Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Typhoon 15, Roke

Typhoon Roke is here, and I have to leave for work in about an hour. We got school off today because of the typhoon, but I still have to go to work. The winds are so ridiculously fast and gusty that I have no idea how I'm going to make it to the station without being blown right off the road.

This is what it looks like outside. Not so bad, right? No flooding, and aside from that tree in the corner, the craziness of the wind is barely noticeable.

That said, I'm sort of glad I have to go to work, as I have done absolutely NOTHING today. Except sleep. And study kanji for about an hour. And stare at the wall. And not study for the test I was supposed to have today that has now been moved to tomorrow that I'm worried about failing.

So I figured, before work, I could at least update the blog. Even though I've really done nothing of interest lately.

I went bowling with a bunch of people from my class, and I bowled my highest score ever!!!! 139. I'm really good at bowling zeros, and somehow I just didn't this time (of course the next two games, I returned to my typical score of around 70).

Cesar, Sandra, Vickie

It was the first time (and probably the last time) that I've ever even come close to beating Martin. But I did!!!!

That 131 is Martin, and the 139 is me!!!!

It almost makes me want to practice and try to become a good bowler so that I can be better than Martin at at least something.

Notice his inability to believe my awesomeness!

We also went to the gay dance party again, but this time with more people than just me and Martin!

Martin, Alexis, me, Miho, Paul, Cooper, and our new friend, Leo

The hot drag queen came out and talked to us, so we took a picture with her.

Other than that, well. . . I went to a pet store with my friend Tatsushi, and it was SO sad to see all of the little puppies in their little cages. I really think I hate pet stores. At the same time, I was once again overwhelmed with an unbearable desire to have a pet dog. Please.

I want a shiba or a husky.

Please. Thank you. Okay.

We also went to this Japanese/English language exchange thing, and it was the best one I've been to yet, and if I get a chance, I'll totally return. I spoke lots of Japanese, which I NEVER do, because I'm too embarrassed, and I realized (as I regularly do) that if I'm even going to advance, I need to regularly put myself in situations like that in which I'm forced to speak Japanese.

Other than that, I've just been working like a crazy person and trying to keep up with my school work. Tomorrow is the last day of term, and Friday morning I head to the states for Russell's wedding!!!! I can't believe my little baby brother is getting MARRIED! I'm so old.

That said, I should have packed today, since I had miraculous and unexpected free time, but I didn't, and now I don't know when I will.

And that's pretty much it for now! I'll be sure to post wedding pictures, once they exist and all. :-)

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Doing things in the RAIN!

So theoretically 梅雨 (tsuyu), the Japanese rainy season, is over, but you really could never tell from how much it has been raining lately.

Last weekend, Alexis and I headed over to Mie Prefecture for a hike, and of course it rained. Which didn't really bother me all that much, as I adore hiking in the rain. . . but still. You would think just ONCE I could plan to go hiking and have it NOT rain.

First, we headed over to see the wind turbines, and they were AMAZING! They were a little smaller, I think, than the ones I've seen in Texas, but still awesome. And because of the rain and the fog, they were all creepy and mysterious. <3ed it! What made it even cooler was that they kept disappearing and reappearing, so you would be walking and not even realize at first that you were about to walk right into one.

The we headed over to 青蓮寺ダム (Shourenji dam, I think), and it had the most AMAZING view! At first I wanted to jump into the water, but then Maranda pointed out a very large mass of floating oil, and then I no longer wanted to jump into the water. Still, the water was still and gorgeous and with the mists in the mountains, it just felt so peaceful and nice. I think that misty mountains with water in front of them has to be my favorite view in the entire world. And the Japanese know what they're doing when they throw a red bridge into the mix - sheer gorgeousness!

The we headed further into the depths of Mie for a hike (in the rain!). We were supposed to see 48 waterfalls, but, while we did see an ENORMOUS amount of waterfalls, I don't think there were that many.

The hike was super easy and breathtakingly beautiful, which I was more than grateful for, as the car ride there made me totally motion sick.
At the end of the hike, there was a salamander museum, and we got to see some of the CUTEST salamanders native to Japan. They have five fingers,and when they move them it's really just the cutest thing ever. I wanted to hug one and bring him home with me!

