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|Monday, May 19th, 2008|
So I made it back. It took longer than anticipated, but I made it back. My plane was stuck in Osaka for about 4 hours due to an improperly closed door. For a bit it was looking like we weren't going to leave at all, but the maintenance guys fixed it and we were on our way. It did allow me to my itinerary changed from Detroit to Chicago to Nashville to Detroit to Nashville.
So far things are ok here. I don't have much money which is a bummer, but I've got enough to last me a few months here. I'm going to Memphis later this week in the hope of finding a job sooner rather than later. The biggest thing is that I don't have a car. THAT really sucks. I'll just find work and then get a car after my first or second month. Hopefully by the end of summer all my stuff will be set up and I'll be good to go.
I have been buying the essentials these last two days. I got a watch, some sun glasses and a bunch of other stuff that I will need upon moving to Memphis. Tomorrow I will start going through my junk and packing my stuff for Memphis.
|Thursday, May 15th, 2008|
So as many of you know I am moving back to Memphis. Actually this time tomorrow I will be moving towards the airport. That's right. I have just a little over 24 hours left here. I'm pretty excited about going home. It'll be an interesting experience readjusting to my home country. I'm also a bit nervous about it actually. It's been so long that I've actually spent any significant time in America that I'm not sure how I'll adjust to it.
So moving. I have thrown away a lot of my stuff. Well let me rephrase that. I have thrown away a lot of my junk. I swear I have accumulated so much crap that it's not funny. Moving is refreshing in many ways. It allows you to reevaluate your life and things that are important. I realized that a lot of the stuff that I had in drawers or in shelves or in boxes was stuff that I had no need for at all. There were a lot of clothes that I haven't worn in months or even years. So they all went in the trash. There were comics that I had always intended on reading but never did and they too went in the trash. I still have a lot more stuff that I am going to purge. At first I thought it was stuff that I wanted, but really no.
Something that kinda pissed me off last night was that I found out how much my cellphone will be to cancel. It's going to be 35,880 Yen. That was about 15,880 more that I had anticipated. So my advice to everyone out there: DO NOT USE SOFTBANK! They are very dodgey and their prices are fucking exthorsion.
|Sunday, February 24th, 2008|
|Fushimi Inari: The spookiest yet most awesome shrine I've ever been to.
So I dusted off my Lonely Planet Japan book and decided to see what there was to see that was close by. I started browsing through the Kyoto section and soon came upon Fushimi Inari. I've heard of this place and many people have recommended it to me. So I was like "Ok, I'll check this place out." There was a note in the book that suggested an evening stroll due to the shrine's creepiness. I'm always up for doing stuff in a creepy setting so I decide to go for it. I get my shit together and head out. I get to the shrine at about 1745 and it's starting to get dark. So I start walking around and checking out the inner shrine buildings. It's a standard shrine. But there is something that sets this shrine apart: the mountain path full of Shinto gates. So I find my way to this path and start up it. It's cold, wet and getting darker by the minute and by now I'm not sure this was a good idea since I've been fighting a sinus infection. Well I press on and soon I'm in the mountains. The only sounds you can hear are the dozens of crows in the trees and the small brook that flows next to the path. It's actually pretty eerie to be walking by yourself and all you can hear are crows cawing in the darkening sky. I keep heading up the path and I see a couple people coming the other way. I eventually start entering graveyards. These are creepy with the lights and snow. Suddenly I realize that there are no more crows cawing and that makes things so quiet. I'm all alone out in this mountain path. It's really rather peaceful actually. It's pretty cold, but by this time I'm actually sweating from going up and down the mountains. Suddenly I start hearing this cat meow. That was much more creepy than the crows. It felt as if the cat was telling me to leave (Shrines are supposed to be haunted at nighttime). I eventually wind my way through some more grave yards and I'm heading back up and hopefully back home when I see something move in the trees "Oh crap" I think "It's a fox or a monkey or some demon that's going to eat me." But the thing just kinda slinked away. I think it was another cat keeping an eye on me. I finally make my way up the mountain again to the spooky summit. The area glows errily with the electric lights and the snow coming down gave it a real mystic feeling. So I head down the other way and nearly break my leg in a pot hole. I continue down and again almost succumb to a pot hole. I keep going and I step off a step into a pot hole and twist my right ankle. It's ok, but it hurts a bit. Good thing I didn't break my leg cause I'd still be up there probably. But all in all it's a great shrine and I highly recommend it.
|Monday, November 12th, 2007|
Well it's November now. Japan's finally starting to cool off and head into winter. I'm finally feeling more comfortable and relaxed now (due to cooler temperatures). I seriously hate the Japanese summers. It's so hot and humid and just plain miserable.
