Friday, June 30, 2006

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

  1. My 4 lessons yesterday didn’t go by fast by any means, but they are done with. 5th and 6th period had been cancelled for a student assembly of some sort, so I skipped it and played the Sims! :oD
  2. We played BINGO in all 4 classes. At my apartment I had this bag full of random stuff that I don’t want to keep and can’t throw away… So, I brought it to school and used those things as prizes for the bingo winners. They were so excited to win the random crap.
  3. I forgot to bring my medicine to work yesterday, so I had to go home after lunch to grab it. It was nice to have a short break from school, even if it was only for 15 minutes.
  4. Last night I called Rich and invited myself over. I ended up hanging out and just talking to Rich for 3 hours! We talked about a lot. Well, I mostly listened. He has so many interesting stories to tell. I think he may turn his life story into a book.
  5. Before going to Richard’s, I rented some movies. I’ve decided that today (Saturday) is a movie day. I got Vera Drake, Elizabethtown, Lemony Snicket, Life is Beautiful, and My Life Without Me. I just picked up movies at random that looked like they could be English. This time, I did check to make sure they were all English! Rented 5 movies for only 1050yen! That’s about 9 bucks! Not too bad, eh?
  6. I just watched 3 movies (in this order): Elizabethtown, Lemony Snicket, and My Life Without Me. The First two were a bit of a let down. All right, but I don't really care if I see them again. The third was very sad, but very good. It's about a girl who (is 23) and finds out that she has cancer and only has 2 months left to live. Very amazing film.
  7. I also just watched Vera Drake. Wow, I knew I would cry, and I did! A great film! Very sad, though. Sometimes doing something out of the kindness of your own heart can backfire...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

One of the most adventurous things left us is to go to bed. For no one can lay a hand on our dreams.

  1. I went to the doctor today. He said I have Acute Gastritis. Apparently it’s when your digestive systems gets pissed off about something and stops wanting to work well. It was funny cuz one of my symptoms is appetite loss. So, he wrote (in English) on his note pad, “Loss of Appetite = anorexia.” He can’t have thought I was anorexic! Strange thought, be being anorexic.
  2. I went to Joyfull with Duncan and forced myself to eat a big meal (from which I am still full, 4 hours later!) so I could take my pills. I have to start forcing myself to eat 3 meals a day so I can take the pills. I just don’t feel like eating, so it’s rough. Or, I think it will be. :o)
  3. I played The Sims 2 for about an hour tonight.
  4. I ate a cookie with walnuts in it for dessert. It was quite yummy.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

To carry love to your doorstep

  1. Today I finished my lesson for tomorrow. Well, not entirely, yet. Soon, hopefully.
  2. During my Japanese lesson, I was telling Namioka-sensei about how Yoko gave me an amazing massage last night. She asked, “Was she good at it?” I said yeah, and she said, “Me too!” and Then proceeded to show me how good she was! I got an awesome hand and arm massage and then she did my back for a bit too! 2 massages in 2 days. Wow!
  3. So, I wasn’t able to go to the hospital today. I will try and go tomorrow. So, it’s really up and down. At times I feel fine, and then I get a weird dizzy spell. Anyway, tonight, Yoko and I left volleyball early (I was score keeper today cuz I’m not well) because I was feeling a bit dizzy and nauseous. Richard just called and said that Yoko told him we left early cuz of my condition and he was just letting me know that if I need help or anything, he’s there for me. What a good guy!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stretches out like branches of a poplar tree; She says, I'm free

  1. Last night’s Ikebana was really hard. I tried a different kind of bowl. I’ve gotten good at the one style, Moribana, so last night I tried something new. Man, it was so hard! I eventually did it, but it was just ok, not good. Boooo! For those of you who don’t know, which I imagine it’s most of ya! ;o), with Ikebana, each different shape of bowl follows very different rules. It’s super confusing. And each aspect of the arrangement has a different name, whether it’s the long wiggly piece or the short clump at the bottom. They all have very technical names. It’s confusing, but interesting at the same time.
  2. I got a little sunburned today from standing outside for under 30 minutes.
  3. I went to Sushi with Duncan and Rich tonight. Yoko called Rich during the middle of dinner. She was at Fuji, right next door, so she came and joined us.
  4. After dinner Yoko and Rich came over and we ate fruit and watched Nausicaa.
  5. After the movie, Yoko gave me an amazing massage. She did my back, shoulders, arms, hands, and head. Oh man, it was good. More than good. It was amazing. More than amazing.
  6. Tomorrow, Yoko is going to take me to the hospital. Don’t worry, they don’t g to doctor’s here. They go to the hospital instead. I have been feeling very ill for the past week or so. I’ve been really nauseous and getting sudden sharp headaches. I’ve also been getting dizzy a LOT. So, she said she’d take me tomorrow after work. I’m not quite sure what is wrong with me. I am paranoid, so that doesn’t help at all. I’ll let you know if it’s anything big.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'll only lie down by the waterside at night

