sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Apr. 12th, 2011 09:53 pm)
Partly cloudy, 11C (7C)

There seems to be various butthurt surrounding me. Contract/schedule/whatnot is still in flux/not totally determined/could be headed for serious revision ; and classes have already started. Let's see how this goes...

In other news, I forgot to mention the fragment of dream I had wherein I dropped my cellphone and it kind of split/shattered apart and some strange goo oozed through the keypad and rendered it useless. I was gutted... good thing it was a dream.

Here's to hoping for better dreams tonight, and a good tomorrow...

P.S. don't even try to spew that shit about Japanese "preparedness" at me. Schmucks.

Also happy sesquicentennial of the Civil War, o muddled-up country of mine.

P.P.S. Meh, my un and pw for registering officially for graduate school aren't working. Meh.
Partly sunny, 9C (2C)

I woke up a little before 4AM from some crazy-ass unpleasant dream about a post-apocalyptic, steam-punk outlaw pirate and his most unsavoury sexual preferences involving the raping of children and exhibitionist murder and wine made from their bile. That is just gross. Gross, I tell you.

And [needless to say] I couldn't get back to sleep.

So at 05h30 I just gave up. It's been an alright morning and I've got some time before I should leave--can't get to the office too early...

Another earthquake yesterday, this time I was at one of my schools (recently rennovated, good riders!) just finishing a planning meeting there. My coworker there seems really emotional. But maybe it'll be okay.

Hmmm... what else, what else..? Oh! I think I've just about got my head back on straight. That boi is not going to call, I don't think, and that's probably for the best. I don't need bois! I don't want bois! Okay, maybe I do want them ; but I don't need them, and this is the point.

I should just focus on work and study. Hm-hm //vigorous nodding Especially since I just paid for Module 1 (ouch!)... And the new school year is starting Any Minute Now and because of poor planning/management I'm going to be utterly SWAMPED with organizing/coordinating/administrating for the next four weeks at least.

But I'm still going to the [new]teachers' beginning-of-the-year drinking party at probably all of my schools... ppl matter, relationships are important, etc. Gah... I just wish I didn't have to do it so many times over--and on the same paycheck that I paid tuition with. This month is going to be tight...

In other news, the state of my body is pissing me off, again, but I'm not starting round three for another 2.5 weeks/after my next glorification of womanhood/thereabouts. Grrr... Body!hate. I really hope the next round goes smashingly. Positively smashingly. I think I might cry if it doesn't and I get trapped going through two presets, a poorly-timed planned interruption, and a supply-train/life malfunction like the last time and don't shed at least 20kilos for my trouble. 20kilos isn't going to happen in one round, though... But I'd like it to be close to that..! :-D At least enough to get rid of what I've regained from my LSW plus.... hmm... 10kilos. I'll call that a win.

Anyway, it's prolly time to go.
Mostly cloudy, 8C (7C)

Haircut )

Now... I'm not going to be unreasonable and say it's the worst haircut I've ever had in my life--there's always that time when I was eight years old and had the fantastic idea of layering bangs and simply *could* *not* *wait* to try it out so continued to do so on my own--but while I'm being honest, it's also not really what I wanted.

And there's lots of shakka-shakka, which I can't friggin' stand, but it was clear that it would just be asking too much to tell the hairdresser to knock it off. Also, this is the third time I've had a cut/styling here in Japan and the overwhelming instinct seems to be for them to fuwa-fuwa-fy my hair. I'm not not such a damned girly-girl. I like sleek, angles, integration, clean and trending toward compact or inward-pointing ; not poofy, wavy, fluffy, blended, outward-pointing, fuzzy-lined... anyway.

The good thing about hair, of course, it that it grows. So maybe at the endin the middle of summer (in three or four months or so), I'll go somewhere trendy in Shibuya and try again. I did go ahead and have it colored--this place is convenient to my apartment and so is also on the cheaper side. The color isn't really what I wanted, either, but it's not bad [not nearly as bad as shakka-shakka!] and I'm sure I'll come to appreciate it more than I do right now.

