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Dec. 23rd, 2013


Woo~ Fantastic new layout, courtesy of [info]cashew! Thanks for letting me use it! I absolutely love the background, and the way links look.
It's actually been over four years since I changed the layout on this thing. Heh.. I really loved the one I had before, so never felt the desire to change it, until this one was made. .^^
Now I kinda want to make a mood theme to go with it, which sounds like so much more fun than cleaning my apartment.

In other news, tomorrow is my last day of work before winter vacation starts. My annual winter trip this year will be to Ise Shrine in Mie prefecture, then a short jaunt down to Kobe (not for any particular reason, I assure you....), then over to Miyajima, to spend New Year's at Itsukushima Shrine, and New Year's Day hiking Mt. Misen. After that, I'll spend a couple days wandering around Hiroshima.

I realize, of course, that I still haven't posted my travel log or pictures from last year's Kyoto/Nara trip. .>_>

Last year I sent a postcard to my family every day or so during my trip, but they never said anything. I don't even know if they ever received them. So I don't think I'll bother this year. Of course, then they'll act like I'm some kind of asshole, as usual, when all I've done or haven't done is the same damn things they do or don't do.

Now, how should I do my mood theme...?

Oct. 16th, 2012


Often, especially lately, it's assumed that I'm a college student here. Which, given my advanced age, is rather flattering. Ya know, if I'd gone to college right after high school like a normal person, I'd still have graduated (at the B.A. level) over 10 years ago. So while I always feel old, as I am always older than everyone I know and everyone I meet, having people ask "What school do you go to?" "What are you majoring in?" "You go to Utsunomiya University, right?" feels kind of good.

But today's assumption, after telling the little old man that I wasn't actually a student, was "But you're from Russia, right?"


WTF? Where does Russia come from? I assure you, there is nothing outwardly Russian about me.

Now, a few things.

1. When I think about it, someone assuming I'm a student after seeing me at a restaurant might almost make sense. Whenever I go out to eat, I spend the time hunched over a notebook, going over "notes" (actually, I'm writing porn).

2. I wonder if the Russian thing was because of my jacket. I call it my Marching Band Leader jacket, but someone could possibly draw other conclusions.

3. It still doesn't beat the time, while I was wearing my Daisya cosplay at AX one year, I had some Mexican guy come running after me, yelling "Are you French!?"

Just... WTF?

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Aug. 17th, 2012

How I spent my birthday.

This past Tuesday was my birthday, and it was.... Eeh....

Well, just read.

With pictures, of course. )

Jun. 19th, 2012

I feel like I'm finally, officially done with that place.

And here is the last story to take place at the old apartment. I feel like it's the final closure of a very short era.

And it reminded me that I don't think I ever posted the tour video of that place. Not that it's at all exciting.

But anyway. Dollies.

Apr. 6th, 2012


I've managed to move into my new place in Utsunomiya, but it was with a HUGE deal of difficulty. Because my life is full of special and bullshit. And I won't get into details, because that would take about 178 pages of bitchery, but let's just say I almost ended up with all my shit tossed onto the street. But through the power of super nice people (link because it's that same person) putting themselves out for me even though they totally didn't have to, I got moved.

Then slept on the floor for two days, because no bedding.

And now I'm in Tokyo for a while, for new job training. They've put me up in a tiny, dirty little guest house, where the other patrons come in and out at all hours of the night. Somehow, I've learned to sleep through it. And while working in downtown Shinjuku makes me go through this shit twice a day, it's also pretty exciting.

The training will be for another week yet, and today I discovered I was picked as one of the two teachers who will be teaching a brand new class the school is offering this year. (I say "picked" like I'm awesome or something, but actually it was probably a really random selection. It's not like they know anything about me as a teacher, since I haven't even started with them yet. They just needed two native teachers to be "guinea pigs" for this new thing, and... my life is full of special.) So next week I have to go through some extra training.

And, yes, I get paid for all this time. ~FTW~

Anyway. I'll talk more about the training later, probably, but really do want to keep this post brief.

Because the real most important part is~~~~~ this!
Which I actually did a few weeks ago, but my internet was being stupid at the time and wouldn't let me upload. Then I almost forgot about it.

But there. Enjoy. ;P

Dec. 29th, 2011

Comiket winning!

There should be a rule against bringing fucking suitcases to Comiket. If you crazy bitches are buying so much porn you can't carry it all like a normal person, you need to get mental help or something. Damn.

