frellnik: (blueflower)

Things at work are going well. Same old stuff.

I've been asked to be one of 3 judges at this year's Iwaki City High School English Speech Contest in September.  I've never been a judge before, so I'm a little nervous, but also really excited. Something new to put on the resume :)

Jen came over last night and is now on her way to Tokyo. We had a good night. We went out to a local Izakaya for dinner and then watched, "Rise of the Guardians".  It was good to see her again.

Last Friday my back suddenly started to really hurt again.  I made it through Friday, barely, and spent the weekend on the couch.  I talked to my boss at the B.O.E. and she called Kashima Clinic to see if I could get an appointment with the back specialist there.  That clinic has 2 doctors who specialize in back issues.  One of them was accepting new patients, but new patients can't make appointments.  So Horikoshi Sensei picked my up at 7:30am yesterday (Tuesday) and drove me to the clinic and stayed with me the whole time.  We were there for about 5 hours total!

5 hours at the clinic, which looked more like a hostpital, got me 4 x-rays, a shot in the back, and more pain meds. The shot in the back didn't really do much, I'm hoping the meds help. Turns out the gel-like stuff between my 4th and 5th disk is pretty much gone. There is little to no space between the disks at all. Also, the little bones that sticks out from each side of the disks are not the same on my fith disk. The one on the right is a hell of a lot bigger than all the others and it is hitting something near my hip and that's where the hip pain is coming from. oh yay. So now I have a bunch of instructions on how not to move and how often to get up and move during the day and what have you. Turns out I'm not alowed to twist at the hips...and damn, I tend to do that a lot. I've been doing that since I was in grade 7! I have enough pain meds to get me through Saturday and was told that if I am still in pain after Saturday to go back and see him again. *sigh*

Thankfully the pain meds are working really well.  Today I woke up pain free for the first time in almost a month.  I know the meds are just masking the pain, but it is such a relief!  One of the meds I was given is to help with inflamation and I guess it's working.  I hope things get better soon.  I definitely need to get back with the paleo life style.  Christmas ruined me completely this past year. Fell right off the wagon and didn't get back on.  So now I need to catch up.

I went to the store this morning and bought some lettuce, spinach, red and orange peppers, onion, garlic and hamburger meat. I'm going to make taco salad for dinner tonight :)  It's been a while so I'm looking forward to it.

My back is getting stiff and a bit sore again, I think it's time to get up and move around a bit.

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The heat and humidity are really doing a number on me.  No AC at work, humidity is high (averaging higher than 75%  at noon and high before and after) and no clouds in the sky to provide shade from the sun.  It's terrible! I've been exhausted since Wednesday. I feel ok when I wake up in the morning, but by the time I get to school, I'm overheating, sweating, and feeling crappy.  By the time I get home all I want to do is sleep.  I have to force myself to cook and eat.  I can't wait for summer to be over.    As it is now, the only excerice I'm getting is the painful walk to and from school every day and the walk to and from the grocery store.  I just don't have the energy for anything else.  Although, carrying 10lbs of groceries home in this heat is one hell of a workout.

I'm doing pretty well with the primal diet too.  But I"m having trouble with ingredients.  Almond and Coconut flour are impossible to get here and flour is on the prohibited list for imports.   Vinigar is also very hard to find and I have yet to see any limes or lime juice either.  Kale is also not available.  So I'm having trouble with variety.  As it is, I'm having to eat either bread or oatmeal for breakfast at least a few days a week since I have to be careful of my cholesterol and therefore I have to stay away from lots of eggs. And almost every breakfast recipe I've come across has eggs.

So parts of my 6 week challenge are going well, but other parts are not.  I picked a very busy time (August is crazy busy) to challenge myself to study 10 hours a week.  I am not even studying half of that.    The workouts are supposed to be 2 to 3 times a week, but with the heat the way it is, I'm only doing one body weight workout a week and then counting my trips to the grocery store (which tire me out way more than the body weight work out anyway) as my other workouts for the week.  The only drinking pop once a week goal is going great.   Especially since, because of the heat, all I want to drink is water.

I've decided to take it easy this weekend and stay in my apartment as much as possible with my AC on.  I'm hoping that rest and lots of water and cooler temperatures will help me feel better by Monday.  Unfortunately, the hot weather is going to continue with no sign of rain for the next week or more.  Hopefully it won't last much longer.
frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, so far.  It was so hot! and SO humid!

I went to Chikako's (my Japanese teacher) house after I finished coaching yesterday morning.  I was very surprised, and happy, to see Sara there! She was an ALT in Iwaki until last month. She's now living in Tokyo looking for work.  She came up to Iwaki for a couple of days and had spent the previous night at Chikako's place.  We talked for a while and then Chikako and I went shopping!

We went to the mall in Kashima and had decided to have lunch there.  It had been years since Chikako had been there and alot of things had changed. Their used to be lots of restaurants there, but now there was only fast food.  We ended up having McDonald's for lunch and I had my weekly dose of pop.  After that we went to the sports shop and I found a nice fanny pack to use when I go running (with pouches for my phone and ID and keys and a place for my water bottle) and some dumbbells.  When I found the excercise area, I was very dissapointed to see that they only had 0.5kg and 1.0kg dumbbells.  I had been told that they had sets of dumbbells.  So I picked up some ankle weights (that also fit alright around my wrists) and a package of 1.0kg dumbbells.  After I paid for everything and was heading out the exit, I saw heavier dumbbells. These were all sold individually, but they ranged from 2.0kg to 5.0kg.  So I bought one dumbbell each of 3kg, 4kg and 5kg. I'll be starting out using the 3kg dumbbell for my workouts and eventually work my way up to 5kg.  

Next we went down the road to where the furniture shops are.  We went to Maruho first and I found one couch that I liked ok.  It was a 2 seater and cost about 7,8000 yen (about $780). I decided to check out the other store near by before buying anything though, because I was really hoping to find something better.  So we went across the street to Tokyo Interior and as soon as we got upstairs, I saw a couch a made a beeline for it. I sat down on it and was in heaven! It was perfect!! But I still walked around the rest of the store just to be sure.  The couch I saw first is a three seater, plush microfiber cloth couch. When you sit down, it feels like the couch is hugging you! And the arm rests are high so that you can lean on them and they are big and soft like pillows! I can lie down fully on the couch with my head on the arm rest. and the best part is, it was only 5,8000 yen! ($580). The store also only charged me 5000 yen to take away my old couch! So I got my new couch and my old couch will be romoved for only 6,3000 yen! So nice!!  Delivery will be on Sunday, September 2nd.  So in two weeks, I'll have a brand new, comfortable couch to relax on!  I can't wait :)
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Well, the year is officially half over! This year is giong by incredibly fast!