I'll have to figure something out about these bangs, though... maybe a better-defined part and a little flatter...?

Whatever, I'll deal with that later. Have the first blossom on my sakura-bonsai :

Nice, y/y?
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Mar. 31st, 2011 08:29 pm)
Partly cloudy, 11C (6C)

I'm somewhat pissy right now. Discovered a problem in my room this morning--the apartment is rather humid so I thought it'd be a good idea to check under the futon to make sure there wasn't any mold ; because that happens, esp on tatami mats and esp when you leave the futon out (like I do--I seriously can't be bothered to fold and store that shit then take it out again every freaking day--I make my bed, that ought to be enough). And there was. Not as horrible as it could be, but thoroughly there and must be done about.

So putting off getting a bedframe is no longer possible. I've stood the futon out to dry and run the dehumidifier (A/C function) basically all day [will basically have to continue to do so until the frame arrives and is assembled] and when I got home from the office (training), there was still some damp so I've continues running the dehumidifier and gone ahead and ordered a new bedframe.

But not the pretty one, because though that storage and good construction is MIGHTY APPEALING, I can't afford that right now. Not even the compromise model (whose bright spot is an electrical outlet on the shelf!)--because those are all "special sales" for about six hours this COMING OCTOBER. Nono, I bought the cheap-ass, ugly one. That is totally going to fuck up the wa in my bedroom... Better than nothing and the ventilation ought to be good enough...

A simple pine-wood frame is crazy expensive--more than the compromise model I was about to buy, and the cheaper steel frame ones are between 8 and 12cm too long--and all that shopping took longer than I had expected and now I don't have time to cook (not like I really feel like it). Hence the pissiness. So I'll just have some nuts for "supper" and call it a day.

Blimey. Next month is going to suck financially, even if I don't do my hair or only do a cut (no color, which I'd basically decided on while I was walking home from the station)... God help me.

While I'm being a whiny brat ; last night my sleep was crappy--I kept waking up and taking thirty or forty or seventy minutes to fall back asleep....
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jan. 19th, 2011 10:35 pm)
Partly cloudy, 6C (0C)

I need to find an apartment. This is becoming stressful. Looks like I'll have to do the full-on Japanese style thing. God help me. I worry sometimes that not being able to settle in, yet, is going to start showing...

Work and Colleagues
Work is fine. Classes are fun. My confidence as a teacher is not misplaced. I'm getting a little burned out on meeting new ppl, though. I am technically an introvert, y'know. I have nothing in common with these other teachers at the company that I'm meeting (and I'm meeting so many! Plus all my new students... it's crazy and I'm not even as focused on my lessons as I am on keeping an even emotional keel to them). They've all (my colleagues) been in-country for 10+ years and are in marriages or serious relationships with nationals. Jack's sense of isolation makes itself present--ironically. Also, however, I kindof don't care anymore how well I do or don't gel with other foreigners. I have nothing to communicate to/with these ppl about : itsu ma-ma doori! Also, they brag about the craziest things. I try not to show it when I think they're being crazy, though, or challenge whatever they're bragging about--I figure in any culture (including a pidgin one but excepting Judaism) concealing one's horror at another's insanity is the least one can do, extra points for a pleasant expression in it's place.