But aside from that, I think Comiket was a success. .^_^ I got (almost?) all caught up on my D-1 TAT doujinshi collection (and had the books sold to me by a super hot Tezuka cosplayer.. .@_@ ), and started working on collecting Kamen Rider doujin. .^^ I even managed to find some Kintaros x Ryuutaros books! =D They're so super cute. XD

But I'd only made it through about half of the Eiji/Ankh stuff before I said "Woah, I need to stop." I could feel a mad money-spending frenzy coming on, and had to not let that happen. After all, I'm going to Hokkaido tomorrow. .^^

But everything I did pick up looks to be cute and/or sexy. I look forward to reading them when I get back. .^__^

Oh, this song reminded me! I also got the MOST ADORABLE EVER felt Renji... thing. XD It kills me with adorable. I'll take a picture of it later so you can all die from it too. ;P

Dec. 7th, 2011

Even more experiences.

I've mentioned before that the secondary school I work at is attached to an affiliated high school. Well, last week the principal of the high school died, after suffering from pancreatic cancer for some months. Of course it's sad, but actually I've never met him, and don't even know what he looked like outside of the photo of him in their school brochure. So I can only wonder how the high school's staff and students feel. I wonder if they'll replace him right away, or go through a mourning period. I wonder about a lot of things.

All teachers, from both schools, are required to go to the funeral tomorrow. And I don't want to say I'm excited about it or looking forward to it, since there's no way that can sound any way other than callous and disrespectful, but... As someone who has spent a great deal of time and energy studying this culture, this is quite a rare and unexpected opportunity. Up until now, I've never even thought about getting to see a Japanese funeral, much less that I'd get to see one so soon after moving here.

Just like how I never thought I'd get to see Japan suffer and overcome a great tragedy, like the March earthquake.

I feel like this year has lasted forever.

I've seen so much.

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Oct. 4th, 2011

My strange life.

Nope, nothing normal here.

In (large) pictures. )

I'm sure this will all stop and my life will be boring again soon. Right?

Mar. 21st, 2011


No, I-sensei. I couldn't possibly eat another bite. No... Ok, ok, I'll have some pickled vegtables. ... And some sashimi. And an onigiri. But I draw the line at ramen. I said I can't eat anymore!

Feb. 27th, 2011

on tour

This is where I live.


Jan. 11th, 2011


I've been neglecting this, ne? But I did want to talk a bit about my trip to Kyoto.

cut for length and pictures )

Dec. 26th, 2010

enchanted land

First of all, Happy Holidays! =D Even though it's officially a few minutes past the day, here.

But more importantly. .^^ Today I booked me the best holiday gift ever. I'm going to Kyoto!! .^___^ Sooo excited!

It'll only be a few days, from the 31st to the 2nd, but I'll get to spend Oshogatsu/New Year's there, with Aniki, so I'm happy.

And I'll totally be staying in a capsule hotel. XD

Winter Comiket is the same week, so the plan is to go to Comiket bright and super fucking early on the 30th, and hopefully be able to get the books I missed out on on my ruined birthday. Then I'll bum around Tokyo, and catch the overnight bus in the evening. Sleep on the bus, and should arrive in Kyoto at, like, 8am on the 31st. Then sightseeing in Kyoto, check into the hotel, and at some point meet up with Aniki to go to the shrine at midnight. Then another two days of sightseeing, then catching the overnight bus in the evening on the 2nd, getting home on the 3rd, and still have a week before I have to go back to work. It's perfect!

Aaaand... watch me miss the bus and miss the whole thing. .>_>

No no no! Perfect!

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Dec. 25th, 2010

too much foods

Ok, I adore I-sensei and am super happy that he invites me to his house from time to time. I was honored to be able to spend a typical Japanese Christmas Eve with his cute family.

But Jesus, I always come back from his place with so much food!

I've now got a fridge shelf full of blocks of mochi that I know I'm not going to eat. And I don't want to even think about it right now, since my stomach is still so full from dinner it hurts. And I hate going to bed on a full stomach, so I've been putting off going to sleep, even though I want to try to get up early to catch my family's Christmas Eve on Skype.

I need to grow enough balls to say "no" when he's offering me stuff. .^^;;;

And the ad next to this posting box features a huge fucking hamburger. ..... I think I'm going to be sick.