Then this past Friday, despite the fact that a typhoon was very obviously coming in, I went to Nagoya to meet up with Rachael to go see Skull Candy and Bunny the Party. Skull Candy played a very short set, but Bunny the Party was ON! The singer was ridiculously energetic, and just watching her up on stage filled my heart with happiness.

At one point, though, she pointed directly at me and said "あの白いお姉さん、超素敵!”  That basically means "That white person is super awesome!" Maybe I should have felt flattered, but I think more than anything I felt embarrassed. In any case, I love Bunny the Party!

The last band to play was Splash, and they were SO amazing! Super fast totally addictive ska punk, and I was into it (unfortunately the lyrics leave much to be desired, but, well, meh). Now, I know that a lot of times this kind of band will single out one person in the audience, but after the Bunny the Party comment, it felt weird that this person should once again be me. Especially since he was speaking in super fast Japanese, and he had no way of knowing if I would understand him. He asked who I came to see and then he asked if it was my first time seeing them. . .and yeah. I guess it's normal to do that to someone in the audience. I dunno. . .

Anyhow, it was SUPER fun, and I fell in love with Splash and will definitely be seeing them again. And Bunny the Party. And Skull Candy. And the Rattle Trapz, who also played and were fab!

Last night, Martin and I once again braved the typhoon and went to Nagoya to meet up with Rachael (again!) and some of her friends! Her friends were all awesome, so we had a great time! First, we went to an izakaya, where we were practically accosted by crazy people.

Note that we didn't know about half of the people in this picture

Then we went bowling, and I feel bad for Martin, who was on a team with me. I think I must have bowled the worst game ever of my entire life. I was very consistent in bowling 0s.

Will, Tatsu, and Chiko, seen in the left of the picture, weren't much better than I was, but Stephen (picture, right) was an interesting bowler.
He would either get 0s or strikes. But there was very rarely much in between. He also had techinque, which all of the rest of us were completely lacking.

On the right, there--> Tatsu, me and Chiko.
Rachael's friends were all really amazing.

Except that, for some reason, the boys (Will, Tatsu, and Stephen) felt the need to be anti-social and go off and smoke. I hate cigarettes. I hate smoking. I eventually went over and threw their cigarettes away (yes, I actually threw them in the trashcan - why they didn't seem to hate me afterward, I'm not entirely sure), but in the meantime, I had to make some new friends.

The guys sitting across from us were ridiculously amazing bowlers, and they were also quite nice. Plus, they were eating ice cream and NOT smoking. I really don't know why I so regularly feel the need to talk to random strangers, but I do, so. . .what you gonna do?

Other things I have recently done in the rain:

I went shopping in Nagoya with Rachael, and she received an extraordinarily large number of kleenex

And that's sort of it, actually. I'm sure I've done other rainy things, but none of them are coming to mind.

In the meantime, this is getting extraordinarily long, and I've got some homework to finish.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


This has very little to do with anything, but I just finished writing the first draft of my 自己PR(jiko PR)in Japanese, and it's awful. I don't know how I ever am going to make it good.

For those of you that don't know, when you're applying for jobs in Japan, which I presently am trying to do, a 自己PR is a necessary paragraph talking about all of your good points and how awesome you are. It's similar to a cover letter, except that, to apply to a job in Japan, you need both. It's basically a short presentation of your attributes.

The thing is, I really don't clearly understand myself what my attributes are, so I have NO IDEA how to present them to an employer. It was hard enough writing all of my English cover letters, so this whole 自己PR in Japanese really seems like an impossible, insurmountable task. Especially since, despite studying for over a year and a half in Japan, I still feel like my Japanese is horrible.

My "I might as well just give up on life and make fake hair mustaches with Martin" face

That said, the first draft is done, and I really think I say the same thing about 1000 times over and over again. It feels like I said nothing.

In other news, yet another typhoon is hanging out in the area. I braved the fierce winds last night and went to a FABULOUS concert in Nagoya, which, since it's me, you know I'll write all about (later, though, as I want to now type up what I have just written), and it looks like I'll be going out again tonight, despite the fact that the winds are so strong that it's felt in my room as if a series of small earthquakes have been going on non-stop since I got home last night.

Hike, concert, and tonight's activities - to come later! Back to typing and feeling discouraged.