There are 3 weeks left of this semester and then the kids are off for 5 weeks. I still have to go to work though. But I do get 9 days off for Obon in August.  Speaking of Obon, I just signed up to volunteer for th MLB Roadshow that will be in my town on August 11th (the day before Obon officially starts).  I'm not sure what I'll be doing but I think it will be a lot of fun.  Baseball is VERY popular in Japan and all of my schools have a baseball team. I expect I'll see a lot of my students at the roadshow this year. I'll have to do some research into the MLB Roadshow so I can get an idea of what to expect.  I'm looking forward to it.

Last night was the farewell party for Iwaki JETs.  They will all be gone no later than August 5th. Some are leaving before August 1st. My friend Jennifer, who has been working in Sendai for the past 2 years, will be going home to Canada this year.  She'll be spedning August 2nd (Tuesday) at my place before heading to Tokyo early on the 3rd. I'm looking forward to seeing her again. I haven't seen her since last August when I met up with her in Tokyo while my Uncle was visiting.

My supervisors are now aware that I plan to climb Fuji next month and they have told me to be very careful. I can't say I blame them as I am nervous about it too. The last thing I want is to end up in the hospital again because I over did it and hurt my back again.  That being said, I have been doing a few yoga stretches and my physio excercises and my back isn't too bad right now. I hope that if I keep it up that I should have no problems. 

I've been trying the plank (excercise) and I find that my arms collapse before my core starts hurting.  I tried it in push up position (arms extended) and also close to the ground (weight on my for arms and elbows on the ground). It's definitely my arms that have the most trouble with the plank position.  I guess that's good in that my core is stronger than I thought it was?  I guess I need to focus on my arms. I can understand it, I mean, I do weigh about 210 pounds. My poor arms need to work up to that, I guess. lol  So time to start strengthening my arms. I can do wall pushups just fine, but I tried it from my knees, and couldn't do more than 2 and I don't think I did them properly.  So, I know what I need to work on.  I hate being weak. lol 

Got a confirmation e-mail that my workout clothes have been shipped. should take between 5 and 9 days (or so the website says). we shall see. lol

Tomorrow is Canada Day. I plan to eat Poutine (so bad for my diet!!) and hamburgers and watch some Canadian Movies! I'm thinking "Men with Brooms" and "Bon Cop, Bad Cop".  Canada Day is one of the few days a year that I really wish I was back in Canada. I love the Canada Day festivities (the concerts, the shows, the face painting, the fire works!!!).  The fire works will happen Monday morning my time, at about 11am Japan time. I'll be at work teaching. Hurray.  I hope all my Canadian friends (and Family) have a great Canada Day!!!

frellnik: (Default)

Today I remembered why grade 8s can be so frustrating. EVERYTHING is funny to them. It's almost impossible to get anything done because they are too busy laughing and snickering at everything to pay attention. Even during a game!

Yes, the number "SIX" when said in English, resembles the word "SEX" (especially when heard by Japanese kids who do not have an SI sound in their language) and yes the letter "W" when written fast on the black board does look a little like boobs.  Do they have to laugh EVERY time you see a W or I say the word 6?  apparently they do.  I had to resort to calling out the group number in FRENCH! lol  and even when I wrote my W pointy, they still laughed at it.  So I gave up. And just let them laugh, and called out the number SIX randomly really loud, just to make them laugh (towards the end of class).  And not just the boys!!! one class it was boys, the other class it was the girls! I mean...seriously? LOL 

Kazuko Sensei eventually lost her temper with the second class and screamed at the kids for about 3 minutes. Then that class went splendidly :)  poor kids.

I am having caffeine withdrawl because the corner store replaced their red bull with sugar free crap. I haven't had a red bull since Friday and it's hard to teach a bunch of laghing hyenas when your head wants to fall off your shoulders.  Today when I went to the store they had my usual red bull (NO ASPERTAINE!! THANK YOU!) so I bought some. I am going to slowly cut back and hopefully avoid the headaches.  I am at the point where I drink a can every morning. I'm going to get down to half a can and then eventually none. But I'm going to do it slowly so I can still function! No more of this cold turkey! They better not switch the drinks again before I'm off the stuff! lol

Other than that...I need to clean my summer bedroom. It's horrendous! I need the space clean by Sunday because my friend Jeff will be spending the night at my place before heading off to his next stop on his whirlwind tour of Japan.  I'm looking forward to seeing him :) 

And only 8 more days until my trip to Hong Kong. I'm going out to dinner with Susan and Sam tomorrow to figure out our itinerary. We need to decide what to do on which day so we don't waste time going back and forth between places. The weather this week in Hong Kong as been sunny and hot. Highs of around 28C and lows around 23C in the evenings.  That is a beautiful summer day in Ottawa! lol  It's gonna be HOT! I can't wait!! =D

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8 earthquakes yesterday/last night. 3 earthquakes the daybefore.  two of them were M5.9 and another was 5.2 and some were 4s... Today seems to be quiet. It's raining again.  I don't know if it's the earthquakes or the weather or both, but I have a headache. again. lol

School is back in session but I haven't started teaching yet. I do have 1 class on Monday and it's in front of the parents.  Yay. first class of the school year and the parents are coming to watch.  great.   So, we are going to do a review of what we learned last year in the form of Hang Man.  Each round will be a question and once the kids figure out what the question is, they have to answer it!  Now I need to come up with prizes for the first and second place winners.

Uncle Dan's funeral will be tomorrow (1am in the morning my time tonight).  I called my Aunt's place this morning (yesterday evening for them) as my mom is there. I talked to my Mom, Aunt and Uncle for about an hour.  I love talking to my aunt and uncle. I need to remember to call them more often. 

I was going to do groceries today, but i don't want to walk in the rain and carry it all back in the rain...so I'm going to make a batch of pancakes for brunch (as soon as I post this) and then for dinner I'm thinking I'll make grilled cheese sandwhiches and I have some banana loaf cake for dessert.  Groceries can wait until tomorrow.

I'm going out tomorrow with Mareli to look at the cherry blossoms.  There is a park not far from Iwaki Station and there are some shops around where we can buy stuff for lunch.  Looks like a picnic in the park under the cherry blossoms =)  I'm looking forward to that.  I'm thinking I'll make fajita pizzas for dinner tomorrow night.