Nov. 21st, 2010


More than seven months later, I still have days where I wake up and my first thought is "Oh my gods, I live in Japan."

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Sep. 8th, 2010

small parallel

When I first started going to university full-time, I was taking the Intro to Japan class (obviously, a requirement for the East Asian Studies - Japan major), and we were required to read the book Learning to Bow, by Bruce Feiler. It's an autobiographical account of the time the author spent living and working in Japan. He was one of the early ALTs - doing what I'm doing now, but before it was popular.

There's a chapter in the book about when the author ended up breaking his ankle and was in the hospital, all the other teachers - his co-workers - banded together and worked out a schedule of who was going to go to his house and help him get around until his ankle healed. But the funny thing, or the "catch," was that he had no part at all in deciding all this. He didn't need or want anyone to help him, but they didn't give him any say in the matter. He explains that it's part of the Japanese group mentality; if we help you, you'll be back to work helping us sooner. Everything for the benefit of the group.

I had to laugh when I remembered this today. Because, see, there's a typhoon making its way across Japan right now. Typhoon Kyu-Go (台風9号). It's important to remember that I ride my bike - for an hour - to and from work. So, a few hours before the end of the work day, one of the English teachers came up to me and informed me that she would be taking me home today, leaving my bike behind, and tomorrow one of the other teachers will pick me up ("at 7:30") and take me to work. They didn't ask me, they told me. *chuckle* I guess it just wouldn't do to have their ALT blow away.

I'm ok with it, though I do still have to go from the junior high to the elementary tomorrow.

Maybe I'll blow away anyway.


Aug. 28th, 2010


For the first time ever, I used my bathtub. It went as expected.

Also, I'm currently watching 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'.. in Japanese.


May. 17th, 2010

But so good~

Ya know, I thought I would lose weight when I got here, but with the way people keep feeding me, that may not actually happen.

Apr. 11th, 2010


Well.... I just got back from a four hour walk across Chikusei......

I know it's mostly my own fault. I decided to see how long it took to get to my schools by train. So I walked to the train station (20 minutes), and went to the station closest to my schools, then walked to both of them. One of them was a 40 minute walk away. Noted that, then a 40 minute walk back to the station. Except.... the "station" by the schools isn't a station so much as a platform in the middle of nowhere. There was no ticket counter, booth, machine, or anything, and not a single soul around that I could ask. And I was terrified that if I hopped on a train without a ticket, they'd arrest me or something. Or, you know, charge me the highest fare they could when I got to my home station, because I had no way to prove I didn't get on hours before.

So I did the stupid, stubborn, hard-headed thing, and just walked the fuck back home. It took three hours.

I should have just gotten on the train. I should have gotten on, then walked right up to the conductor and said that I didn't have a ticket and didn't know where to get one in that station. I know enough Japanese that I probably could have made myself understood.

Fuck me, and my stupid self.

Now my knee is HUGE. My feet are killing me. My legs are like jello. And my mind has jumped off the deep end.

I think I'm going to stick with the original plan and ride my (shiny and new) bicycle to and from work. It's only an hour trip each way, and it's not on my feet. It's pleasant.

I just wish...... See, I'd planned on, after getting back from the trains, using the rest of today to make sure I had the biking route absolutely down, so that there would be no chance of getting lost tomorrow, my first day of work. I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going, but I wanted to be positive. But now, there's no way I can. Even if there were enough light outside (there's a bit, now, but it's fading fast), I don't think my legs would cooperate.

So we're going with only a fuzzy idea tomorrow. Wish me luck.

However, the wind was blowing wonderfully the whole time I was walking. Kept me nice and cool, kept my hair out of my face, whispered sweet nothings in my ear, and blew sakura blossoms all around me, so that I got to have a crazy moment of throwing my hands up and saying "Chire, Senbonzakura!"

And! And! The streets here in the town are lined with sakura, and all the petals are falling, and the wind has blown them into piles, so they look like little banks of soft, pink snow. So pretty~

I kinda like it here.

Minus the shitty train system.

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Apr. 1st, 2010

the Moves

Ok, lets get this over with.

Cut, for length.. )

And... I guess that's all. I'll try to be more diligent about updates, as if anyone cared, once something - anything! - actually starts happening.

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Mar. 24th, 2010

So I tried natto......

Quote of the day:

"No, you can keep your gross BEANS to yourself!"

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