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Of lots of rain

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/26/2005 7:35:11 AM
Whoo, I got a 10/10 on my vocab quiz today! Yay! ^__^

When I walked out of my microeconomics class today, I noticed the sky was really, really dark. As a precaution, I busted out my umbrella, because I was pretty sure it would start raining. And hoo boy, that it did. It actually stormed with lightning and thunder and everything, and it dropped a LOT of rain on me. Even with my umbrella up, my pants and bookbag got COMPLETELY soaked; I should have stayed under the cover of a building like other people were until the rain subsided a bit, but eh, a little rain never hurt anyone. *laughs* I did have to "pull over" to a little garage on a sidestreet so I could put my windbreaker (which has the nice property of also being pretty water-tight) on over my bookbag, though by the time I headed back out things were pretty much down to a "normal" rain like the kind I experienced my first few months here with all the typhoons.

What a way to get my new shoes broken in: get 'em sopping wet! *laughs* Hopefully by keeping them outside (as the family does with all but the dressiest of shoes) they'll air out better.

I talked to Papa about going to Kyoto sometime either next week or the week after that, and I think I just might do it. He said a Shinkansen ticket is about 15,000 yen (about $150), which I'd be willing to do just for the sake of saying I'd been on the Shinkansen anyway. *laughs* I'm planning on just going there for one day, and for the return trip maybe taking an overnight bus (only $50) back to Tokyo. It'll give me the experience of being on a Shinkansen, being in Kyoto, and being on an overnight bus all in one trip! Sounds like a deal to me. I'm planning on going alone, but if anyone from Japan Study is reading this and wants to come along to Kyoto with me, I'd be happy to have some company! Chances are I'll end up being alone, but that's okay... I'm not really expecting anyone to want to come, especially since a lot of people have been to Kyoto anyway. ;)

Oop, Saki-chan just came home; I can hear her outside. And with that I shall bring this journal entry to a close. ^_^
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Of Wednesday

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/27/2005 8:03:20 AM
Wednesdays are always pretty nice. I get to wake up late, go to a pretty fun class, bum around for over three hours, and then go to another pretty fun class. Got some good programming done during that "bumming around," too... technically not really all too much, as it was a lot of figuring out why what I was doing wouldn't work right, but in the end it's going to be quite useful. It was ridiculously hot in the lounge, though. Gah.

Tomorrow is a dinner with the Campbells and a few Japan Study students. Cool. I'm looking forward to that... especially because it pretty much marks the beginning of my week-long vacation. Yes, another week-long vacation! *laughs* I'll have a test in just about every one of my classes when I return, though, so I'm going to need to, like, study and stuff, man. Bleh. But at least... well, dang. It'll put me nicely into May, and before I know it there'll just be one more month until I come home. Wow.
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Of stray cats and red dragonflies

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/28/2005 10:44:05 AM
Whoa, I'm stuffed. This is going to have to be kind of brief. ;)

Today was my full day, but it wasn't all too bad, especially knowing that I have the entire next week off (and, actually, then just Friday followed by another three days off)! I'm going to be having midterms when I get back, but eh, that's just what's gonna happen.

Spent a lot of time talking with friends today, and it was fun. I even went to the Campbell's apartment (on the second try, actually... the first try was the wrong apartment and it was nuts) to have dinner with them and three other Japan Study students, and it was really fun. The Campbells are awesome people. ^__^ We had some really good curry rice and this crazy-mad awesome strawberry dessert... I really, really overate, though, and I feel so horribly full. *laughs* Talked with Megan all the way back to the station; lots of great folks here. :)

While I was coming back through Higashimurayama, I happened to run across a cat that I always see sitting on this wall. I'm assuming it's a stray, since it doesn't have a collar and I see it out there a lot, but for whatever reason I decided to pet it this time. Now before you jump all over me for petting a stray cat, let me just say I was perfectly aware of the risks involved and as such proceeded with great caution. However, not only did the cat like being petted and scratched, but it actually hopped down off the wall, rubbed against my legs, and then completely sprawled out at my feet so I could scratch its belly. It was so adorable and awesome. I love cats so much. ^__^

Whoo, a whole week off! Lots of stuff I'm going to need to do during that week, but that's okay. Week off! Yay!