My father (the infamous non-father one) requested to friend me again on facebook. I turned it down (again) and sent him a message which said as politely and simply as possible that he should consider me dead as he is dead to me and to stop requesting to be added to my facebook (again). To which my "home-wrecking" (her word choice, not mine) step mother replied in a separate message with much drama about how she is saddened and how my father hasn't wished for anything by my happiness for all of the past 18 years, how for the past 20 years he's never done anything to hurt us daughters. and how he was always so heartbroken when we'd move without telling him where we were going. Yeah, I can imagine it. I have not replied [yet???]. If he's really so upset and really so sorry and really feels the way she claims, maybe he could start by speaking for himself. I don't want to hear his mistress's excuses for him two decades late. (Does that sound to you like I'm saying he should grovel? Because that isn't what I mean because I really don't want to hear it, though it's basically the only thing he could possibly have to say to me--of course he wouldn't though as he apparently doesn't remember trying to kill me, or at least doesn't think that's something he should be deeply remorseful about.) Actually, I'm kindof relieved he doesn't--I don't want to deal with his born-again Christian memories of the childhood he fucked ten ways from Sunday and no amount of remorse is going to change this ; that much I can gladly appreciate. These ppl are clearly more insane than I am and I have bigger fish to fry : see note on apartment-searching. God help me. P.S. seriously, why do I bother? But as long as they persist in their insanity, I can persist in imagining they do not exist in my world. So, in the end, we're all happy and I've been told that this is what matters.

Anime and amusements
This winter, I plan to continue watching Bakuman and Fairy Tail and to start Kimi ni Todoke S2, I'll try out Yumekui Merry but otherwise there's nothing good out. What is up with that? Plenty of violent and panty-shot anime, where's my sparkely reverse-harem crack!?!?!!

Life in the big city
Also, I went to a coin laundry tonight. It was ridiculously expensive. And by ridiculously, I mean 1,500 yen to clean and dry a week's worth of clothes (three pants, pijamas, a week's changes of underwear and socks, two towels, a scarf, a sweater and a blouse) split into a super and a regular load. I haven't used a dryer in a long time (um... over three years...)... I was nervous something might melt. This nervousness proved to be unfounded.

The company lets me plug in my computer to their Internet, but I'm trying not to be too much of a... mooch? Anyway, now that Tokyo police have run in their little brigade with sirens roaring declaring something unintelligible through the streets of Minato-ku, it's past my bedtime for a 5:45AM wake-up. In other words : that's all she wrote.

sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jan. 3rd, 2011 12:40 am)
Mostly clear, 3C (3C)

Thank goodness, there was no ice on the path on the way home, tonight.

For better and/or worse, I'm back in Shiga--for now, anyway. For the next week, anyway. I had a good time being a guest in Kobe. It's kindof sad not to be, anymore ; but that's most of life, isn't it? In fact I don't really want to write about it right now--I just want to remember it.

I went to an onsen on New Year's day. That's the second time I've done it (of the four New Year's I've spent here ; this one was also the best)--I think I'll try to do it for every other New Year's that I spend in this country. It was nice--especially the outdoor baths. Outdoor baths are the best in winter!

My apartment is cold, it's a little lonely, and I don't want to think about packing again until tomorrow--god help me!--so I think I'll drink one of the two cans of diet Dr. Pepper I got, today, and eat my apple with slices of Roucoulons cheese, with some 73% cacao cherry-infused chocolate that I also got today followed by some good, hot tea and watch some anime until Too Late.

Or maybe I'll save most of that for tomorrow and just have tea and anime, tonight.

sono fuu no jinsei mo aru yo
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Dec. 27th, 2010 01:13 pm)
Partly sunny, 8C (6C)

