Sunday, May 30, 2004

dodging a bullet...or a sword, as the case may be

Man, it took me about ten minutes, but I talked myself out of buying this:

It's the region 2 version, but I don't know if it has any different content. Having read the book again recently (thanks/darn you, Scott), I really really REALLY want to see it again. I remember Mom and Dad watching it when it was originally on, back in what, 1980? I only remember two scenes -- and they're from late enough in the series that I shouldn't say what they are on the off chance that you might want to watch someday.

I did buy The Last Samurai, though. It was less than a fifth of the price of Shogun...

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

It is a puzzlement.

After spending the last four hours cleaning my kitchen (it's 1:36 am, for those keeping score at home), I find myself with an odd puzzle.

Why don't I have a cockroach problem?

I sure as hell deserve one. I mean, behind the stove...ah, but it doesn't bear thinking about. Just...eeugh.

Should I post pics of my (CLEAN!) apartment? It's so out-of-character for me...

Monday, May 24, 2004

On the posting of comments to this page....

...despite what it says when you try to post anonymously, it DOES work. I've sent yet another e-mail to blogger to try to sort it out...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Problem with viewing my weblog?

It's been brought to my attention that the format I'm using for this page is broken in Internet Explorer (Win2X, Mac). I'm viewing it in Safari, so I didn't notice. Sorry! I'm looking into ways that it could be fixed...

(If you're seeing this post, and it's next to the Neil Gaiman quote on the left, then it's working for you. If this post is way down, past the end of the menubar content, please let me know!)


I see now in the revised final version of my last schedule that all of the elementary schools have now scheduled me for at least one day this term. Yay! However, yesterday I did my last visit to Miyama Elementary, and they hadn't realized it was the last one. Oh, well. When I told the students that next time there would be a new ALT, they were very surprised.

Now THIS is funny.

Ever wonder what the characters of The Lord of the Rings were really thinking? Take a look at their Secret Diaries!


Monday, May 17, 2004

Time grows short

I'm about a month and a half into my last academic term here, and I just today realized that a couple of the elementary schools that I visit didn't schedule me for this term. Gee. Admittedly, these are small (less than 50 students) schools, so there's some justification for not needing to have me visit as often, but it's kind of sad for me to think that I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to those kids.

But on the other hand, some of the larger elementary schools saw this as an opportunity to schedule me more. The school I went to today, Yuda Elementary School, have me coming there four times in my last three months.

It's only recently that I've been able to converse at anything approaching an adult level with these teachers. They've been asking me gossipy questions, asking my opinion of the superintendent, and the teachers I work with at the junior high schools. I've had to be extra careful in my Japanese conversation lately. I've also gotten into the habit of adding "...I think," to the end of all of my declarative sentences. Ahh, nothing like the rush you get from navigating the minefields of cross-cultural gossip!

The job search continues.

So does the cleaning of the apartment...slowly. I've got to get things cleaned up because a) I've got to send pictures to the next ALT, and b) the family's coming. Hoo boy.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

One more thing before I crash this evening

I'll be going (back) to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka-shi, Tokyo, in the near future. Studio Ghibli was the creator of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service, among other things. If perchance anyone is interested in (small) swag from the museum, drop me a line and we can try to work something out...

Major Update part one complete

Greetings, y'all. I have just uploaded the first batch of pictures from my last vacation, to Nara and Ise. Please check them out in my photo album. Also, obviously, my weblog has a whole new look. As part of the new look, you can now leave comments for any of my posts on here. And, the photo album has always allowed comments. Please feel free to let me know what you think about...well, anything!


Friday, May 14, 2004

A Sample Picture

(picture removed due to formatting issues
This is one of the many shrines we saw in Nara. This one is Yakushiji, It was built by Emperor Temmu to pray for healing for the Empress. It was moved to it's present site when Nara became the capitla of Japan in 710. The pagoda on the left (the East Pagoda) is the only original building left in the temple complex. The Golden Hall (center) was reconstructed in 1976; the West Pagoda in 1981.

Countdown to Parental Visit: 19 days -- Cleaning status: CRITICAL FAILURE!

Ah, but this weekend is a do-nothing (no-money) one, so I should be able to clean, right? Or, I could spend time fixing up my sadly neglected photo album...

Hmm. Tough choice.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Some quick notes:

I spent the last week (that's Golden Week, for those of you keeping score at home) in Nara City, visiting a lot of ancient shrines and temples. I was there with a couple of friends. We also found time to visit the Grand Shrines of Ise-shima, the center of Shinto, and the most sacred place in Japan. I took over 200 pictures. Hopefully, this weekend I'll have the time to (finally!) update the photo album.

I turned 32 back on April 23rd. Woo hoo....


I just wanna say that this guy (a high-ranking cabinet minister who's been forced to resign due to scandal) has got to have the strongest corrective lens prescription I've seen in a long time.