Thursday, September 30, 2010


Just saw my boss make the most horrible face after he ate/drank something. I'm pretty sure he thought no one was watching. I just felt like I had to document that.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Life is never boring when you live in a circus

I finally own and CAN DRIVE my new little Mitsubishi Toppo! He still needs a name.. and I'm kinda broke until the 20th of October.... BUT now I can get around faster AND further!

The reason for this post on a Tuesday morning is that... they kept us an hour after work yesterday to meet and greet the same Sumo wrestler from the first day I came to Aki. There was also another wrestler (who had a very small face and looked really annoyed) and me and Bee had to present flowers to them and (for some reason) I had to retake the picture of me giving my wrestler the flowers. Which of course ended up in the news paper (I can't seem to stay out of the media lol). I just found it hilarious how the guy from our office asked me and Bee to do this. He suddenly came up from the side of me, and got really close to my face and leaned on my desk and said, "goji... GOJI..." like we didn't understand what 5 o'clock meant. OMG I almost died laughing at the way he was talking to us. And then he asked why we were laughing, and Sano-san just giggled along. I got so light headed laughing at him....

Out in those fields...

I made good use of the hot HOT weather and went out to take some pictures around town. It felt so good to take the kinds of photos I had been taking back in the Spring for my show... I need a tripod.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shake it like a poloroid baby

I never though 14 people could spend so much at a restuarant... but our rag-tag and drunken group managed to spend 500 and some odd dollars at our favorite Aki izakaya last night. I'm pretty sure it was because of all the "giant" orders of beer rather than the quantity of food... and there was so much food that I tried for the first time. I had this wonderful sashimi in a tare sauce, and "Korean Ramen" which was fantastic, even though I thought the giant raw egg on the side looked suspiciously gross... I even tried the natto that was ordered which ended up mostly tasting like spicy mustard.
After divying up the bill, most of us went over to Karaoke at Pieno, and partied it up with a bunch of young nihonjin that shuji knew. I had fun screaming karaoke at evey opportunity I could. After karaoke and more drinks, the people staying at my house came along with me and we went back to my house after picking up De- along the way. Since Steph was sleeping, we grabbed some drinks and sat outside for awhile before going to a combini to get food and stuff. On the way back from the combini (after taking copious amounts of pictures and posing for some odd photobooth) we visited my car along the way. While I was petting it, the car (which had been suspiciously running near us the whole time) opened, and a guy leaned out and vomited on the pavement. We took that as our cue to leave, and went back to my house to sit, talk, give massages, and watch "super bad" until 4 in the morning. Good night~

Saturday, me and De- went to the beach after everyone cleared out of my apartment (and me and Sea made pancakes). It was sooo relaxing to just sit, study a little, talk, and take a dip in the water. It was a little chilly, but seriously perfect weather for relaxing. At around 5:15 Sea came to pick me up to take me to Geisei for the Taiko festival! Our muroto Taiko group was performing and although me and Sea didn't get to join in, it was fun to sit on the beach and watch the performers. There were some REALLY cool groups who danced around and wore masks and really made a performance out of it. :) It got a little cold on the beach, however, and after it was all over at 9:30, me and Sea weren't aloud to go to the enkai and instead watched "Up In The Air."

Sunday was also a good day. I went to Ioki E.S's sports day from 9:15-12:00 and only had to participate in the PTA tug of war with all the other teachers and parents. That was actually pretty fun. The kids were also ridiculously cute and I was mesmerized by the strangeness of the whole event (like kids on unicycles and climbing poles.... and the big band version of "thriller"). After sports day, I was picked up by De- and we drove into Kochi for the Sunday Market, and Yoga. It was nice getting cheap veggies, and finding some hidden shops to explore in Obiyamachi. Yoga was also fantastic and felt sooo amazing after feeling tired and achey all day. It was a lovely way to end a good weekend.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Return to Film

The ringing in my ears proves it...

Statue from the abandoned castle Monday.
Boom boom kid's singer riding the guitar case.
Best Day Off Ever. On Thursday (also known as the Autumnal Equinox) I got to sleep-in, go running around 9, and laze around until I went to a "local music event" at the city meeting center. It turned out to be middle school bands and such, which were actually really nice to listen to. I only stayed 40 minutes, but I got to see both of my middle schools play. I'm so jealous of Japanese middle schools! They get to play the coolest music and it's all sooo recent. I remember being in middle school and high school and it was treat when we got to play a "Chicago" medley.

After 40 min of that, Matto came to pick me up and we headed to Kochi city! We stopped by a hard-off on the way, and oggled at all the used instruments that were SUPER cheap. I got a 315 yen camera (which I finally figured out how to work) and 2 shirts and a necklace. After looking through there, we stopped off at Aeon mall to look at more guitars and my future Ukelele. The Uke's are a bit expensive.... (like 16,100-100,000 range) so I'm going to wait a month to get one... Then we went to hipster store, where I bought film that was twice as much as my camera cost... haha.

