Monday, May 18, 2009


Ok.  Unlike the other secrets of Nankan, that I, you know, enjoyed discovering, this one could have just stayed hidden.  I am referring to my (very) recent encounter with an unwelcome house guest - a spider.  Walk into the toilet room and there it is on the wall near the window, hanging out.  Bigger than the size of a half dollar if you include the legs (which I do for any spiders other than danny long-legs).  

I surprised myself, I didn't scream.  I think I said Oh My God and started breathing like I just ran for 20 minutes.  

Since I don't mind spiders if they're outside and keep their distance (I mean, they do eat other bugs you know?) I decided to try and 'save' it.  I opened the window and tried to 'help' it outside. But it didn't like that idea and it started coming towards me with alarming speed (in a room about 4 feet squared) and I swatted it.  I swatted it good.  It curled up in a little ball and didn't try to move again as I picked it up on the swatter and threw it out the window.  But you know, spiders are really good at playing dead, so it might be alright.  I didn't see it's brains or anything and all the limbs were attached.

I'll tell you one thing: I don't know if I'll ever have to pee again.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Damn Kids!

Tonight I want to share with you some of the answers one of my first year students gave on one of his worksheets last year.  

1. Where did you go?
I went to Pluto.

2. When did you go there?
I went there yesterday.

3. Who did you go there with?
I went there with Doraemon. [If you are unfamiliar with Doraemon, wikipedia]

4. What did you do there?
We played thumb wrestling.

5. What else did you do there?
We ate Pluto.

Apparently that explains why it isn't a planet anymore.

1. Where did you go?
I went to the past and the future.

2. When did you go there?
I went there this morning.

3. Who did you go there with?
I went there with my clothes.

4. What did you do there?
We met many people. 

5. What else did you do there?
We ate various kinds of food.

The second set of answers was just because he finished so early.  Keep in mind that a student like this is pretty rare around here.  Not only for his enthusiasm and ability, but also his imagination.  Ah nostalgic.  It reminds the answers I used to give my Japanese teacher at Kansai Gaidai.  In fact, did I give these answers to my teacher at Kansai Gaidai?  

Thursday, May 7, 2009

US hardwire

Hello all!  I've been silent on here for long enough.  Is it possible to have 'overload' from life?  I think that sums up how I've been the last few months.  I'm sure you all have this great image of how my life must be so fun and exciting.  And it is.  But it's also tiring.  Some of it is my fault and some of it is just because my brain is hardwired for life in the US and it spends a lot of time freaking out.  At least the part that's my fault is fun: for instance, yesterday I watched the Lord of the Rings movie in entirety.  It finished at about 1 am.  

Recently I've been watching a lot of US movies and TV.  I haven't wanted to go out as much, and I've taken on a lot of projects around my apartment.  These aren't things that necessarily cost a lot of money, but may take a lot of time.  It seems like whenever I go out I get bored and exhausted.  Not always.  It mostly depends on if I'm hanging out with acquaintances or they're friends.  Friends in smaller groups, not too bad.  But larger groups just make me long for home.  
I like the projects I do around the house because they are straightforward, take a lot of work and have a great sense of accomplishment at the end.  For about five minutes.  Then I want the next project.  When I'm just sitting around I feel badly because I could be doing something.

The emergence of these projects may have arisen from the fact that Civilization won't play on my computer.  I've downloaded the patch, I've read all the online instructions, and it still can't.  Usually when I'm in this kind of a mood I play Civilization pretty much non-stop.  I love my mac, but why can't they make the game work for it?  I think it's cuz they wanted to game to be prettier so they changed the mac version or something to depend more on the graphics card, and mine is obviously not up to par.

So I've resorted to doing things that I myself wonder, 'Why am I doing this?  Why do I worry about it? I'm only here for three years?'  But I just have this need to keep doing them.  Great.  I'm sure some people would say it's culture shock, or homesickness.  But I used to go through these periods before in the US.  Hmmm.

Well, without further ado, here are some pictures from Okinawa.  I went there over spring break.  If you're wondering why they're are only five, I was passing my camera to someone to take a picture for me and we dropped it.  Still haven't gotten it fixed.

The first beach we found.  We got lost.

Okinawa's Aquarium: Ocean Expo Park

Ferry to a nearby island.  A big wave just soaked me.

The island we went to.  The beachy part is to the left.  There's coral right there and we went snorkeling.  

The four of us at Pineapple Park.  Eugene (behind), Diana (left), Me (middle), and Patty (right).  
I was the only one of the group who looked like the stereotypical American so we got a lot of weird looks.  By coincidence Diana and I wound up riding the same bus to the airport.  So we were walking around (that girl has an obsession with food samples) and we bought something at the convenience store.  The lady asked her if she wanted a bag.  She looked at me to see what she said, and I told her.  The clerk looked like she was having a brain aneurysm.  She probably thought she was in a Outerlimits episode or something.  Diana's family are Japanese Americans, but they moved to the US five or so generations ago.  She can't speak Japanese really well. 

Well, lots of fun.  Hope you all had a good Golden Week.  Mine was pretty good.  I went to an all you can eat buffet, watched movies, hung out at home, cleaned the screen frames, replaced the screens, washed the windows and the surrounding tracks for 9 windows and 2 doors, started hemming the curtains in the tatami room, put together a new bookshelf, moved other bookshelf into my office and re-organized my office.  I did a couple other things too.