Recently not much has happened. I'm still in Shiga and I'm still in my job. Things are changing though. I'm now looking for a new job, focusing on areas away from where I am currently. I've decided that I've hit a rut. I'm stuck in a cycle of lonliness and mediocrity that is slowly destroying me. Here's my weekly cycle:
Tuesday: I go to work from 0930-1930, then I go to my Japanese lesson from 2030-2200. I arrive back at home around 2245.
Wednesday: I work from 0930-1915. After work I go home, eat dinner and watch a Japanese game show until about 2100. Afterwards I either study Japanese or play on the computer. I'll let you guess which one gets more attention.
Thursday: Again it's work from 0930-1930. It's dinner then study or computer.
Friday: Fridays are a little differet. I go to work from 1300-1900. I generally get all my crap done during the day before work so I can study and shit at night. I usually play on the computer after work though.
Saturday: 0945-2015 is work. Yes, I work 10.5 hours on Saturday it sucks, but I know people who have it worse. After work I usually head into Kyoto for drinks. I almost always say I'm gonna go home on the last train and it doesn't happen. I end up there till morning usually.
Sunday: Sundays are my rest days. I rarely do anything to strenuous because I'm usually hung over. I usually waste my day in front of the computer and eat shitty junk food cause I'm too fucked up to do anything else. I do however, rent movies quite often on Sundays which is always fun.
Monday: Monday I usually clean or study or rent movies. I basically try to use Monday as my day of productivity. I try to clean, do laundry, study, etc.
So there you have it guys. That is my weekly schedule. My lazy, unproductive, waste of time schedule. I know there are some folks out there who have it worse than me (having to work in a frozen tundra for 16 hours a day for one), but still I feel that I am wasting my life with doing what I am now. The thing is is that this rut I've fallen in is reinforced by my friends. Now, I love all my friends they're good people and all, but I feel that I am slipping away from being interested in drinkin and chasing girls and being wild. I feel that though this behavior was ok in university and shit, but now I'm an adult and I really should be moving beyond this shit. I sometimes try to stay home or drink in Kusatsu (something I haven't done in months because the one cool bar here got shut down back in June) or even go out of town. The days where I stay home I have to tell people that I'm sick or they won't leave me alone. Even if I say that I have something important to do on Sunday they don't care, they'll keep me there and that's that. One guy actually took my money until the last train left so that I couldn't go home.
Due to these feelings I have decided that I want to look for a job away from Kyoto. Away from the crazy parties and endless drinking. I want a normal, quiet, stable life. Of course I'll still go out every once and again, but only have a few drinks and then go home. And I would prefer to have the drinks over food. I guess it's more of a mature view of drinking, but that's how I've felt recently. It will be much easier for me to do this if I can pull up stakes and move someplace new.
On top of these feelings I also just feel like an adventure. I want to be somewhere where it doesn't feel so familiar. I remember a couple years back I would walk around Kyoto and not have a clue at all as to where I was. I miss that, I want that back. I've actually thought about moving to Taiwan or China to get that feeling back, but then I won't be able to acheive my goal of JLPT 1 (well at least not as easily). I think if I keep that goal in mind I'll be able to keep focused long enough to do it. Then I can hop over to someplace totally new.
Really the biggest thing isn't the drinking (though it is a convenient excuse to leave), it's the feeling of sameness. I feel that Kyoto has gotten to be repetitive and stale. I love Kyoto, but I need a change of scenery. I've always been like this really. I've had a wanderlust ever since I was a kid. I love to travel and go new places. I guess the time has just come to leave.
|Tuesday, September 18th, 2007|
It's been a long time...Really nothing much has been going on in my life to write about. Nothing really exciting. I did go to Hawaii back in August, but it was mostly a family reunion and it rained most of the time so that I didn't get to experience a stereotypical Hawaiian vacation. It was good though. AND I got to eat Taco Bell so I'm an extremely happy camper.