So I'm on the phone with NTT-west in Japanese because I have to cancel my contract with NTT-west to open a new contract with NTT-east in February (thereby having to pay a truly horrendous cancellation fee because I've only had service for 2months, not 2years!!!), and the operator's like, "we must get into your apartment" (that is, to remove the wire--WTF!--which I just don't want to deal with having no Internet for the last week I'm here and the only free day before leaving I have to deal with their shit other than the 9th is the 3rd and the 3rd is a national holiday, kthnx, and if I have to pay this godawful fee, they should do it on my schedule, anyway) and I'm like, I have to be at work in the afternoon all week so I can't be here to let your person in and I can't just leave the key out for you guys to come in whenever on the 11th (apparently the 8th, 9th, and 10th are totally booked already and they only send ppl out in the afternoon--not the morning-- which is completely not possible for me) and since I'm paying you anyway I don't see why I should have to spend my last two weeks here without service because you don't have enough staff, blahblahblah and we reach an impasse so she decides this is a communication problem and says I should have someone who speaks Japanese call (I get this *whenever* I have some problem that prevents me from doing what they want--what language have we been freaking speaking, it's not a language issue, it's that I cannot do what you're asking and I've even explained three different ways in your language why I can't and what I can do ; changing languages doesn't change the problem...). I explain that this is problematic, she'll have to deal with me.

Which she seemed unwilling to do ; so this brought us to her trying to refer me to the proper foreign language assistance number (because language is the problem, ppl! *rolling of eyes*) and the following conversation :

(In Japanese)
NTT : Madam, we have Chinese language assistance available.
Me : Why? I don't speak Chinese.
NTT : Korean, then? We have Korean language assistance available.
Me : Um.... I'm an American. (My name could not possibly be mistaken for Chinese or Korean...)
NTT : So you can speak English? Fantastic! We have English language assistance available.
Me : Great! What's that number and can I dial it from my cell? (many free-dial/toll-free numbers in Japan are not available from cellphones)

So my Japanese accent is Chinese? Korean? At least it's not British... :-P

Or maybe my approach to this bit of bureaocracy was more Chinese or Korean in her experience? That's better than Israeli, maybe?

Solution : my manager (as a rep of the company) will just have to deal with it. I've done my piece. Tomorrow at work I'll talk with her ; hopefully she'll step up, otherwise I'll just give NTT the Leo Palace agent information and they can work on it together and leave me completely out of the loop.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Dec. 16th, 2010 12:48 am)
Mostly cloudy, 4C (-4C)

I resigned from my job, today. Crazy. My last working day here will be the 8th. I'm moving on the 9th. I have to reserve the removal service tomorrow... I hope I don't have to change it to the 10th. I'll start my new job on the 11th. I'll be living in the company building as they have an apartment for about one month, while I collect enough money to move into my own place on February 12th/13th.

I have to try to make a phone call statesside, then go to bed.
Rainy, 12C (12C)

First, picture :

Next, it seems I've given every indication of taking that position in Tokyo (it was officially offered about three hours after I left their office). They want me there sooner, though. To do that, I need help with moving expenses (they don't even have to give me money forever, just a loan that would be repaid well before the end of my first contract). If they want to do that to get me there on their schedule, this would have to be worked out so that I can give notice at my current position, um... tomorrowtoday.

That reminds me! I need to ask if transportation is reimbursed... it'd be a real bitch if it weren't.

Osaka interview also went well, but their work is really irregular and they wouldn't have any until June--so using it as a savings account to move is not particularly plausible right now.

Oh, yeah! And my period is 5.5 days late (ahh, that's actually a little less than I was thinking--for some reason I was thinking it was eight or ten days already! maybe 5.5 is still okay but I still eagerly await the godawful cramping and inconvenience right now) and it's freaking me out! Could be the diet (sudden changes in eating/sleeping often throw my cycle), but also with the diet there's no point using a DIY test because the diet is based on a hormone released during p-condition (which shall not be so much as named until I'm bleeding again!) so the test should come out positive even if nothing is there and my body also doesn't think there's really anything there.

It could also be that hickey-incident because the wimmen-folk in my family are notoriously fertile and shit happens every day even though we used common sense--I just hopehopehope it's not that shit these days. That shit can't happen until I'm Jewish and have had a Jewish wedding to a nice Jewish man, and not an instant sooner! So even if it's not that shit and there's nothing there, there's still the chance that my body will *think* there's something there and react appropriately (I know it wants something there and I've been denying it all these years...) and I just can't deal with that strain as well.