Weekend recap happies plus today’s daily happy

  1. Saturday, I went to David T’s art exhibit in Niihama with Yoko and Richard. David’s work is so amazing! I wish I could have bought a painting while I was there. Richard and I were discussing how completely proud we are that he has done this. He has not only painted beautiful images since he’s been here, but he’s arranged a beautiful display for them. It’s quite an undertaking in your home country, but to pull it off in Japan, that’s truly amazing.
  2. Saturday night, I went to a party at David T’s house. Strip Janken (paper rock scissors) was played by some people. It was a strange evening, but fun.
  3. Saturday night, I crashed at David T’s place. Sunday, David T and I both overslept, so we missed out on the Zazen Meditation. I did have a dream though, that I was sleeping on a futon in David’s room (just like I did) and woke up, looked at him and then the clock. It was 8:00. I said, “I guess we’ve missed it, huh?” And then, after that dream, I opened my eyes and it happened! It was weird to have a deja vous minutes before it actually happening!
  4. But when we did get up, we made blueberry pancakes and chatted until he had to go to his art show for the day. I waited a while, then went to Mister Donut’s to get a yummy and wait for Yoko and Richard.
  5. Yoko and Rich met up with me around 11:45. We chilled out until it was time to go to the Japanese Speech Contest. Rich and Duncan were both competing. They both did very well, I thought. It was a bit hard for me, cuz it was 3 hours of listening to speeches in a language that I can barely understand. But, it was good. Duncan ended up winning the viewer’s choice award for his speech.
  6. Afterwards, we went to a coffee shop with some people, and then headed back. The 3 of us played with Ocha for a while. But, Rich isn’t good with animals, so Ocha freaks him out.
  7. After the two of them went home, I played online for a while, then went to bed around 11. I fell asleep to the sound of rain.
  8. I just ate 2 pieces of pumpkin tempura. They were good. Ocha was jealous that he couldn’t have any.
  9. Tonight is ikebana, I think. That’s good news.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag

    1. Today in my 3-nensei classes, the stuents performed short skits. These skits are an evaluation that Yumiko (my English teacher) likes. Anyway, this time, I gave each group a scene/theme and they had to write their skit around that. One group got “Meeting Hard Gay.” So, today, I got 3 minutes of Hard Gay humping hilarity! I wish I could have taken a movie of it…but had I had a camera, they would’ve been much shyer. Oh man, it was funny. 3 boys in front of the whole class, humping away like their hero, HG. Who is Hard Gay, you ask yourself. Well, he is hilarious.
    2. I played the Harry Potter Game today in elementary school. Wow. They went INSANE for it. It was fun and I got a good 25 minute high-impact workout out of it too!
    3. Tonight I went to dinner with Yoko and her friend Eri-chan. We went to the Italian restaurant in Toyo (remember, David, the nice one with the delicious cheese pasta that we went to with the crew?) It was excellent. And even though the cheese pasta wasn’t on the menu anymore, they made it special for us! Yay!

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    And you will see my face

    1. Last night I went to “watch fireflies” with some people. The Japanese word for “firefly” sounds a lot like hotel. In Japanese, hotel is Hoteru. Firefly is Hotaru. Hm. Very close, indeed. It was funny because there were maybe 4 or so lightening bugs around. But those Japanese girls were SO excited to see them. I guess it’s different for me. I used to catch tons when I was a kid. They would crap themselves to see all the ones back home.
    2. I watched 2 short episodes of Pinky and the Brain this morning.
    3. In my special lesson, we watched some of Monster’s Inc. I didn't feel like doing a planned lesson today.
    4. There are only 49 more days until I leave Japan. I will miss many people here, and many things about here…but lately being in Japan has been one of the hardest times of my life. I am ready to go home and get hugs from my family and friends. I need so many hugs, just to warn you all. A year's worth, to be exact!