Oh, and I found out something AWESOME. You know that song I kept mentioning would play at 4:30 every day? I FOUND IT. We actually were listening to it in Japanese class, and it touched me in this odd way that was eerily familiar. And then I remembered what else caused that feeling: the music at 4:30. It's the same song! Eee! It's called "Aka Tombo" (Red Dragonfly), and it's about as Japanese a song as you can get. I love it I love it I love it... the version we listened to in class literally made me almost start crying because it was so beautiful. If you follow the link here you can see the music and lyrics, as well as hear the melody played on an itame kurikou, a traditional Japanese instrument. If you have Windows Media Player 10 (or some other music service), you can search for "aka tombo" or "aka tonbo" or "red dragonfly" and you'll find a bunch of song samples you can listen to. If I can find the one we were listening to in class, I'm so downloading it (as in, buying it). That and the Totoro theme song. Those two songs have extremely significant significance to me now. ^__^
http://koto.sapp.org/dict/akatonbo 0 replies

Of DDR once again

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/29/2005 6:34:24 AM
Ah, vacation. Gotta love it. I was originally planning on getting a head start on all the homework I have, but instead I just made a list of what I had to do and in the process realized it really wasn't that bad. *laughs* So today I just worked on some non-school related things (mostly catching up with stuff that was slowly getting backed up, like my dream journal) and relaxed. Unfortunately, it was really hot today... and actually, it still is. Dang. First time I've had to turn on my air conditioner in 2005. Whoo.

I met Becca at the arcade by the Takadanobaba station to play some DDR at 3:30, which was fun. Neither of us had played in a while, and it was a good reminder that "Yeah, you've gotta keep practicing." *laughs* I still can't quite get things perfectly right on platforms. I think I just grew up optimizing my routine way too much on soft pads that no matter how hard I try I just can't get it quite right on platforms. As in, here I get As and Bs and the occasional AA, whereas back home on soft pads I can get AAs almost all the time. It'll be nice to get home and be able to use the soft pad again, but at the same time I think I'm going to be driving out to Parmatown to practice at the arcade there so I can at least be COMPETENT on the metal platforms.

I might start "working" tomorrow. Today's just going to be free. ^_^
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Of some work

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/30/2005 6:50:58 AM
Well, today wasn't TOTALLY a break... I got most of my Japanese essay done. So yes, I actually did work. *laughs* I've realized, though, that there's a HECK of a lot more I wish I could do sometimes than things people are going to be grading me on. Like working on Dragon Films, for example. Or drawing. These are things I'm not being forced to do, but people are going to be disappointed if I don't do them. Schoolwork, on the other hand, only disappoints me if I don't do it. I'm not saying I hate schoolwork or anything... it's just sometimes I'll wish I had more "me" time. And then other times I'll wish I had less "me" time and more schoolwork. My brain either doesn't work right or I'm just upside-down.

I guess I should stop worrying about getting behind in my work here. For crying out loud, I have a whole week with nothing really planned to do it. Chill out, Gerf. *laughs*
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Of work and shopping

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 5/1/2005 6:50:22 AM
RABBITSRABBITSRABBITS!

May already. Wow.

Did some work today, went to the store to buy some OJ and cereal and 0.5mm lead for my mechanical pencil, did more work, and then ate dinner. Actually, the family called me at 6:00, but I didn't come down until 6:30... because I totally didn't hear them! *laughs* I felt pretty bad about that. I was listening to some music and totally didn't hear, but they understood. Afterwards I showed them how to use their new digital camera with their computer. It's pretty cool!

Oh, and you can buy watermelon at the supermarket for 40 bucks. Heck yeah. *laughs*

That's about it for now. I'm tired. Sleep or something now would be good.
1 reply

No title
Posted by: Ksmith9505 5/1/2005 7:58:08 PM
I paid $4.95 at Marc's today for a watermelon. We'll think of you when we eat it:o)
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Of more work

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 5/2/2005 9:14:26 AM
Another day of working for me. Or is it vacation? I forget. *laughs* In any case, made good progress on a bunch of assorted things. Yay.

Saki-chan and I played with some fake Legos after dinner, and under her "guidance" I made a funky spaceship-diamond-something, and stuck it on top of a bunch of blocks so it looked almost like a flower. I'm sure you'll see it at some point in a batch of random images. Fun stuff. ;)

Mama's organizing a barbecue tomorrow at 4:00, and I'm going to cook some stuff. Should be interesting!
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bbq'd?
Posted by: badcheeso 5/3/2005 6:55:58 AM
Gerf cooking?

oh nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

Get lotsa practice so you can do it at home too. Remember we have a gas grill.

badcheeso
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Of a barbecue

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - dining room 5/3/2005 10:11:51 AM
Whew, what a day! Mama and Papa threw a Golden Week barbecue, and yikes did they go all out. Mama said 30-some people were coming, though I don't know if the number ever quite reached 30. In any case, it was quite an event. Food left and right, and boy they didn't stop barbecuing stuff! First it was some beef, then shitake mushrooms and chicken and raw scallops (like, the whole thing right out of the shell) bread and onions and hot dogs and squid and yakisoba and... more I can't recall. *laughs* It just kept on going! I was full after maybe one hour, but they kept on insisting I eat. Somehow I managed to sneak out of eating TOO much, but... yeah. I didn't really want to overeat for some reason.

