit after 6, I went to Raul’s apartment for a spaghetti dinner. It was a nice dinner. But, I got hit by a car on the way there! That was an adventure. Actually, she hit my pant leg and didn’t quite hit my leg. It was so scary! I screamed really loudly. After being so emotional yesterday, I burst into a fit of laughter about it all. It makes me feel better cuz at least it wasn’t my fault. It was completely her fault. Anyway, it was raining, so I got SOAKED getting there.
  8. When I got home, I got a needed email from David and I called my brother. Karl really is my glass doctor. Thank you, Karl!
  9. Today I picked up the apartment a little bit, and then made a cup of tea. I haven’t had much tea since David left, but I can definitely see why he likes it. It is such a calm drink.
  10. I got a REALLY random email from a kid named Michael I met in Kyoto almost 2 years ago! Wow! I was quite surprised. It’s super cool.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The louder the song, the bigger and stronger the singer.

  1. Today I went out with Yoko and Kana. We went to a really cute, beach-side restaurant first. It was a nice day, so we sat outside. It was really the kind of place that beach movies are shot. Very cute. Then, we went to this mini amusement park nearby. There, I got to ride 1 slow lame ride (that the girls were scared of! Bless!), 1 fast spinny ride, and a roller coaster. It was a short coaster, but geebus! I wish I had taken a video. I sat next to Yoko and she was SO scared! She was screaming out “Yaddaaaaaa! Okaaaaaaaaasaaannn!!” Bless her lil heart! After that, we went to a restaurant called “Asian Café” and it was delicious! I had a mango smoothie. Woah delicious! Then we came back to my place. Eventually John cam eover and met us, then Kana went out with some other people. So, John, Yoko, and I made tempura for dinner (sweet potato, avocado, and chicken). It was delicious! Then, we watched Sleepy Hollow, which I rented a few nights ago.
  2. Tonight I will watch The Blue Planet episode on the coral reefs. I am very excited about this.
  3. I think tomorrow I’m going to head into Niihama again to play for the day and night.
  4. John accidently broke a bit off my already broken camera and he apologized profusely. It was just funny cuz it won't work anyway, so why does it need it's battery door?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The adventure that is my life

  1. I missed May 2nd. I didn’t have time to write a Daily Happy because I escaped to Niihama for the night. I ended up drinking half a bottle of Jim Beam with my friend Emma and passing out. It was good for me. I really don’t think I’ve been that drunk in years. A long damn time.
  2. This morning, Emma and I met David T for breakfast at Mister Doughnut’s. It was delicious, as ever. But unfortunately, being that my stomach was full of whiskey still, it needed more nutrition, which I got later.
  3. As we waited for Mister Doughnut’s to open, we visited a little neighborhood shrine near David’s apartment. It has a magical overgrown fairy garden. Amazing. Then, we were on our way to a second shrine, when we saw a child-size taikodai (festival thingie) with a bunch of little kids pulling it. Today was Child’s Day in Japan, that’s why. It was so cute! And the kids turned out to be students of David’s, and they asked him for his autograph, which was adorable.
  4. After breakfast, David and I chatted in his apartment for a bit. Then, we went to a bagel place (YUM!) for lunch. We met up with Emma, Joss, Mayu, and Kaori and ate ate ate. Then, we went to a big playground by the sea.
  5. Then Emma and Joss came to Tanbara to watch Love Actually with Yoko and me. Yoko is cool. I am hanging out with her and Kana tomorrow. Yoko wants to eat delicious food. I want to go shopping. We will see where that takes us.
  6. I bought a new camera yesterday. It's a Canon SD 30. It’s in Glamour Gold and is very cute. I like it.

Monday, May 01, 2006

We've been walking barefoot all summer

  1. Last night I slept… well, not very well. I feel like I barely slept. I remember still being awake at 3:18am… but I know I had been falling asleep and waking up many times. BUT, I am very happy about my sleep because I didn’t have any nightmares.
  2. Today is the first flip-flop day of the season! I am so happy! Flip flops make me happy.
  3. Funny thing just happened. I walked into my special class today so we could make Mother’s Day gifts. And… I got there and they were all dressed in their outdoor gear. Ryoto-kun said, “Maki-sensei, Abie wa kittayo.” “Abie, kyou no jyugyou wa nashi.” Oh. My class was cancelled. No one told me. Ah well. I am sad to miss making necklaces with Teroyoshi and Homare, though. It was gonna be silly! It is really sometimes comical how I get told nothing. My classes are cancelled and I don’t hear a word about it. Ahh. I guess they assume I can read their minds (which are in Japanese, even if I could read then, I wouldn’t understand! Hehe)
  4. Today for 3 periods, I studied Japanese (barely) and played Sims. Man, escaping out of the staff room to do this is so much better. I don’t have to worry about anyone giving me shit for it. I can just do it. On my free days, if I have very little to do, I’m gonna keep doing this. I may also bring movies and knitting to school, too. I mean, there will be days where I’m so busy I could die… but Mondays and Wednesdays are pretty empty for me. So, after I finish my lesson planning, I can come and waste my life away, out of the watchful eyes of the teachers.
  5. Today for English Club, we watched half of 28 Days Later. They wanted a scary movie… and they got one! But they are loving it, so far. We watched it at my apartment because it wouldn’t work on my computer and the DVD player at school is super ghetto. It was excellent. After we ended English Club, we kidnapped Duncan and went and sis purikura together. Ayaka and Kasumi rock my face. We are going to make an English Club website. Just you wait and see. They are silly.
  6. Tonight was Ikebana. I love it. My sensei says that I have a good eye for it, even only after 3 times. Ureshii! I really enjoy it so much. She says when I go back home, I should teach all my friends Ikebana. I will. On my bike ride home, I was thinking about what I would possibly want to do in the future. Maybe I will teach Ikebana. I can still study my Japanese and do something I love. Now, I just need to tie it in somehow with costume history. I’m sure it can be done. When I figure that part out, I think I will have my future all sorted.