Saturday, January 31, 2009

Test

Is my blog not working? People are telling me they can't see it.

Can anyone read this, comment if you can.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sick Times Bilingual Edition 病気の時バイリンガル版

I'm sick! Oh noo! I'm going to see a doctor soon to figure out what it is. Probably just the flu. A ton of ALTs are sick right now, probably with the same thing. This weekend I'm just going to relax so I can get better.

僕は気分が悪い!大変!もうすぐ病院に行くつもりです。僕はインフルエンザかかっていると思う同じ病気今週末僕は回復できるようにリラックスするつもりです。

This previous week...
Pretty standard, I found out that I can't take the Drum lessons because they're super expensive and it wouldn't be worth the cost... I watched the Last Samurai, I like that movie alot. I got my business cards in the mail this week too yay!

先週。。。普通だった。僕には、高価過ぎるので、ドラムレッスンを受けることができません。ラストサムライをみました、大好き。僕の名刺が届きました。やった!

Yesterday I went to watch some Kendo. Really interesting, but I think for me to do it, it would be really expensive. Some of the chest plates alone can cost as much as $1,200. The actual lessons cost an initial sign up fee, plus a monthly fee. The monthly fee isn't that much but the problem is that practices are only once a week,and at a bad time (Friday from 8-10pm.) So if I pay all the money to sign up I'll have to clear my Friday nights for a while.

昨日剣道を見ました。すごく面白いですけど参加するのは高いと思います。部独活は120,000円もします。レッスンは入会金、および月額料金がかかります。月額料金は安いですけどタイミングが悪い。。。金曜日20時から22時。もし入会したら、金曜日に自由時間がなくなってしまう。

What else is cool is that the teacher of the person I'd be learning from was the guy who taught Ken Watanabe for his role in the Last Samurai. It's funny because I just watched that movie recently.

剣道の先生は山本先生といいます、山本先生は、ラストサムライで渡辺謙を教えた先生から剣道を習っていました。僕が、偶然最近その映画を観たので、おもしろいですね。

I took some pictures of the practice and a few videos too, enjoy.
昨日写真と短い映画を撮りました。見てください。

video
A video of the little ones 小学生


video
A cool match 試合がかっこい


What's crazy too is that its pretty much all Elementary and Junior High School students at the practices. They all look really good too. I'd probably lose in a match against them.

おかしなことに剣道のレッスンに来ているのはほとんど小中学生です。


Today, and probably this weekend it's just house cleaning and relaxing.
My unnatural sounding Japanese is awful.

僕の不自然な日本語はやばいですよ、ごめん。

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ashikaga Birthday Bonanzaaaaa

What up.

So this week.. Hmm, Monday we had off because it was "Adults Day" what exactly that means I don't know but I guess I'll take it. I went over to Carrie's with Graham and Becky. We watched the Last Samurai, which I want to watch with it Japanese subtitles and in Japanese if possible. Then take sentences from it and learn some new things with it.

Tuesday I taught at Azuma Elementary which I usually enjoy. I only teach there twice a month so it's a treat to go there. I actually had the best day of the week there. I was in a really good mood for some reason. I started taking my iPod with me for my bike rides to school it makes them nice, except I think I freak some people out because I sing haha. The kids are all well mannered there, and appreciative. The teachers are also nice and I get along with them well.

Wednesday and Thursday I taught at Ueno. Wednesday I had 5th grade and unfortunately the new toy I got from Graham. I still works but I'm annoyed they broke it, because I just got it.
I had to tape it back together but it still works. Thursday I taught 3rd grade, and it was pretty run of the mill.

Friday I was at Azuma Junior High which is also a treat since its my only Junior High I teach at. The teachers all enjoyed my Yatsuhashi (Food) I brought back from Kyoto. The kids also enjoy my visits since they're so rare. I like working with Saukrai-sensei too, he's fun and always looks forward to seeing my pictures and videos of stuff I do. I gave him a book too as a xmas gift.