Guess that's about it...not much going on right now.  I've been watching all the Tinkerbell movies in my spare time.  and I bought 3 of the Jeff Dunham DVDs and should get them in the mail next weekend :)  So I'm am well entertained. lol

frellnik: (Default)

well this week has been  ... I don't even know.  Sunday night,  had a headache. shit....today has been one earthquake after another...right now we are having another one! jesus!

so...3 headaches this week.... graduation ceremony yesterday...

earthquake tonight M6.8 complete with tsunami warning for northern Tohoko...and 3 more earthquakes since then. Just had one now...M6.1  in Chiba which could have after shocks. Fun.

So I'm tired, and feeling a bit stressed out.

Graduation was a rather somber event with quite a bit of crying and only a few smiles at the end.  I was given roses by 5 of my students (all boys).  So I got 5 beautiful roses. <3<3<3

now I'm going to try to get some sleep.

frellnik: (Default)

Today marks 1 year since The Great North-Eastern Japan Earthquake.  It's so hard to believe that it's been a year already!  My town is just now starting to rebuild and is actually still knocking down unstable buildings.  There is so much damage left to fix, yet, already, so much has been cleaned up and fixed.

A year ago today I thought my aparmtment was going to fall apart with me inside of it.  I gave [livejournal.com profile] ninja007 a heart attack and then she spent quite a bit of time talking with [livejournal.com profile] race_the_ace before calling my mom and waking her up to tell her that I was alright after the earthquake, but didn't know if I was alright due to the tsunami.

What I remember most from the earthquake was all my furniture moving across the rooms, not being able to stay on my feet, everything crashing around me and seeing parked cars in the parking lot bouncing like basket balls.  I also remember hearing explosions.   I had been vid chatting with [livejournal.com profile] ninja007 when the earthquake hit and I managed to get a text to her before my cell phone stopped working to let her know I was ok.

There was no running water in my town for 5 weeks.  The roads were so damaged that vehicles couldn't come into the city so food and gasoline became scarce.  After the meltdown at the plant and all the explosions around the city, it rained acid rain for one evening and night. We evacuated.  I went to stay with a friend in Tokyo for a week before going back to Canada for a month.

Fast forward one year and things are getting better.  I am very proud to announce that after a year of no running water and only being able to use part of the school, Yotsukura Junior High School is fully functional again!  Running water was restored to the 2nd and 3rd floors 3 days ago and 2 days ago water was restored to the 1st floor as well! The students will be returning to their own school, after having been sharing the elementary school for the past year, tomorrow!

All weekend there have been celebrations all across the city and , indeed, all across north eastern Japan!  Right now there are fire works going off that I can see clearly from my balcony! The beach is only a 5 minute walk from my aparmtment, after all.  So many people died, and many are still missing. However, so many people lived.  Life goes on, and that it worth celebrating. Live life in the moment. Live life like today could be your last day.  No one had expected what happened.  No one could have ever imagined it would happen. What happened was right out of a sci-fi/horror movie.

This is what my city looked like after the earthquake and tsunami.


each town in Iwaki is listed in the bottom right hand of the video.  At the time of the earthquake I was living near Onahama.  I now live and work in Yotsukura and Hisanohama. We have come so far in the year since the disaster. But we still have a long way to go.

I'm just glad to be alive.

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Earthquakes are picking up steam again.  Been having quite a few lately in the surrounding areas and the last two, just a few minutes ago and last night, were right in my area. 2 decent sized earthquakes in 14 hours. Not too happy about that.  It's a little worrisome.

It's already March 1st!  Graduation ceremonies are in 12 days! End of school year is in 22 days! I'm going to have to say good bye to about 10 classes of kids who will be graduating in less than two weeks!  Wow, time flies!

I have no classes today, and only 1 class tomorrow. I have taught 4 classes a day the last 3 days, so today and tomorrow is going to be quite slow. lol  But I have a good book and I am supposed to be studying...so I have plenty to keep me busy.

Rehersals for the SGI performance are going well. I am feeling pretty confident with the dance, and I have one of two songs almost completely memorized.  So now I need to work on the other song and then combine the singing and the dancing.  One more month until the performance!

I know I had more to say, but I can't remember it now. I've been wanting to post for a few days now and just haven't had the time.  Now that I am posting, of course nothing is coming to mine. lol 

OH!!! yeah!~  It snowed ALL DAY yesterday!!!  The kids went nuts at school!  Lunch time had all the kids outside having snow ball fights! No jackets among them. Hell, one idiot was out there in shorts and he ended up on hit but in the snow more often than not.  Needless to say, the all came back into class after lunch completely soaked and hands cold and red from the snow.  Some of them looked like they had jumped into a lake. lol  I bed there will be some sick kids next week.  All the snow is gone today. It rained last night lol.


Ok, off to work.  Have a good day/evening everyone!

frellnik: (Default)

It hit me like a tone of bricks tonight, that I am a very lucky person and I have a good life.

I have a family that loves and supports me.

I have friends in  7 countries (friends that I have known for years, and have laughed and cried with).

I have friends who I consider family, and close friends, and geeky friends, and aquaintance friends.

I made it through school (15 years to get finished high school and then 5 years at Carleton) and I hope to go back for a masters degree.

I am lucky enough to have met and talked (and sung kareoke) with and have brunch with quite a few of my favourite actors and actresses. (as well as the standard autographs and photo ops and hugs XD )

I love the country I was born and raised in, and I love the country that I currently live and work in.

I have an awesome job with a stable income that lets me travel while paying off my loans.

I am amazingly lucky to have survived not one, but three! natural disasters all in one weekend!!!  That's REALLY amazing!

I have so much more ahead of me, so many choices to make, and things to discover.

I've learned from the bad things and usually found something good came from them, and the few that I haven't found anything good about made me stronger and helped me to mature (which may be seen as a good thing by some).

So when I am not having a good day, I really just need to remember that life is constantly changing and the things that are making me unhappy will not last forever.  Just stay strong and soldier through and "this too shall pass". 

I am very proud of my life. I am very thankful for the way my life has turned out so far.  And I am going to continue doing great and amazing things with the rest of it :)

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Thursday morning started with an M.6 earthquake at 4:30am.  THen the vending machine outside wasn't working so I couldn't get any coca cola :(

I got to school and realized that I forgot my indoor shoes at home and didn't have time to go back and get them before the taxi would get there to bring me to my visit school.  So I went upstairs to get the textbooks I would need and my taxi chit and discovered that my textbooks were still at my apartment and not at my desk.  Damn.  So when the taxi got there, I asked the driver if we could stop at the apartment on the way to school (I thought I was at the school that is past my apartment, but I was wrong) because I forgot my shoes (and my books) and he said that was fine.   He was great! Not only did he drive me home to get my stuff, he didn't start the meter until I was back in the cab with my shoes! =D  Then we talked about maple syrup and alcohol all the way to Kusano.  He made me laugh and I felt great when I got to school!  He also drove me back to base at the end of the school day :)  We talked about a bunch of other stuff the whole way back!