Recently I've been thinking about my future. I'm trying to decide what to do come March when I leave my current job. Should I try to stay in Kansai? Should I go to Tokyo? Should I go to another Asian country? Should I try to get into grad school or a post-bacclaureate program? Should I go back to Tennessee? These are just some of the questions that have been floating around my brain the last couple weeks. I know I have time, but I am the type of person that wants to have a plan made up. I'm the guy who planned his entire time at college during his first semester. I know I'm a dork.
I do kinda have a couple goals to reach before I leave Japan. I would like to pass at least the second level of the JLPT before leaving. Actually I would really like to pass the first level. I'm thinking that if I pass the second level this year I can take the first level in 2009. After that I feel I can leave Japan. I keep telling myself that I'll leave by 2010 no matter what, but everytime I sit down and think, I keep talking myself into wanting to stay until I pass JLPT 1. I know that is a very lofty goal, but it would pretty much assure me a job back home and it would give me the satisfaction of actually finishing something that I started. Pretty much everything I've done in my life I've done to a half finish or less. I did get Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts, but I coulda done more. I didn't finish ROTC (though that was due to biological factors rather than mental). I quit the violin after 2 years. I never really tried to get good in German. I keep making excuses and then I look back and am like "What the fuck? I haven't finished shit." It pisses me off. That is the main reason I want to stay in Japan until I've passed the JLPT 1. I think that it would be good for me both as a career advancment tool and as a personal milestone in that I would've completed something to the end. After level 1 there is no where else to go. I think that would make me feel that I've finally accomplished something. So I guess this paragraph has answered whether or not I'll stay in Japan after March. Looks like I'm gonna be in Japan for a while longer.
Now I gotta figure out where in Japan I'll be. I'd really like to stay in Kansai. After 2 years I finally feel like I've carved out a life for myself here. I have a Japanese teacher that I like. I've got good friends, favorite restaurants, favorite walks and parks. I've also kinda gotten used to the pace of life here. I know I can find that in other parts of Japan, but I dunno. I don't really wanna uproot, though the change of scenery would be cool and I always enjoy moving. Basically I think I'd be happy anywhere in Japan...As long as there was a Tsutaya and a conbini near my apartment. I just think moving somewhere around this area (more specifically Shiga or Kyoto) would be best for me. I'm hoping I'll get lucky and find an awesome job in Kyoto and would be able to move up there.
I think what I'm going to so is this: Pass the JLPT level 2 this December and chill at my job till March. Get a job in Kyoto or this area of Shiga, hopefully at a real school in April. Study my ass off over 2008 in Japanese and also try to find a course in English teaching (so that I can get certification and thus a better paying job). I will continue studying my ass off throughout 2009 and will take the JLPT 1 in December of that year. If I pass I will probably leave Japan sometime late 2010. If I don't pass, I'll study even more rigorously in 2010 and take the test again in December 2010. If I don't pass again. I will repeat until the test is mine! And it will be mine. After that...I don't have a clue.
So, I guess that wraps up this rant.
|Friday, May 11th, 2007|
|Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
So I just got a free Game Cube and 6 games from my buddy Joe who went back to the US. First, this is the first time in about 2 years that I have sat down and played a game for real. Second, I haven't played a Zelda title (other than on the Gameboy) in about 5 years. This is a fucking great game. I've only logged 8 hours so far, but I'm very pleased with it. It's keeping me busy so that I don't go spend money. That makes me happy. I really enjoy this game. The puzzles are great. Especially now that I'm patient enough to solve them without freaking out. I'm really looking forward to further adventures in this world.
|Friday, March 30th, 2007|
I just realized that it's been nearly two months since my last update, and that was merely a rant about movies.
Not too much has been going on with me. I went to Tokyo about a month ago. That was fucking great. I had a great time hanging with my friends and just wandering about the city. That was actually the first time that I actually got to go around by myself. It was nice. I'm actually probably going to move to that area within the next year or so. I love Kansai, but I think it's time for a change of scenery. I think I would be happiest in Tokyo rather than anyother place (other than Kansai). If I were to move to somewhere like Hokkaido or something, I would probably be miserable, but in Tokyo I think I could carve out a life.
I will be going to Shikoku this weekend to hangout with my old chum, D. I think it'll be a cool trip. I've never been to Shikoku so it's something new.