Friday night it was Zishan's and Ben's birthday party at an Izakaya in Ashikaga. There was probably around 20 people there It was alot of fun, I took a decent number of pics here the album below:

Facebook
ahaha

So we walked around and saw some cute girls. So I asked if anyone wanted to come talk to them with me ahha. I recruited Kevin and Sean, we went over and talked for like a half an hour or so. I did all the translating and it was weird for me to be the best at translating when I was at a table of 7 people. It was a good confidence boost for my Japanese, but I still know I'm terrible at it haha. They were all 21, the girl on the far left I thought was the cutest hah. She didn't smoke and she works at some dentists office. No number exchange but thats ok, it was just fun to talk to random people, and actually be capable of replying in Japanese.
Tonight I'm not sure what I'll do, I've heard theres a party in Chiba, but Carrie is also having people over for a movie so I'll have to decide what I want to do. Tomorrow I'm going to make some Mochi so I'll most likely just stay in Sano since its just easier.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Terabyte/DSi/Business Cards

What up!

So the past week has been kind relaxing/lazy. As I think I said in my previous post I got back home on Monday. Tuesday I just relaxed and got back in my home groove. Wednesday my company had training held in Ujiie City about an hour and a half away by train. It was kind of pointless, I got a total of 3 ideas from the entire training session. Most of which I can only use in Junior High School which I only teach twice a month, so yeah pretty pointless.

Thursday and Friday I taught at 天明小Tenmyo. Pretty easy days. Nothing too exciting happened, I gave the teachers my Omiyage from Kyoto. I bought for all my schools these triangle shaped Mochizuke I think its called Yatsuhashi? 八っ橋. (Basically a soft rice cakey treat stuffed with a filling such as strawberries, or anko (sweet beans). They enjoyed it and I like the taste too.

Saturday was kind of a waste of a day. I went biking around to go shopping. It was so windy it was hard to go anywhere. Easily the windyest day in Sano. I wanted to buy a DSi and an external hard drive. I bought an external hard drive on Saturday. 1 Terabyte or 1000 Gigabytes. It's huge but that means I'll never need to buy another one haha. Here's a pic of the hard drive.


Today I met up with Graham, Carrie, and Becky and we all got lunch together. We went to the indian food place over near Becky's house. After that we shopped around. Went to Dopo and checked out some of the stuff there. I wanted to buy the DSi so I suggested going to this game store. I bought my DSi there, and Becky and Graham also bought DSlites. I got the Kanji game so now I have a kanji dictionary. I might buy some other games too and check em out. Here's what I got for the DSi. It's not actually going to come out in the US for a while, so that's kind of cool that I have one.


Carrie told me she might be taking drum lessons on Wednesday nights at this music school. I want to do it too, I think that'd be alot of fun.

Also Tuesday night I'm going to start teaching one of my teachers 寺岡先生Teraoka Sensei some English. It's more of a language exchange than me just teaching her. She wants to be able to read news articles in English so I'm going to help her out. I'm going to have her check some of the work I've done and make sure the sentences I'm inputting into my computerized flash cards are correct.

Tonight I'm going to Carries to watch a movie with everyone, and maybe we'll end up doing something else too. I guess I'll find out in a few.

**********EDIT************
I ordered some business cards for free (I just paid shipping). They look decent... the problem is had a hard time choosing the design. I was really tempted to get some crazy ones, but went with this more conservative one, since I'm in Japan.

I was gonna go with this one:

Here was the one I really wanted but it cost alot more and it's a bit bold:


Which of the three do you think looks the best?

We'll see how the one I got looks when it gets here.

Until next time!
また次回!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Kyoto and 2009!

I know I already said it but, Happy New Years! 2009 WOOT WOOT! My first new years in a foreign country, and it was interesting.

As for resolutions.. I want to study more Japanese of course, and another one of my resolutions is a bit weird. What I plan to do it talk to more random people. For example if someone sits next to me on a train, I'm going to talk to them. I kind of wonder why people don't do it more often. If they don't want to talk they'll let me know, and you never know you may make a friend in those few minutes you talk.