I ordered Farscape on Blu-Ray from amazon.com.  I looked it up on amazon.ca and it was almost $100 more!!  So I got it for $96USD instead of $175CAD.  Nice! :) 

Now I am having a debate wtih myself. I have the option of buying Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series [Blu-Ray] for $113USD which is great.  But!! Japan has just come out with each Season Boxset (Compact version) with both English and Japanese language  for $35 a season.  I paid $75 for season 1 and  $80 for season 2 (not compact version).  Compact or not compact is just the packaging.  The disks are the same.  So...do I go and buy the Blu-Ray complete series (English Only) or do I buy the regular DVDs at $35 a season but having the option of watching it in Japanese.   Honestly, I want both...but that seems a little crazy.  Any ideas or advice???

on a funny note, one of my teachers that I work with, was doing my part of the lesson again.  He has the habbit of not using me in the classroom.  So he was saying the new words (in english) for his students to repeat. Pronunciation practice.  ANd he says "Of Curse!" , "Of Curse!"...and I am standing there trying not to laugh!  So I tell him, that curse is magic that a wich uses against you....and he said the Japanese word for it, I cant' remember it now.  So I correct the class... "Of Course!"  and he explained that his pronunciation was wrong and what he had said.  At least he is good with accepting corrections and making the kids laugh at him so they remember the correct way to say it.  lol  but if he would let me do my job, then these mistakes wouldn't happen. lol  and class wouldn't be as fun?  lol  oh well.

Thursday night I was in bed and asleep by 8pm.  But since I'm still JET LAGGED from The Farscape Con in Cali, 8pm is more like 3am...so I guess I can be excused. I slept until 5am so I thought 9 hours would be enough...not at all. I was tired all day!  Even fell asleep at my desk before lunch.  I was supposed to have 3 classes yesterday (Friday) but I ended up just having one class. 

So I read a book.  Japanese that Japanese people don't know. lol  It's a great comic/essay from a Japanese teacher's p.o.v.  All the things her students ask her and mistakes that they make and then mistakes that other Japanese people make that her students dont make! I was laughing so much that some other teacher came over to see and then I had them laughing too :)  I think I'm going to have to get the second book too!

frellnik: (Default)

Woke up at 5 this morning and got ready for work.  Today, instead of going to school to teach, all the ALTs in Fukushima Prefecture went to Fukushima City for the annual mid year conference.  So Sam and I had a taxi waiting on us (he was quite early) at 6:50 this morning to bring us to the B.O.E.  From there we took a bus (just for us) to the conference.  The ride went great until we hit Koriyama...and then it was bumper to bumper, stop and go traffic for almost the entire rest of the way.  Instead of taking 2 hours to get to Fukushima, it took us 2 hours and 40 minutes.  So we were a bit late getting to the conference. 

On the way there we saw 2 beautiful rainbows.  One of them was so close and so bright that I could almost make out where it "landed".  It came down infront of a mountain and although you could see the mountain through the rainbow, it was like seeing the mountain through colour tinted glasses.  The colour of the rainbow affected the colours on the mountain.  It was amazing!!  I've never seen anything like that before :)

THe conference itself was ok.  The first lecture went by rather quick, which is a good thing because I was starving!! I don't even really remember what it was about but I have handouts, so I'll read them all later. lol   Kim and I went to Fukushima station for lunch and went to a burger place called Freshness Burger.  I had a Classic WW cheeseburger. (classic double cheeseburger). I also got a large fry to go with it.  The burger was DELICIOUS!! It was also almost too big to fit in my mouth! lol  And the fries were more like potato wedges! And there was ketchup and mustard and garlic sauce and relish! It was amazing! I ate the whole thing! Soo good!

Then we stopped in at Jupiter (a forgeign food store) and I picked up some American Chocolate food stuffs. lol YUM!

The afternoon went by in a bit of a blur.  I had a headache, so although I participated and even presented a bit, I wasn't really paying that much attention.  Again, there were handouts and I took some notes.  I didn't learn anything new from the afternoon seminars.  Then the final lecture was dull. It was good stuff to know, about creating events and activities in your city, but nothing that I really plan on doing myself. Or I should say, nothing that I plan on initiating myself. If someone else wants to, I'll help, but I don't want the responsibility of putting together and funding and planning an event.

Finally it was 4pm and time to go home!  I ended up in the same seat I had going there. The bus was small and cramped and us poor TALL foreigners did not have an easy ride. On the way back, D got sick and asked the bus driver to stop at the next pit stop, but we had just passed one and before we got to another, poor D had the bus driver stop (we had to ask him a couple of times because he was nervous about stopping on the highway) so D could jump out and be sick.  He climbed up the cement embankment to get to the grassy hill so he could be sick and void at the same time.  I'm thankful, for his sake, that it was dark and we couldn't really see him.  The driver didn't want anyone else going outside because we were on the highway and it was dangerous but P went out with some tissue and S went out just to help while I stood on the bus step wanting to help but not really able to.  I had a plastic bag I gave to D, just in case he needed it, but he made it back ok.  I hope that he feels better tomorrow.

I got home much earlier than I had thought I would and now I'm getting stuff together for my trip to L.A.  Tomorrow is my last day of teaching before the trip.  I'm at my base school tomorrow but over at the Junior High instead of the elementary school.  When I get home tomorrow I need to pack everything into my suitcase and then I'm all set!! I have to be out of the house at 07:05 Thursday morning to catch the first of 3 trains to the airport. My flight leaves at 14:55.  I arrive in L.A. at 07:45 which will be 01:45 for me.  It's like arriving in at LAX airport only 40 minutes after leaving my house in Japan! How is that for JET LAG! lol  damn, it's going to be a REALLY long day!  I hope I can at least doze ont he plane.  =P

frellnik: (Default)
Today has been one of those days.  I had a headache before I even left for work this morning.  I took some Advil and Tylenol and went to work.  I spent first period preparing materials that I would need for class. I made a game for my 5th period class and made copies of work sheets and what not.  Aside from the headache, classes went well.  I had one student (9th grade) tell me he loves me LOL.  That was great.  And one of my favourite 8th graders and I had some fun in the classroom too.  I walked into class today and was wearing a sweater (unusual for me) and Gakuto (GACKT) asked me, right away, where’s your akabeko (the I love Fukushima shirt with the little red cow on it). So I pulled the neck of my sweater down far enough for him to see the akabeko on my shirt.  Then everyone laughed because, yeah, that probably wasn’t the cleanest of gestures. LOL 

There is one student at this school that I am REALLY starting to dislike.  Wada (last name) is an 8th grader and she is a little freaky and a lot rude. She flat out told me that she didn’t want my help in class because I’m not a real English teacher. That was on the second day of class.  She has this really annoying habit of coming to the teacher’s room between classes and at lunch break and …well, whenever she has free time.  She just stands in the door and watches us.  She never announces herself and unless we ask her what she wants, she doesn’t say anything.  And when we tell her to go back to her classroom she’ll come up with a reason to be there. 