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Get 6 jolly cowboys to carry my coffin

    1. I ate macaroni and cheese for lunch and I’m going to eat it again for breakfast.
    2. I watched a program on Polar Bears that I rented from Tsutaya.
    3. My hair is a darker, non-permanent, color. I think I like it. I just felt like a small, short change.
    4. I am going to go to bed early tonight. 10pm is quite early to go to bed. But, I am tired of being awake.

    Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Don't you know that I belong arm-in-arm with you, baby?

    1. I had to go to school today. But it wasn’t so bad. It was parent’s day, so everyone was out of the staff room all morning. While they listened to some lecture on getting ginto highschool and then human rights, I was planning a bunch of my upcoming lessons. Woo! I haven’t planned them all yet, but I got quite a few done this morning.
    2. I came home for lunch. When I went back to work, I decided to turn my brain off. So, I played the Sims until it was time for me to go home.
    3. At 5:30, John came over and we made pasta together for dinner. Then he ate some pumpkin bread. I ate more. I just love the stuff!
    4. I am researching graduate degrees tonight. It’s really depressing for me. I want to go to NYU more than any school, even the one in London! But to study at NYU will cost me more than expected! About $60,000! I can’t do that! So impossible! PLUS living expenses and housing!!! I am pretty sad bout it. It really is the best program in the world for what I want…but it’s also impossible. And they don’t offer TAships or anything like that, really, since they are so well-known and amazing. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it.

    Saturday, June 17, 2006

    I don't know, but I lay down on the ground

    1. At the little grocery store near my house, I saw one of my elementary students. He ran up and we tried to high five, but we both missed. It was so silly. He started to run off back to his grandmother, when I said “Let’s try again!” That time, we had a running start for our high five, and we nailed it!
    2. Today I made pumpkin bread. It was delicious. I’ve eaten a lot of it today. Tomorrow John is coming over, I think. I will try and make him eat a lot of it, then, so I won’t have eaten all of it! (That’s not true; Stacey had a piece, today. So, I won’t have eaten the whole thing! Ha ha!!)
    3. I played The Sims today, for the first time in a while. I’m going to do so again in a few minutes.
    4. Stacey came over today. We chatted about lots of random stuff, and then we watched Mansfield Park. It’s very enjoyable to watch girly movies with girls. They just get so into them!

    Friday, June 16, 2006

    I watched you taking off

    1. This week, I’ve been working on this game for my 1-nensei class. Well, it went GREAT! The kids had a great time playing it. It was fun an involved them giving me their left shoes, bringing rolls of toilet paper, and shouting “nose picker” off the balcony. It was a total success! I guess to make up for that going so well, my 2-nensei class was worse than every. Ugh they suck. But I’m still very happy about my successful Congo Bongo game.
    2. I have this student named Shiori. I’m sure I’ve talked about her before. It seems that out of my top 5 students in the school, 3 of them are special needs kids. Shiori is one of those. She is the girl that just doesn’t talk. Not in English, not in Japanese, not ever! But she is so sweet! She draws me pictures and makes it a point to “say hello” to me in the hallway (without actually saying hello at all!). She ate lunch in the teacher’s room today, so I sat and chatted at/to her for a while. It’s just so beautiful, the smile she gives. It’s such a big smile! Since she doesn’t talk, she has that to express her inner beauty. She is great!
    3. During lunch they played the song that goes, “I don’t wanna lose your love toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.” Know the one? From the 80s? It was pretty silly. I tried to explain to the teachers how funny it was for me to hear it at school, but I couldn’t really do that. Damn. But I laughed to myself. That was good enough for me.
    4. I downloaded Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-rabbit. I may watch that tonight. John invited me out, so I may save W&G for Saturday night. I am gonna relax Saturday night, because I have school on Sunday. Ugh, parent’s day. A full day where I have NOTHING to do AND I’m at school ON THE WEEKEND! Boooooooo! Ahh well. I will Sim it up, I think.
    5. Tonight I met Rich, Duncan, and Duncan’s friend Ian for sushi for dinner. Now, I am going to head over to John’s apartment to watch a movie with him and a few other people.
    6. I bought my ticket home to America today! I arrive in Atlanta on August 9th at 3:05pm. And, I arrive with Ocha! The lil bun CAN come with! I am so excited! I don’t think my parents are though. Ahh well! :oD