I won't go as far as saying I'm never having sex again (see above about the Jewish man), but I'm officially abstinent [on purpose, not accident!] until such conditions are met! I'm not really sure when I should really start worrying, though--I'm guessing right about the time I'm moving if Tokyo is going to work out. Great way to meet a doctor. No, I won't keep any such thing (see above about that shit not happening right now). Just FYI.

Anyway, I went to see Robin Hood tonight to escape reality. Several portions were quite fun. Some were beyond ridiculous--like the make-out session in the middle of the landing battle between the French and the English. Come, now, ppl, get a sense of the situation!

Ugh, I should call my mom--and mention that second thing and that fourth thing but definitely not that third thing. Then I should go to bed. But I also feel/hope that getting up at 09h00 will be easier than getting up at 06h00, like I have been for the past three days....

Oh! And Katanagatari : whoa.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Aug. 2nd, 2010 09:53 pm)
So I'm back in the inaka. Sure as shit, there's no Internet. I've tried to impress upon my mg that it is important to me that this particular aspect of the situation not remain as it is. She promised to make inquiries. Pray with and for me that they quickly bear an ripen the sweet fruit of connectivity...

There is a washing machine, which I have already had occasion to use, and an aircon with a three-hour power cut that I can't disable and no programmable on feature--the sum of which is altogether perturbing...

In any case, I'm sick of moving as of an hour ago and want little more than a double-portion of salary so I can outfit the place (I've decided I'll be sleeping on the loft to have more/versatile space), and, obviously, a high-speed Internet connection here (preferably wireless, but beggars can't be choosers).

Anyway, I have to go teach a bunch of kids, tomorrow and all the forseeable working days after that.

Post from mobile portal
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jul. 31st, 2010 11:30 pm)
Mostly cloudy, 29C (34C)
T = 0 day

I feel like Kobe is the new NOLA. :'-(

I feel kindof sad and lonely. And tired.

I want to find some happy anime to watch for a little while before I do more packing and throwing away. I didn't do much at the school--I wasn't asked to, and couldn't anyway because I was busy teaching--but it seems to have taken a toll, anyway.

I don't know if I'd rather cry or sleep right now.

I have too much crap. But I want to keep it. Maybe one day I'll let myself. But I don't think that day is today--nor shall it be tomorrow.

I just hope the next place will be good. God help me finish this well, and in good time.
sjcarpediem: (Default)


( Jul. 31st, 2010 04:07 pm)
I am presently in a bit of turmoil...

Come November, there will be an opening at Sannomiya school. Do I try for it? Could it possibly be construed as contributing to the furtherance of my primary goal (achieving an advanced degree)??

Rent would be more than it is, now, the apartment closer to synagogue, my pay the same, the schedule busier, virtually no kids...

I'm not even halfway through the move I'm in the middle of, I can't really waste the mental energy on trying to decide whether or not to push for another one just this moment ; although it's only 4 months down the line so I'd better figure out my position on the matter, at the very least, fast...

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sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jul. 31st, 2010 10:27 am)
Partly sunny, 30C (38C)
T = 0 day

So today is my last day teaching in Kobe. //insert frowny face

I thought I'd be able to make it through this week without any of my students crying. But then yesterday one of my classes (that had requested a tea party for their last lesson--how cool is that! I have two more such requests for today) let out but I forgot to give one of the students her last homework for me and I had to start the next class immediately. Just my luck, I heard her voice in the hall and ran out to return it to find this woman, who I actually admire a little bit, with her face covered in tears. Aww...

So packing at the school is basically done. I'll throw the last of my personal effects in my purse and the rest of whatever else in some boxes and shove them off to the side. And gently carry my Hitaro, who is of weak constitution when it comes to traveling. I'm taking my microwave with me, and leaving the school's old microwave here in the apartment. (My coworker is bringing her car to help me...) I got the repacking that I wanted at the apartment done last night. Tonight I should be able to mostly finish, and if I can't, I have tomorrow during the day--and that ought to be enough.