After the mall, we headed over to Obiyamachi to pre-game, and tool around before the show started. The show was surprisingly fantastic. Although I can't hear right now because my poor ears are still recovering... punk rock is really great live, and everyone on stage has so much energy! The head liner was a band that Matto had seen 2 years before in Chicago, and who came from Argentina. The main singer was small with HUGE dreds and at one point, rode a guitar case around the room. Also met a cool Japanese guy named Tomokaza. He played in one of the other bands that often performed at the record shop. I was also really excited to see girls playing in the bands! Only the first two had girls, but they seriously rocked out on those drums (Turn Coat and Reveal). :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Long time no write~

Sea floating down the river.
The beautiful landscape of the None River.

It's been awhile, journal! I never got to update you on the None River Run! The River run started way into the Mountains of Toyo, which took 2 hours from Aki to drive to. :P Me, Sea, Bee, and De- all rode with Sea along the winding roads of the coast, which is absolutely beautiful and has a giant statue of a pilgrim (the weekend I learned what "pilgrim punch" was. On Shikoku, we have the infamous "88 pilgrimage" so you'll see people dressed in white, carrying canes, and wearing big straw hats walking along the roads. They are called "henro" or pilgrims!). We got there late, but the river run didn't start at its planned time of 11:00 and instead started at about 1:30pm. We all drove out there, inflated our inner tubes, got our beers ready and started floating down the BEAUTIFUL river. However, after only 10 min of floating, we came to some shallow rocks and a little rapids. Right from the beginning our group got separated because of the various usefulnesses of the floaty devices people brought along with them. I was able to float along pretty well, because I had gotten a tire from the Aki Mitsubishi dealership (fo freeeeee~) but other's weren't so lucky....

All in all, the river run was gorgeous and fun, but it took us 5 hours to get to the end because the river was so shallow. We didn't even float the whole thing but got out and walked a good portion of the float. Once everyone got to the end, we all played around in the most beautifully calm body of water, tossing people in the air and enjoying the river. After a little while, we all got out and drove back to Orlan's to have a feast. Seriously, it was an amazing spread. We had home made guacamole, home made corn chips, sausage, chicken sticks, burritos, cookies, sweet potatoes, salad.... it was amazing. After eating, we all sat around and talked (THAILAND TRIP) and then once it got dark out, the people who were left went skinny dipping in the ocean. THAT was amazing. The ocean was warm, the stars were out, and when you moved your arms around in the water, little glowing things lit up in the water. SO COOL. The next morning, me and De- road back with Sasha and I went to Aki JR high's Sports day (the last 45 min of it) and then me and De- went into the city. She went shopping for furniture, and I went to frisbee and the most amazing yoga of my life <3 In comparison to what the first time was like, this yoga was life-changing. I wasn't aching from Rugbe and had just had a good sweat at Frisbee. After we went to a restaurant called the "Shokudou"because it resembles a high school lunch room.

Teaching has been good. I love going to Higashigawa because I have a huge girly crush on the English teacher, Mountain sensei~<3 and the two kids who go there are adorable and well behaved. Ioki E.S is great, except for the terror that is the 6th grade class. I guess when they got a new homeroom teacher in the spring, the class just went to shit... which really sucks. It was my first class on Tuesday and it just got me into a fowl mood.... (that is, until I met the ADORABLE 2nd and 3rd graders. OH GOD so cute). A-D is also a nice school because I love 1st and 2nd graders. I've only been to those three schools so far, as well as Aki Jr. High (which... i won't even go there. They are a bunch of little uninterested brats).

Other than teaching, I'm almost done with the application for the JLPT N2. I really wanna work hard and pass this test.... I really hope that I can do it. Every day at work, if I'm not teaching, I try to study the whole time. I am going through Kanji by grade level. I've gotten 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade down pretty well, and I'm starting on 4th grade. That, and I started going to Taiko regularily (too bad I can't perform this weekend... but I understand that I've only been to a month or so of practices :<). I also joined a sign language club, which is a LOT of fun. The first meeting I went to, everyone was so surprised to see me, and we did introductions and talked about differences between America and Japan. In this week's meeting, we talked about なぞなぞクイズ's (which are riddles) and 言葉遊び (word play) which I could understand a bunch of them and made the woman presenting them VERY happy.