Today she came in at lunch and basically just stood around for more than 10 minutes and stared at me.  She kept staring at me during class too. Wasn’t even pretending to pay attention to what we were doing in class. I finally got fed up and just stared back at her until she looked away.  Other students have said that they’ll be doing something and turn around and she’s right behind them watching them too.  FREAKY!  And rude!
Today’s worksheet was another example.  She’s lazy and doesn’t want to try and won’t accept my help either.  So today’s worksheet was opinions. I think….  So they had to answer 6 questions.  What do you think about English Class?  What do you think about your homeroom teacher? What do you think about America?  What do you think about AKB48?  What do you think about (TV SHOW)? What do you think about (ALT)?

She wrote her answers in Japanese instead of in English (it’s English class, come on!) and then wrote that her homeroom teacher is “perfect” and that the ALT (me) is “not marvelous” (doesn’t really translate).  Other student’s opinions varied, and that’s fine, but Wada just gets to me.  So I’ve pretty much stopped paying attention to her in class. If she has a problem she can ask Kazuko Sensei, who teaches with me.  But this whole staring thing really needs to stop. Talk about annoying.

All I can say is TGIF!!! I need a couple of days off to relax. lol

Just got home...it's 14C in my apartment.  I miss central heating!

pondering

Nov. 9th, 2011 08:27 pm
frellnik: (Default)

Feel free to skip this post if you don't want to here my somewhat angsty musings.  For some reason I have a hard time getting the cuts to work right, so I'm not going to bother trying tonight.

I'm trying to update more often but sometimes I just can't think of anything to say.  Seems like lately all I want to do is complain and I'm pretty sure most people don't want to sit around and read that all the time.

I find I just don't have the energy to do much lately....well not just lately, it's been a while now.  I have such a hard time getting up in the mornings to go to work and I often fall asleep at my desk after lunch for 15 minutes or so (though, not today :)  )  and yet, despite being tired all the time, I have a hard time getting to sleep at night.  My back has been really bothering me lately, enough that I'm doing my physio excercises twice a day now instead of just once and my neck and shoulders have been sore since Canadian Thanksgiving day weekend (although they are getting better now) and I've been getting lots of headaches.  So I'm thinking stress is a major factor.  But I don't really feel all that stressed. But what else could it be? 

Today I had stomach pains all day and barely ate anything.  I had my usual breakfast but only ate a bun with peanut butter for lunch and I made a fajita omlette for dinner. I t's after 8pm and I'm tired but not enough to actually be able to sleep.  And before you say that's too early, I have been going to bed around 9pm since I got here over a year ago.  lol

It will be 8 months on Friday since the eathquake on 3/11 and there hasn't been a big one in my area since the end of August.  There have been one or two medium sized ones (M5) but the last M6 or M.something (tsunami warning included) was around August 20th.  So you'd think I'd be feeling a sense of relief at relative normalcy returning to my life.  But there are still the odd smallish earthquake and every now and then they come in little groups.  When that happens (like this week) I start waiting for a big one and then when nothing happens I don't know what to do with myself.  At least after a big one I knew that I had at least a week before I had to worry about another one. Now I either don't think about it at all or start wondering when the next one will come.  Not IF, but WHEN.  And I know that there might not be another big one while I'm here, but then again, it could happen tonight.

How many earthquakes have there been since 3/11??  The other day I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] ninja007 and once again made the realization that, "Holy Shit, I lived through that" and  "I survived".  That thought has hit me in the face a few times in the past 8 months and each time it's like the first time.  At least the nightmares have stopped :)  The town beside me got hit by the tsunami and then after that it burned down.  My Base school is hoping to be up and running again by Februray.  It is located practically on the beach and got hit and damaged by the tsunami. 8 months later there is still no running water at the school and electricity is limited.  So only one grade (gr 9) is currently able to use the school.  I'm getting very good at using Japanese porta potties (squatt toilets). We are hoping that the school will be ready in time for the end of the school year in March so that the students can have their graduation ceremony in their school gym (fingers crossed).

Despite all this negativity I am still happy here. I love my apartment (although it desperately needs a good cleaning), I love my job (97% of the time) and I still love Japan.  I have already decided to stay for a 3rd year.  I'm going to Chikako's place every weekend for about 3 hours to study for the JLPT which I will be taking on December 4th in Tokyo, and I really hope to pass this time around. If not I'll be taking it again in July.

On an happy note, Chikako is taking me to a concert (classical trumpet) this Sunday and then we are going out to dinner :)  I'm looking forward to this! Also Next Tuesday (the 15th) is the Annual Mid Year Conference for Fukushima JETs in Fukushima city and then on the 17th I'm off to L.A. for the Final Farscape Convention!  (and a wedding).  I'm really looking forward to seeing all my Scaper pals and having some fun.

Well I think this post is long enough. 

frellnik: (Default)

I just realized I haven't posted since September 1st.  Wow.

So my studnet, Kana, didn't place at the provincial level of the speech contest, but she had a good time and that's what really matters.  I'm proud of her for making it that far!!  Next year she is going to try to write an original speech instead of just doing a recitation :)  I'm looking forward to coaching her on that!

So yesterday I was teaching the 9th graders at Yotsukura. It was a lot of fun.  The kids were all in a good mood for once. lol  And they were all hyper. Except for the first class, they were all sleepy.  One kid slept through the whole class. lol  oh well.

As a warm up activity I got the kids doing tongue twisters in Japanese and then I taught them all a simple tongue twister.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy was he?

And we did it and some of them did it well! 