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    If all of these dreams find their way into my day to day scene

    1. School was ok today. I didn’t really do anything in my 4 classes at junior high besides edit some skits. Man, some of the English the kids come up with is pretty awesome.
    2. Tonight I went to dinner with Yoko and Rich to the yakiniku place nearby. Rich and I had a laugh when we ordered the “long wiener” (a 60cm wiener to cook up!). But the real laugh was when Rich complimented Yoko on the fact that she can cut wieners into octopus or crab shapes… and she said “I am a Wiener Technician.” It was amazing.
    3. After dinner, we rented Anchorman and watched it over at my place. It was a good movie. Funny and pointless and silly. We all had a good laugh with it.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    What’s buried underneath where I am?

    1. I had 3 very good lessons today. My first class of the day began at 8:15 this morning! I had to go to elementary school for 1st and 2nd period (to make us for the lessons I missed while I was in Sapporo). It was great! I love little kids! 2nd graders are just so damn cute!
    2. I pawned two lessons off to Toda-sensei today. We have 5 classes left together, so I asked him if he would prepare two of them. So we are gonna do something science-y. I’m excited!
    3. I am beginning my preparations for leaving Japan. It’s a LOT of work, but it’s ok. Friday, I’m gonna buy my plane ticket. I called Delta and they said I can take Ocha with me!! But, I have a TON of paperwork and vet visits and stuff to do with it.
    4. I went to volleyball with Yoko tonight. Turns out it got cancelled. So, Yoko, Rich, and I went to Joyfull (the Japanese Denny’s) instead and hung out. Richard made a funky paper airplane with which we played with in the parking lot for about 45 minutes! Tanoshikatta!

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    The lady on the edge of town, she's putting that money down

    June 12, 2006

    1. At 5:01 this morning, I felt my very first earthquake. It was a 6.1 on the Richter’s Scale. I remember waking up because my whole apartment was swaying back and forth, pretty fast. I could hear lil Ocha freaking out in his cage. Must’ve scared him something good. I remember looking at my keitai so I could remember the time of my first earthquake. It was so weird! One of my first thoughts to myself was whether or not there would be a tsunami with it. There wasn’t, luckily.
    2. I think I am finished teaching. Today I had to seriously fight myself over coming to work. I really am jut done with teaching. I have no ideas or inspiration for it anymore. I am just empty. I only have about 6 weeks left. Wow! Only 6 weeks! But, really, I can’t wait for them to be up.
    3. Random thought from my flight back to Matsuyama on Saturday. So, for some reason, whether a flight is 2 hours or 15, it feels the same, really. When my plane landed in Mats, I really thought for a split second that I was in America. It was so weird. Then, when I got into the airport and realized where I was, I got a moment of depression. I was so ready to just land in America.
    4. I feel fairly accomplished today. I created a board game for my 1-nensei and 2-nensei students. I made it pretty much from scratch! Are you proud? I sure am! I stole the idea form online, but I modified it special for my classes. It’s called Congo Bongo! Woo woo!
    5. I am trying my best this week to finish all of my lesson preparation for the next few weeks. Including weekends, I only have 42 days left. That is exactly 6 weeks from today. I have so much to do between now and then, but that impossible amount of stuff feels like nothing. I’m sure my last few weeks will be pure madness. But for now, I am kinda pretending that there’s nothing I can do now.
    6. My 2-nensei boys think my name (Abigail) is very funny. Today one team chose “AG” as their team name because they couldn’t spell Abigail, so AG was good enough. Since they were AG, the other 2 teams were HG (Hard Gay) and RG (Real Gay). HG won, so I got to yell “Wooooooooooooooooooo! HG wins!!!!!!!!!” That was fun. I didn’t do the accompanying humping motion that goes along with HG.

    June 13, 2006

    Yesterday I forgot to post my daily, so I will just do 2 today. Sorry!