I'll post about the trip when I get back. I promise.
|Saturday, February 10th, 2007|
|Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Shit
I knew better. I really did. I knew I shouldn't have wasted the 250 yen on this movie, but hey it deals with Japan and I'm a big dork for movies about Japan. So this installment of the Fast and the Furious series is definately the weakest. It deals with this guy who wrecks this housing development while racing. So instead of prison he gets shipped to his dad in Japan (Tokyo more specifically). Now of course everyone in Japan either has a car or is a racing legend. All the women are hot and wear the short skirts and tall ass boots. All this movie is is a mixture of all the stereotypes of Japan and of illegal street racing. It's really quite tedious. Another thing is that apparently everybody speaks English in this reality. Funny thing is that the main chick goes from speaking perfect English to having a nice accent. Seems a mizture of Spanish and Japanese. They really try to play up the whole pimp club, ultra dance culture. It exists but not to the extent that this movie portrays. I laughed at the first race in Tokyo when they're in this garage and there's this dude who is DJing. Like it's absolutely everywhere. Really funny. All in all it's a shitty movie. I shoulda gotten a porn.
|Thursday, February 1st, 2007|
|Scotland is free!
| You scored as William Wallace. The great Scottish warrior William Wallace led his people against their English oppressors in a campaign that won independence for Scotland and immortalized him in the hearts of his countrymen. With his warrior's heart, tactician's mind, and poet's soul, Wallace was a brilliant leader. He just wanted to live a simple life on his farm, but he gave it up to help his country in its time of need. |
Captain Jack Sparrow
Neo, the "One"
James Bond, Agent 007
Batman, the Dark Knight
The Amazing Spider-Man
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
|Wednesday, December 13th, 2006|
|The shirt of a three year old
"My mom smoked, drank and dropped acid during pregnancy."
-the shirt of a three year old
My friend saw that shirt and told me about it. That's really awesome.
|Thursday, November 23rd, 2006|
|Losing the war
I have fucking mold in my goddamned apartment. It's not everywhere...yet, but it has attacked my pillows, my Memphis cap and god knows what else. I guess I need to air out the apartment. Which I will do now. Fuck, now I am cold. I'm also going to get a dehumidifier today. I figure the first thing I need to do is make my place less moist. I just wish that this place was better insulated. It's not very well insulated at all. Well not many places are. Do any of you have suggestions on how to beat my nemesis? Just talked to the boss lady and she's gonna hook me up with a dehumidifier. Sweet.
|Saturday, November 18th, 2006|
|A greater understanding
I realized today that I have gained a better understanding as to why my college professors and other teachers disliked their students being late. It hinders the student's ability to learn the material and it also fucks the students who come on time due to the fact that the teacher has to repeat or catch the late fuckers up. One or two minutes, fuck, even five fucking minutes is ok to be late (in my opinion), but 15, 20 minutes. What the fuck? The thing that gets me is that it's the parents here who cause the students to be late. That's just fucked up. I remember my Criminal Justice professor way back in Freshman year. He said "If you're going to be late, don't fucking come." That was advice to live by. If I was going to be late, especially if it was going to be more than three minutes, I wouldn't go to class. This philosophy helped me be on time and thus attend most of my classes through the five years I attended university. It just pisses me off when people are late to classes.
|Sunday, August 6th, 2006|
|Work on Sunday
There is nothing unholier than working on Sunday. We had to come in at 0930 today for a fucking meeting. All we did was talk about cirriculum for about 4 hours then we talked about various other things until 1830. Basically it was a waste of sleeping time.
Afterwards we ate at Babyface Cafe. It was one of my coworker's going away party. I drank a some 梅酒 (umeshu). Was feeling buzzed, but now I'm good. The food was great. Not too expensive and just huge portions. I guess it was meant for two people. We all just shared food and the like. Then found out that my boss paid for it. SWEET!
|Thursday, July 27th, 2006|
|Fuck it's hot!
Damn, it has been a fucking oven here the last couple days. At least it looks like the rainy season is finally over. Thank god!
New coworker is pretty cool. He's been staying at my place the last week. It's been cool. He brought a lot of DVDs (including 5 seasons of Simpsons) and we have been watching them a lot. Fun times.
Well Rob's going away party is Saturday. That promises to be fucking awesome. I'll be nice and drunk afterwards. Hey Rob, you wanna go back to Maruyama and spit together?