Then we went on to the lesson that had me laughing and singing which had the kids laughing. I have never had so much fun in a class! And I laughed hard and put my head on the podium and when I lifted my head back up my face was red and one student asked if I had been drinking and was drunk.  (because my face was so red)

The lesson was....

"Could you tell me how to get to...?"  Which had me singing the theme song to Sesame Street!  oh jeeez.  And they new it too! Apparently it's been popular here in Japan too.

Also...where is the please in this sentence???  You are asking a complete stranger to help you get somewhere and you don't even say please?  How Rude!! hahaha. 

ALso, my students love my " I LOVE FUKUSHIMA" shirt.  I have 3.  I was asked where I got it from, how much it was and who made it. lol  Some of them also asked me to get them one.   I'll have to see what I can do. I like that they like them :)  Then one of the boys told the rest of the class that I also have both a Canadian Flag patch and a Japanese Flag patch on my bag.  Everyone seemed very impressed by this. I'm not quite sure why.

In other news:

Earthquake 2 nights ago was an M5, which isn't all the big, but after 2 months of little to no earthquakes, it freaked me out a bit.  Woke me up from a sound sleep and then I was awake for well over an hour before I was able to go back to sleep.  I guess I've been spoiled lately by the lack of earthquakes. lol

I'm working tomorrow (Saturday). My school is having their school festival and I'm really looking forward to it! There will be speaches (2 in Japanese and my two students will be presenting their English speaches) followed by a singing chorus contest between each class, followed by lunch and then a TAIKO concert and then the school band will perform 6 songs.  This will go from 8:30 until 3pm.  In exchange for having school tomorrow, we all get Monday off. 

Scaper Con is in just under 3 weeks!  I leave for L.A. on Nov. 17th! It's coming up fast and I can't wait to see everyone!!!

I also bought my plane tickets to go home for Christmas! I've got exactly 2 weeks in Ottawa.  I arrive on the 22nd and head back to Japan on the 5th of Jan.  I get a nice 3 day weekend when I get back before school starts on the 10th.

One final thing....

Today I got to school to find my monthly pay slip and rent receipt on my desk (as usual).  However when I looked at my rent certificate I realized that the address at the top is still my old address instead of my new one.  I double checked last months rent certificate and it is the same.  So it looks like I've been paying rent for my old apartment and not my new one.  So I called the BOE and they are looking into it.  weird.

And I was told that I would be having a school visit from the BOE on Nov. 17th...while I'm in L.A. apparently.  They know I'm going away, but they made this mistake after changing the date once already because they had originally scheduled it for the day that I will be coming back from L.A.   Yeah.  So I sent them an e-mail and they  have to change it again.

ok. that was long enough lol.  update done :) 

frellnik: (Default)
Today I went to the movies. GANTZ came out yesterday and I have been waiting to see this movie since I first heard of it back in the summer.  I really enjoyed it, but since it was rated PG14, I was NOT expecting it to be anywhere near as gory as it was.  I mean..I had to look away from the screen a fair amount through out the movie.  If this had been shown in Canada it would have definitely been rated R. But there were lots of kids in there and they all seemed just fine.  Hell, I even saw one of my students and I know he isn't even in grade 6 yet!  

Sometimes I just don't get Japan. I really don't.


I went online this morning to look for some study guides and or textbooks to help me with the JLPT N2 test that I will be taking in July.  I found a series called Nihongo  Somatome N2  that has 4 books: Grammar, Vocabulary, Kanji and Reading Comprehension.  I am not bothering with the grammar book because I have lots of those, but the other 3 have been ordered. They weren't that expensive either, only about $13.  So I ordered the three books (not the grammar one) from Amazon.ne.jp  and the thing I love about Japan is I got to choose the day it will be delivered to me and the time! So it will be here ont he 1st of Febuary between 6pm and 8pm.  And I pay for it at the door in cash! Nice!  Now I don't have to worry about putting more on my credit cards, I can just go get the money from the ATM machine the day before delivery and pay the guy at the door. :)  Very convenient!

I got my invitation to Aya's wedding in the mail today..or maybe it came yesterday, I don't know.  Anyways, she's getting married on April 2nd and I can't wait!  I'm now trying to figure out if I should go down Friday and come back after the wedding on Saturday, or go EARLY Saturday morning and then come back on Sunday...or just fork over the extra money and go from Friday night until Sunday.  The other thing is finding a place to stay....I don't know any places that are all the close to where the wedding will be held...and the hotel where the wedding will be held is $209  a night plus 15 bucks for breakfast....  also check in isn't until 3pm and the wedding starts at 1:30...so I'm not sure what to do with my bags during the wedding... 
The hotel I usually stay at is rather far from where the wedding will be held...so I need to think..and I should probably talk to Aya's family. Maybe they can suggest a hotel to me that isn't too expensive.

I wish it was only Friday night...instead it's Sunday night and I have to work tomorrow...and all week...when all I really want to do is sleep.  I have a stupid low grade fever that just won't go away. I don't even feel sick....but I feel tired.  Right now my temp is at 37.5C which, if I was in Canda or the US would be normal...but for some reason when you are in Japan your body temp sits  at about 35.3C.  I don't know why, but it does.    So I'm taking lots of Vitamin C and hoping it will go away. 

I'm also going to bed early.  It's 8:30pm and I'm heading off to bed. I won't sleep right away..but at least I'm in bed and hopefully that will help.  I'm tired, I'm just not all that sleepy. :(

On a happier note, I bought Skippy Crunchy Peanut Butter today! It's the only peanut butter I can find here and I've only found it at one store.  Peanut Cream (the consistancy of margarine) just isn't the same. lol
frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday was my day off. I got up at 8 and I talked with mom for a bit.  Then I left to get the train to Taira.  I had to go to the BOE to pick up the box the moms sent me. I figured that while I was there I would go do some shopping, so I made a list of places to go and things to get, and off I went.  I got to Taira at 9:15 and went to the first place on my list. It was closed! lol   It didn't open until 10, so I didn't bother waiting, just headed off to the next place on my list that was open.  I picked up some groceries and cleaning stuff at Saty and then headed over to Kojima.  Kojima opened 5 minutes before I got there so I didn't have to wait.  I got a can of condensed air to clean my key board and I got the Season box set of Tru Calling.  I used my points to buy them so it didn't cost me anything.

Next stop was the BOE. I went up to the 3rd floor and politely announced myself and asked if I could get my mail.  Kodama Sensei helped me unburrry my box and I put my Kojima bag down so I could pick up the box.  Then I thanked her and we chatted for a few seconds and then I headed to the train.  I still had 20 minutes until the next train so I stopped at the library to return the videos I had borrowed last week.  Then I caught the train home and realized I had forgotten my kojima bag somewhere - most likely the BOE.  So when I got home I called the BOE.