The party started at 4:00 and didn't really end until 11:00 or so. During that time, I played piano, talked with people, ran away from Saki-chan, and pet Nana quite a bit. I was kind of disconnected from the conversations at times, partially by my own doing, but that's okay. I still had a pretty good time. It's not something I'm going to want to do often (big parties, that is), but when they do happen every now and then it's pretty fun.

Got a package from my parents today, too, which included the video they took while they were in Japan. We watched a little of that as the party was dying down. Rather amusing. ^__^

I can't think of much else to say but look at some of the pictures and enjoy. My brain has officially switched off from being able to remember every tiny detail of these kinds of things... because they're just totally normal now. Sorry, it doesn't make for very interesting journal entries. ;)
Photos 0 replies

Of playing catch

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - dining room 5/4/2005 7:24:28 AM
Today I tried sleeping in, but my body's natural clock wouldn't let me. Despite my desires, I brought myself down to eat breakfast at a little before 9:00. *laughs* The rest of the morning was spent reading and talking with people, and at 2:00 I went to the Onishi's house to play catch with Keisuke for an hour and a half or so. It was nice to finally put my baseball mitt to good use! Afterwards we watched some old Mr. Bean videos that I remember watching a loooong time ago, and then Kazuki and I worked together to fix some mistakes in my Japanese essay due Friday (which I need to transcribe to paper tonight or tomorrow). It's nice to see that, while I had a good deal of small little mistakes, most of them weren't grammatical blunders but instead stylistic issues. As in, Kazuki was able to understand almost the entire thing as it was written save for one or two spots that I had trouble explaining even in English (which makes me wonder why I wrote them in the first place!), and most of the time was spent picking better words (like "genius words" as opposed to "normal words"). It's reassuring to know that, even when I feel what I wrote is utter trash (no pun intended, since I wrote about trash... literally), even a Japanese high-schooler can read and understand it with little difficulty.

Right now I'm eating dinner by myself because the family is gone; mostly leftovers from the barbecue. I guess I'll do some kanji studying since I have a quiz on Friday, and maybe tomorrow I can get going on some of the reading I need to do for class. Actually, that probably would be a good idea... maybe I could/should do some tonight.

Oh, and it just so happens that Kazuki really wants to go to Kyoto, too... but schoolwork is going to force him to not be able to go anytime soon, even next week when I'm planning to go. Rats! It would have been awesome to go down there with him. But hey... I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Or, uh, the way the, uh, sushi falls apart when you try to eat it in two bites instead of one. *shrugs* Something like that.
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Of a week gone just like that

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 5/5/2005 7:22:33 AM
Wh-wh-wha? Was that really a week? Wow. That was a fast week. o_O;

I guess I got a nice bit of work done. Probably not as much as I wanted to do, but... yeah. All these vacations are making me want to come home. *laughs* That's it for the rest of the year, though... I don't think there are any more vacations at all until school lets out. Whoo.

Still planning on hitting up Kyoto next weekend, probably by myself. I haven't done any ticket hunting or anything yet, though tomorrow I think I might go and either get information or reserve a ticket. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what I'm going to do down there... like, none at all. I guess go around and get some pictures. Maybe I can find an online tourist guide or something. Yeah.

It's funny... I don't really have too much of an interest in seeing Kyoto compared to actually getting there. The main reason I want to go, as silly as it sounds, is so I can sing the "We're off to Kyoto" song from Big Bird In Japan while riding the Shinkansen. It's going to be an expensive little jaunt, but that's okay. I likely will never be able to do anything like that again, and my parents did a very, very good job at teaching me how to manage my money so that's not really an issue. Er, wait, those two things are completely unrelated. Yeah. I'm tired.

It's getting so close to the end that I can taste it, like this residual sushi taste left over in my mouth. I'm just ready to be done. I'm certainly glad I came and I'll certainly be sorry when it's all over, but it's getting time for me to come home.

But first I need to send this package home. Maybe I'll do that Saturday. Or tomorrow if there's time after I get home from classes. Yeah. I'm tired.
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Whatttttt?? counting down
Posted by: badcheeso 5/6/2005 6:50:17 AM
I usually start the countdown by months then by weeks when it gets to 4 weeks then days when it gets to one week then I'm done at the last day.

You get some info on Kyoto from the internet or the train station or papa-san who might know somebody who goes there. Let them know of your plans to travel so they can adjust their thinking accordingly. It's not nice just to let them know that you're leaving for Kyoto the next day.

It don't think you'll see big bird.

You'll have to start to take pictures or videos of things you meant to, like right now. Sooner than later you'll run out of time. Looking back at our trip I wish I would have taken MORE video and more pictures. You need to document some of the "usual" things you see and take for granted, like things around the house, Takadanobaba, Waseda and whatever.

Don't put off till tomorrow what you can put off until next week. NO, that's not right. Get the stuff done so it's not hanging over your head like a samuri sword. You can bleed to death by a thousand little cuts as easily as by one big one. It just takes longer.

love ya,

badcheeso
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