Tomorrow I gotta go to the eye doctor, send money to my mom and various other little chores. I might even hang out with my friend David.
|Sunday, July 23rd, 2006|
|Kyoto and the story of nothingness
Last night I took my new coworker, Dave to Kyoto. Nothing too crazy, just went to a couple bars and ate at a Matsuya (beef bowl place). After dinner we headed to Unity, a nice little bar that was celebrating it's third anniversary. It was pretty crowded so we only drank two drinks and then bounced to Ing.
Ing is a rock n roll bar. The guy whose nickname is apparently Box is fucking cool. He is crazy about 60's and 70's rock. Stuff like the Stones, and Jimi Hendrix and all the other classics. While there I start a conversation with this Japanese guy. After a couple minutes he asks if I have a girlfriend. When I answer in the negative he's like "Oh! Let's go together! Let's go get girls!" Needless to say I didn't go. I didn't feel like spending a shit load of money.
After Ing we went to this small cafe that serves booze too. We had one drink there and walked out to Shijo street and I made reservations for Rob's going away party.
Other than that it was an uneventful night. Had a good time and did a little drinking.
Tonight is a curry festival. Yes, a curry festival. So it will be awesome!
|Tuesday, July 18th, 2006|
|I had a weekend
My friend Patrick came down to Kusatsu this weekend. It was cool. We joked, watched movies and I yelled at the video store clerk and went to the Gion festival.
The festival wasn't as cool as I thought. It rained all fucking day. That sucked, but it was still fun. We started drinking around 5 at the Hub (a British style pub). Some of my friends were there. Patrick drank absinthe by mistake. He thought the drink sounded cool (it was called Stairway to Heaven). I just drank some gin and tonics. We then walked around Gion some more and ate a pita. We then chilled at Ing and then bounced to Unity. That was cool. Talked to some chicks and this cool foreigner guy. Patrick eventually found this Chinese liqour that had mice in it. Yes I said mice. Kinda like that tequilla with the worm. Well Pat says he wants some and the bartender gives him a free shot. The only catch is that I had to fucking take one too. So I have consumed an alcohol that had dead fucking mice in it. That should go in a record book or something. Rob showed up with Yakiniku man and we drank some with him at another place and then it was off to Kusatsu and karaoke. At Kusatsu station we met up with some foreigners who work at Nova. Pat, Rob and I just did karaoke by ourselves.
Monday was just chillin and eatin food. Pat went back to Nagoya and Rob and I watched Final Cut. It was pointless. I then went and saw Pirates of the Carribean 2 in Omihachiman. It too was boring.
And that is all.
|Saturday, July 15th, 2006|
Well I'll be meeting up with my buddy Patrick from the NGU days in about 30 minutes. We'll be hanging out and shit this weekend. Our primary objective is the Gion matsuri. It's the largest festival in Japan and is only about 20 minutes away from me. We'll hit it tomorrow and probably wander back to my place sometime Monday morning. Alcohol will definately be consumed and lots of money will be spent, but it'll be awesome.
I found out that Pirates of the Carribean 2 opened today at the local cinema. I'm going to try to talk Patrick into seeing it. That would be awesome.
|Tuesday, July 11th, 2006|
|Mission Impossible 3
I went into Omi-Hachiman yesterday to see the latest installment of the M:i movies. I liked it. It was a really good action movie. I agree with my friend Brad who mentioned that the mask scheme was kinda getting worn out, but in this movie to see how they make them and what they had to do to get it was cool. The action was also really sweet. I also liked how Ethan Hunt acted more like a soldier rather than just some super spy. They way he moved and shit was really cool and military like. Overall I enjoyed the movie.
Another plus was that I got to see the trailer for Superman Returns. Recently I've became a big Superman fan and it seems that I've dragged Rob down with me. I've been watching Smallville and reading Superman comics. I even watched the old Superman movies (not the best pieces of cinema). So I am really excited about the new movie. It comes out here August 19th. So I will definately go see that shit.
|Saturday, July 8th, 2006|
グリーンだよう！ That is a catch phrase from a Kirin Green commercial. It basically features this group of apparently random foreigners who do stupid shit and when they apologize they say the above phrase. I think it's funny. The most recent commercial is with Shimura Ken, my favorite Japanese comedian.
I am going to be heading to Nikki's in a few short minutes. This is the second day of his going out of business party. Not sure what I'll drink (3000yen all you can drink), but it will probably be a lot. I haven't decided if I will do an all nighter or not. I really don't feel like it, but I probably will because I will be really drunk in about an hour.