Kodama Sensei found my bag and I told her I would catch the next train back to Taira to get it.  Frell.  I got home the second time just after 2 pm and the rest of the day was spent relaxing.

Today I finally figured out who one of the teachers at my base school reminds me of ... Snape!  Not in the looks, but in how he acts.  It hit me in the face today and now that's all I see him as.  Kinda freaky.

Classes today went well.  I finished the day off with my least favourite class but we played a game for the last 15 to 20 minutes (until my hacky Sac died) and then kids smiled and had fun (All of them!!).  So I feel good - especially since I only had to help a few of them and this particular class has the worst English skills in the school.  It was fun.

Tonight Kiyoko came over and we made dinner together.  I bought all the fixings to make MaboTofu (Mabo-don). It's a meat sauce and you add vegetables and tofu and it thickens..and you eat it with rice. It's so good!  Kiyoko brought Shrimp and a slightly spicey sauce and enoki mushrooms and we made that as well.  Dinner was amazing. I ate way too much and I have enough left overs for dinner tomorrow and maybe the nigt after too!  She showed me how to make both dishes so I will be able to make them for myself.  They were quick! I had the rice ready when she got here and I had cooked the carrots in advance because the take a few minutes to cook.  But we had everything finished within 15 minutes of her getting here!  

Tomorrow There is an SGI meeting at 7pm at the Peace Centre.  I'm looking forward to it!  Kiyoko will be there as well. :)
frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday I taught the 4th graders at Izumi North.  We did big and small and short and long.  We also did the body, focussing on the head and face.
We played Pictionary.  6 groups (that's how many rows of desks in the class) and they have to draw what I tell them to on the board.  So each team has a circle on the board to serve as the face. Then I tell them to draw ... 3 small eyes, 1 small mouth, 1 long tongue... and the most accurate face wins.  

At the start of the class we were talking about today being a holiday and not having to go to school.  Then one of the kids pipes up and says " if Lisa Sensei taught English all day tomorrow I'd come to school".  That really made my week! The weeks only half over but I'm not sure what can beat that comment.

Today was Culture day, no school!!  So I slept in today which was a blessing because the wind woke me up this morning at 4am howling outside my window and wrattling the fan above my stove.  The wind in Izumi is amazing! I got back to sleep around 5 and slept until almost 8am.  I got up at 8:30 to put the guarbage out and then I decided not to go back to sleep. So I made breakfast and read for a while.  

At 10am I went online to chat with Dom.  And while we chatted I cleaned my appartment.  I finally got all my luggage stowed away and all the little things that I had left in them put away.  The room that I have designated as my office is now ready to use! I just have to put the rug down and buy a desk :)  Kiyoko and Rie have both offered to help with that.
 

Today I went to a concert in Taira at Alios.  Amaral Vieira, from Brazil, performed today.   Iwaki is the 8th stop on his 10 venue tour!  He is amazing!!!  He is a famour pianist and he played for almost 2 hours for us! And he's had peace talks with President Ikeda (SGI Buddhism) and he performed three SGI songs in his performance.  I swear to god, there were grown men crying in the audience.  The gentleman beside actually took his glasses off to wipe his face more than once.  It was amazing! I can't stress that enough.  I loved it :)  You can watch his performances on youtube. Check it out :)

Anyways, Kiyoko got tickets, not sure how, but her entire family went.  She had an extra ticket and asked me if I wanted to go.  I said, yes please!!  So today she picked me up at my place and drove us down to Taira and gave me my ticket ($40.00!!) and then we found our seats and enjoyed the 2 hour performance.  Just Amaral on the stage and he played beautifully with no sheet music.  Amazing. It started at 2 and was overy 4. 

Then Kiyoko took me to the Butsuden store to look at Butsudens and they have some really nice thin ones (that will fit in my suitcase) for about $25,  and even slimmer ones that are more expensive because they are so thin ($80).  They didn't have an of the super thin ones in stalk so we are going to go back to seem them next week. I'm not sure which I'll buy yet, but I will need one.  We also spent quite a few minutes talking with the shop owner. She was really nice. I bought 2 little bobbles to hang on my cell phone (or key chain, or back pack zipper) and they were 300 yen each ($3), but she gave me the two of them for 500 yen ($5).  That was nice of her :)  She made me promise to come back and talk with her again. I'm looking forward to it!

Next stop we went to a bread shop.  I got a piece of pizza (potato and cheeze and some sort of ham) and two sweet breads.  Then we drove back home and I had a small meeting in my house.  Kiyoko and Rie were there and two of the ladies from the women's group (the Tamatsuyu leader, where I live, and the greater erea leader).  They stayed for about an hour and we talked about all kinds of things and I was invited to a meeting on the 10th at Junko's house (The tamatsuyu area leader). (I live in Izumi, and my area is called Tamatsuyu.  For those of you in Ottawa area, Tamatsuyu is like Glenn Carin in Kanata).  Junko offered to lend me a butsuden for while I'm here in Japan and when I move back to Canada I can return it to her.  That way I don't have to spend any money.  It will depend on what kind of desk or book shelves I get. Her butsuden is quite wide so it may not fit.  If it does then I'll gladly use hers while I'm here :)

Rie took the two women's group members home and then came back to my place until 7.  Kiyoko took at look at my heater for me and found that the filter needs to be cleaned. That seems to be why it isn't working.  But it may need to be changed completely.  My place is really dusty, no matter how often I clean there is always dust everywhere. 

So tomorrow is back to school.  I've started the Japanese course that JET provided. I'm half way through week 2.  My VP at Izumi North set up a computer for me to use so I can listen to the CD that came with the textbook.  He's chained it to my desk so that no one can move it :) lol

Going to Tokyo on the 20th with some friends. We've got tickets for the Ghibli museum!!! I can't wait for that!! And a bunch of us are getting meeting up at Tokyo Disney land on the 27th!  It's going to be a busy month!  It's going to be a lot of fun!!

frellnik: (Default)

Friday I taught 3rd grade Halloween.  I dressed up and had a great time. I will be posting that separately with some pictures from my two schools.

Friday night Kiyoko came to get me and we went to the Peace Centre in Izumi to watch a video of an SGI meeting to commemorate the 80 anniversary of the Soka Gakkai. President Ikeda gave a small speech as well which was special because he hasn’t been going to the meeting because he is preparing everyone for when he is no longer around.  He’s getting very old now.  But for this occasion he came and presented his speech instead of having someone else read it.  The video was about 90 minutes of various people talking about their life experiences with Soka Gakkai and giving words of encouragement.