People in the club! It was PACKED.
This must be at the beginning of the night because I was next to the stage most of the night. <3 MUSIC LOVERS!!!
This last weekend was a three day weekend (WHOO!). Friday, we had a really intense Taiko practice. Saturday, me and Bee went to lunch at a French restaurant down the street from my house, and I watched "1 liter of tears" so I could have a good cry (as well as going to a park to study). At 7pm De- came to pick me and Steph up and take us and her co-worker Yuki to Kochi to have dinner with Sea, Dan, and Yen. We had Hirome's amazing Indian food, and went back to Dan's place to drop off bedding and get dressed up. We got to the club at about 11pm and danced until 5:30am, in which I got up on the stage 3 times, lost my shoe, got a shot of tequila from an equally drunk Japanese man, and danced myself into many mystery bruises. It was amazing, to say the least. We all went out for ramen after clubbing, and drove De-'s car back to Dan's to get some sleep. After only about 5 hours, we all woke up, ate breakfast, dropped Sea off at the station and I went to the book store to buy a JLPT application while the others went back to the club to try and find Steph's gaijin card (which was found and given to the police about an hour later). After I was dropped off at home, I thought I'd have a quiet night at home until Ireland e-mailed us about dinner!

Monday was the day me and Matto had designated to hang out. He picked me up at about 11:30 and we went to explore the abandoned castle in Konan city, which is actually an abandoned museum. I got to be photographer-y and take lots of fun pictures of the area and see an AMAZING view of the surrounding area. It took us a while to find the path to the actual castle, but in finding the castle (which had a gate blocking the road to it) we saw a little rendezous between two people in separate cars, and I swear we saw a ghost man walking around the castle grounds. After ghost-hunting, me and Matto met De- for a relaxing afternoon at Yasu beach. It was sooo nice in the water, and the sun wasn't terribly cruel. Eating kakigori (shaved ice) was also awesome. It just feels like a perfect summer, even though it's late September. After that me and Matto went back to his place to make Vegan sweet potato curry and watch some "Three Sheets," as well as decide that on our off day this Thursday, we are going to a concert at the Punk-record shop in Obiyamachi.

I came home Monday night, just feeling so perfect. I started off my adventure in Japan still stuck on Rentarou, feeling lonely and un-settled... and I realized Monday night that I'm feeling at home. Not completely of course, but I have a routine, I have friends, I'm having fun with no regrets and no complications, and I'm not stuck on that boy so much anymore (even after Tuesday night when I got to chat with him on skype... it was just so fun to catch up with him for the 2 hours and give him a run-down of my life here, and find out what he's doing and give him my yoga videos). I finally feel like I'm making a little place for myself here. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Taiko and partying hard~

Friday was my first day of class!! Unfortunately... that class happened with only 2 children present. Still... it gave me a feel for exactly how these pre-made lesson plans go. The teacher at Higashigawa E.S is super cute too... so it's too bad there are only two kids, and I have no excuse to stay much longer than after the class is over. But it's really strange, going to such a huge school in the middle of these gorgeous mountains, to only have 6 people roaming the halls and bringing it to life.

Friday night was our first day of taiko! We got to do some warm-up exercises, but not play any of the main songs yet. They are having a concert this month... so we don't get to participate I guess. Dunno yet. After taiko, we all went out for some yaki tori and ended up getting our cars locked into this stupid gym parking lot. Since we were stuck, everyone got some more booze, and settled in at Australia's house to drink and sleep until we could get our cars in the morning.

My lovely melon.... that we thoroughly devoured. :3
The next day, we woke up surprisingly early and headed back to Aki before noon even hit! I was able to bake my ass off all day, making cookies, cupcakes, and cake until Orlan showed up around 4 to get his i-phone. I went to help (which took and hour and a half.... seriously the just bullshitted around for an hour while I answered simple questions and the over-weight Japanese man typed stuff on the computer), and then we came back to make dip and some shrimp dish. I made this most amazing dip with canned tomatoes, onions, and CREAM CHEESE all melted in a pot and eaten with Consume chips (yum). I also managed to make a half-way decent rice-cooker mac-&-cheese, which was quite popular and even eaten the morning after the party. The party was amazing, and I was really happy that so many people came! Nat-chan, her BF Ryoku-chan, her sister Haru-chan, and her friends Tomoyo and Shu-chan came too! Shu-chan was clearly drunk already when he came to the party and was the party's hilarious creeper for the night. I got porn from Ireland and he commented on it while me and Sea were flipping though it, saying "I am getting excited" in which I just yelled that he was a creeper. haha. I also got the amazing gift of a Melon from De- (made my garbage smell amazing for the rest of the week), earrings from Steph, cookies from Bee, and booze from everyone else (have a party JUST for the leftover booze, I say). Everyone had enough to drink and eat (how couldn't they, with all the crap that was brought to that party), and whoever needed to, got to stay over and eat pancakes with me on Sunday morning~ :) Once there were only a few people left, while getting out the blankets and futons, everyone discovered my closet space under my loft and there was a huge pile-up under my bed. It was kinda insane haha (although, there was the unfortunate situation of have the Tsunami test alarms go off at 9:00, 9:45 and Noon, which I swear Ireland wanted to kill me...) I love my new life so far. It's really very fun.