    1. Last night I watched my first World Cup game at Duncan’s house. Everyone was rooting for Japan (because half the people there were Japanese!), so I decided to root for Australia. Well, as it turns out, they won. Good job Australia! :o) I never seem to have a specific team I follow for any sporting competition. I just root for whoever I decide that day I happen to like. It happened to be Australia last night.
    2. Today I feel a bit restless and a tad bit annoyed. Not really badly, but a little bit. It’s not a good thing, really, but still worth mentioning. Duncan showed me pictures last night of when he was taking care of Ocha for me. Apparently he let a group of elementary students in my house to play with Ocha. I tried not to be mad about it last night, but I am certainly ticked about it right now. I really wish he would think, sometimes. Ocha is a big secret, he knows that. I have no clue what my landlord will do when he finds out. And I have no doubt that he will. Tanbara is an itty bitty town where word travels. And 3rd and 4th grade girls are NOT the best people at keeping secrets. Neither is Duncan. But, it was nice of him to care for Ocha every day in my absence. I will just hope that Saiki-san doesn’t find out.
    3. I just finished reading Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. It was a very fast read. It started off slightly slow, but once I got a little bit into it, it zoomed by. But after reading his books, I always feel a little bit ill. I do now. And while reading them, to be honest. He is just so graphic at times.
    4. My elementary lessons were both BRILLANT! It’s such a great feeling to have a great lesson where everyone laughs and smiles the whole time. I needed it today. I was feeling very blah. I’m glad that they went well. Working with kids always cheers me up.
    5. I got a very short email from David. It made me smile so hard. What a star!
    6. Tonight I met Richard for dinner at a Chinese place in Toyo. It was yummy.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    Don’t let yourself go

    Sorry I haven’t updated this in a while. I was in Sapporo all last week, hanging with David. I had a great time being with him. It was really nice! Ok, so this post really won’t be so cohesive. It will be all mixed up in terms of dates and times. That’s ok, right?

    1. Saturday, I was driven to the airport early by my old Vice-principal and his wife. They are such a random couple. No joke, their conversations on the way to the airport were; “It’s windy. Look at the wind blow in the trees.” “Yeah.” Hehe. Silly!
    2. I was nervous to get to Sapporo, but when I saw David I was very happy. I missed him a whole lot. We found my hotel and then wandered around Odori Park for a while. It’s such a beautiful park and a beautiful city. I definitely immediately understood why David likes it.
    3. Tuesday night, we walked around the city in search of yakiniku. We eventually found one, and it was delicious! We also were playing around with the idea of opening a yakiniku restaurant in the States. I think it’d work. KachiKachi is what we’d call it. KachiKachi means burnt in Japanese. Then, we went to a huge fancy Karaoke place. David and I sang our little hearts out to all sorts of random music. We were definitely on a randomness kick that night, which was excellent! Also, we did a magical thing called “Nomihodai,” which is basically all you can drink. So, David got a pitcher of beer for himself (since it was included) and we drank quite a bit. It was fun!
    4. Wednesday was David’s day off of work, so we did a lot of stuff that day! We went to Maruyama, which is the area of Sapporo in which he works. We went to Maruyama Park, which was nice and green! In Maruyama Park is Hokkaido Shrine. It was a beautiful shrine, and we saw a Japanese couple in their wedding outfits getting photographed. Seriously, Japanese women in kimonos are amazingly beautiful. After the park, we went up to Maruyama Zoo, which was fun. I love going to zoos. We saw lions, monkeys, tigers, a hippo, giraffes, a baby polar bear, and many other animals! I want to go to the Atlanta Zoo again when I am back home.
    5. Thursday was David’s busy, busy day. I was going to visit this little town called Furano, which is famous for its flowers. But, it rained all day! Boo! So, I went to the aquarium in Sapporo, which was fun. It’s very small. Nothing at all to the Tennessee Aquarium, but it was still nice. I sat and watched two seals play for a long time. Then, I went shopping at Shin-Sapporo station and eventually, after much searching, I found a mini-section of a shop that has plus-size clothes! So I bought a denim jacket, some shorts, and a very nice top! Woo, I was excited!
    6. I was able to go to two of David’s lessons. One was a group of elementary aged kids. We did a lil restaurant skit, which was fun. The other class was with just one girl named Kana. She was really cool. It was really neat for me to finally get to see David in the classroom. He’s very good with his students. :oD
    7. To be honest, the best parts of my trip were when it was just David and I chillin out. It was very good to sit next to him and wrestle him and lick his face and all the other fun ways to bother him. ;oP

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Namioka-sensei just called to wish me a safe journey. What a wonderful lady!