At the end of the video, next year’s theme was introduced.  I haven’t translated it exactly but it is basically international friendships.

After the meeting I bought a book.  The book was written by president Ikeda and has to do with Buddhism and the universe.  I love this theme. It’s also in Japanese so it will take me a while to get through but I am looking forward to it!

That night I went home and watched a movie….I have no idea what it was called but it was an animated movie about a girl who saves a cat from getting hit by a truck. The cat turns out to be a prince from the Cat Country and his father wants to marry the girl (he’s crazy!) and so has the girl kidnapped and brought to the cat country where she starts to turn into a cat.  It was a fun movie.


Saturday I got up early and went to my base school to watch the kids perform in the school recital.  I think all the schools were given a theme for each grade because my base school’s recital was very similar to that of my visit school’s recital.  I’ll have a separate entry for that too, complete with pictures.

After the recital I went to Taira to meet up with Sam and Susan and Chelsea.   Chelsea was really late so I didn’t hang out with her as she got there as I was heading back home.  Sam, Susan and I all went Saty to get some Baskin Robins ice cream and we each got a Halloween Sunday. It was about $6 for 2 scoops of ice cream, a white chocolate ghost, a mint chocolate bat, about 6 pieces of brownie, a cookie pretending to be an ice cream cone and a bit of whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  It was so good!

Then we went to Kojima so I could once again check if my points had come in.  I was promised about $200 worth of points for signing up for internet there.  Everyone else got their points over a week ago.  I planned to use my points to buy a Pioneer BlueRay DVD player.  My points still aren’t in. So I went to get the money I needed to buy the DVD player instead of waiting.  Good thing too because I got the last on in the store.  They had none left so I asked for the floor model.  There was no box for it so they guy just wrapped it up in bubble wrap for me and put it in a shopping bag.  He put all the cords and booklets in a separate bag and then put them all in a big bag for me.  It all just barely fit into my schoolbag.

I got it home and managed to get it hooked up to my tv ok and turned it on to find everything in working order!  I got a pretty cook DVD player that also has a USB port in the front that I can hook up to my computer and stream youtube and netlix videos through to my tv!  That makes me pretty happy!  I can also watch American/Canadian BlueRay DVD’s on it since they are the same region as Japan.  All for the low price of $180.80.  I got no tax because it was the floor model.  Apparently this model is going for about $240 on Amazon.com.

Sunday I didn’t do anything.  I got hit by the lazy bus and took and nap and read and watched tv.  That was about it.  So because of that I didn’t get any groceries done.  So I went to 7/11.  I bought enough food to get me to Wednesday because for some reason I thought I had this Wednesday off…I don’t.  I have next Wednesday off.  SO I will have to go back to 7/11 soon and buy more food!  Tonight I think I will have Spaghetti and Edemame beans and maybe some carrot sticks.  I have no milk..so I might buy some juice from the 7/11.

Tomorrow night I am going to Dan’s birthday down in Taira and a restaurant called Baba’s.   Baba loves all the JETs so he often stays open late for us and will make stuff more or less spicy for us upon request.  I like no spice so I’m happy about that!  So in exchange for having a birthday party in his restaurant we have to help clean up afterwards, but that’s it.  We get the place to ourselves.  It will be fun!!

Today I only had 3 classes so I was finished teaching by 11am.  Thursday I only have two classes, 2nd period and 5th period.  So I will be bringing my laptop to school to keep me busy….for as long as the battery lasts. I can’t plug in my laptop without an adapter and there isn’t room on the power bar to plug it in. lol 

 

I came in to school today to find a bag full of sweets and sembe crackers.  Apparently they are from last year’s teachers…or maybe from the teachers this year who won’t be here next year.  The English was  a bit funny so I’m not exactly sure.  But there is quite a bit of stuff for me to eat throughout the week J  and an energy drink…not sure I want it…will take it home and put it in the fridge.

I think that’s it J

frellnik: (Default)
Tuesday the 17th!  I guess most people back home are sleeping now...it's 1:30am in Ottawa...and oh, only 10:30 pm in California...so I guess Dom is still up.  Hi Dom!!  Sorry I can't chat...the library computers don't have msn.

So yesterday I went and saw a kids movie at theatres.  It was about a wasp named Hachi (wasp) who whose hive was attacked by hornets when he was a baby.  He was taken to safety but his mother (the queen) was captured by the hornets.  She promised him they would see each other again.  So he is trying to find his mother  by looking for the hornets and ends up in a small town. He makes some friends and then he meets a human girl.  She's afraid of bugs...but she can understand HAchi (and all the other bugs too...).  SHe was playing her harmonica and Hachi like the sound so he followed the sound and got stuck in her hair.  Anyway....she decides to help him find his mother. It's a really good story. I cried...once. lol   And I was able to understand about 90% of it. 

When you buy movie tickets in Japan you don't buy them at a counter...you buy them from a vending machine.  All the tickets are generic...you pay a different price depending on your age (child, student, adult, senior) and then there is ladies day (Friday) and Mens day....ect.   There is always someone working at the vending machines and you give them the money and they get your tickets for you.  I made the guy working there laugh when I told him what movie I wanted to see.  I was expecting it and laughed with him. 

After the movie I had 25 minutes until the train, so I went to Ito Yokado and bought a futon for about $150.  It's wonderful!  I can't feel the bar in the couch now!  I slept great last night...except for the heat that kept waking me up.  Mom, I changed my mind. Don't come visit me in August...we'll both be uncomfortable trying to sleep at night.  And you'll probably die during the day.  Come for Chritmas instead! lol

Today has been a nice slow day. I didn't do anything but read until noon and then I showered and ate and came out to Taira to come to the library.  I will be meeting Sam to go see The Scorceror's apprentice at 4:40 (in 2 hours) and then I will go to the grocery store on the first floor of LATOV before going home. 

Tomorrow I meet the teachers at my base school. I'm a bit nervous about that...  Then Thursday is another training day.  Friday-Sunday I'll be in Aizu (a few hours from here) for a japanese course with Home Stay.  I'm looking forward to that and hopefully I will have internet access while staying with my host family.  Should be able to chat for a little bit maybe.

So that's it for today.  Have to check my e-mail yet..and I'm once again down to 18 minutes. lol  that seems to be my magic number.

Take care everyone!

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