Ok with that out of the way... time for a super long post, get ready for it... (Deep Breath)

I made it back from Kyoto and wow it was alot of fun. Thanks Chris for everything! I don't even know where to start about it. I don't think I can accurately write about everything so I'll link the pictures and talk alittle about it. I made three photo albums on Facebook with all most of the pictures I took, if you want to see them here are the links.

Kyoto Part 1

Kyoto Part 2

Kobe

If you are lazy and don't feel like clicking on the links, throughout the post I've put some pictures.

I guess first I should talk about how I got there. I took the overnight bus and it was really cheap, only $40 or 4000円. I had to lug my stuff to Tokyo to catch it but that's ok. I think it took like 8 hours by overnight bus to make it to Kyoto. I slept a tiny bit.

I sat next to a university student and talked to him for a few hours. We talked about random stuff, all in Japanese. I showed him alot of my pictures and videos and he really liked them. I got to Kyoto at about 5am, which was earlier than planned. I got greeted with a blast of cold air and snow. There wasn't any snow on the ground but it was snowing kind of hard. I waited around the station for about an hour for Chris to get there since I got there super early.

Once we made it to Chris' place it was nice. I didn't really know what to expect but his place was nice. We took a nap under the kotatsu (this heated table with a blanket over it.. its amazing America should have them.

Anyways the first couple days we just relaxed and didn't do to much. I got to meet Ranbo Chris' roommate, he's a nice guy. One day we made mochi. It's really simple, its just rice that you smash into a paste. Its kind of like a rice cake, but I don't really know what to compare it to, the texture is soft and chewy. You can wrap the mochi around whatever, but we used Anko (Sweet beans) and strawberries. That was a fun experience.

Ranbo Making Mochi


Chris making Mochi
One of the days Chris and I went on an expedition and checked out some sites that Chris hadn't seen yet, even though he lived there. That was fun, and I took lots of pics, here are some of my favs:
That's alot of Graves
Found a Ninja Dog
Kiyomizudera, my 2nd visit
A shot of Kyoto from Kiyomizudera

Alot of people came to visit for new years and meeting them all was great. On new years we relaxed in the house and made some Nabe (Japanese Winter dish, with a fish/meat based broth and vegetables). Around midnight we went to a temple and rang the bell there.

Monks chanting It was nice, but very quiet. I'm so used to being loud and celebrating at midnight with a countdown. Later that night we went to Daimonji and it was amazing. The view was beautiful. Unforunately my camera didn't do it justice, as you can see. It's like 10,000 diamonds.
From Daimonji at 4am, overlooking Kyoto. I told Chris the flash would hurt and to close his eyes, but I guess he didn't listen haha.

Chris and I also decided to take a trip to Kobe and check i tout. I thought it was a really beautiful city, even though we didn't get to see and of the "Major Attractions".
I came back on the 5th, on the way back I took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) which was so much faster but about twice as expensive. It only took about 4 hours though haha vs 8. On the Train I talked to some woman who was 26, I like practicing my Japanese so I just did a self introduction and told her where I was coming from and stuff. It was a nice conversation.

Once I got back, Graham picked me up from Sano station and gave me a ride back to my house. Thank Graham!

I rescheduled a package that I got on Xmas day to yesterday and I opened it. Inside I found awesome stuff from my Grandparents. Alot of food (because that's what I asked for haha) and an iPod. I told my family not to get me stuff, besides food, because they helped me so much getting here I feel bad. Anyways I'm really greatful to have such an awesome family. Today I bought a case for it and I'll start using it real soon.



My grandparents bought me a iPod Nano.. are they nuts or what?

I'm thinking about buying a PS3 or Wii, but I'm not sure which and I need to research alot. It'll be a tough decision and any input is welcomed. I also consider buying a DS Lite for the Kanji Dictionary game, Chris has it and it comes in handy everyday.

Tomorrow I have training in Ujjie with work from 10am-4pm. I wonder how it'll go, I don't think I need anymore training, I've been doing my job for 4 months now, and I got the hang of it pretty well lol.

How is everyone else? New years resolutions? Life? If you haven't talked to me in a while contact me! (^-^)