Ahh... money. Bah to that. I spent my book money on gifts in Kanazawa... Oh, well, I hope people like them I want to get books about children and their brains so I feel more prepared for me new job... Actually... maybe there is something I can use... indeed! And use it, I will! That's a nice bright spot!

Last night I also ordered my last pizza from Napoli Pizza. Of course, it was tasty. Tonight I'll have pasta and weiners. Tomorrow night I'll get something from the conbini after my things are taken away. The night after that I'll be in my new apartment, so I'm not sure what I'll do for food--probably something from a conbini and waiting for my things to arrive.

I'm on my way to almost being through this move. After that, I need to get through the next two weeks. God help me. I hope it's much better than I'm imagining...

Oh, and here's a Holy Fuck moment for the road : this is my 4th summer in Japan.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jul. 29th, 2010 10:56 am)
RAINY! 25C (28C)

Ppl, I have got my new address (here, it's one of the short, fat rooms). Actually, I got it Tuesday but it's taken me this long to calm the fuck down. Seriously, are they *looking* for the most miserable situation they can find? These schematics show there is no washing machine, not even a connection for a washing machine. WTF. Also, alas, only one burner again. The prospect of having two burners made me really happy, but now there's only one burner... The specs also show there is not Internet. DDDDDDDDDDD-:<<<<


I really need to stop thinking about this and just completely and utterly ignore it until it's right in my face. I mean, it is about a square meter larger than my current place (although it's two years older)... I'll be the first company occupant, so it should be clean and everything should be new-ish or at least up-to-date... The manager is very pro- getting me everything the move-in list says I'm supposed to have... At least it's not living out of a hotel with all my personal effects in storage at the school lobby, as head office had thought would be a brilliant "back up". It took throwing an extrended fit, though, and I hatehatehate doing that shit.

I don't know... I might have to move on my own. It depends, also, on what the rent is... If I have to pay more than 40,000yen for that decrepit shoeboxthis sort of place it's going to be especially difficult for me to see the point when I could have nearly 20m2 for 46,000 yen, and within 5 minutes of a station instead of 10, newer, with 2 burners, a washing machine, and the Internet....

I keep waffling on bringing my microwave oven.

In related news, I haven't got enough packed to be comfortable just yet--and to make matter worse I need to repack some things... =_= But I'm sure I'll pull through. I always do.
Cloudy, 25C (29C)
T - 16 days (technically)

Okay, so I know I said I was going to both get boxes and sort out the "under the ladder" area, but I didn't entirely do all of that.

I got boxes and tape and whatever on the way home and packed one box. And wrote a bitchy email on the bankruptcy list, which I generally just lurk on. And I'm spent.

Oh, but I got more details, today (after basically throwing my version of a fit) : my apartment (you can see the building HERE!) is actually in Outsu (hereafter just Otsu), the prefectural capitol of Shiga. This is better than living in Moriyama, I'm sure. It's 9 minutes to Kyoto, 12 minutes to Moriyama and 20 minutes from, 46 minutes to Umeda (North Osaka ; Namba is South Osaka), and 62 minutes to Sannomiya (central Kobe). So location is better. Rent should be less or at least not more than what I was paying in Ehime. And you remember that temple, Ishiyama-dera, whose grounds I was so impressed by? My apartment is, no kidding, within 2 kilometers. :-D What luck, right!? Of course, it's teensy, but bigger than my current apartment, and built more recently, too (which means it has a special ventilation system in the bathroom to speed drying--great for laundry in the rainy season--and a delivery box on the door, and HOLY SHIT, PPL, TWO BURNERS!!! I haven't had two burners in YEARS, WHATEVER WILL I DO WITH THE EXTRA ONE!??!?)! (Compare!) With a population more than four times that of Moriyama, there should definitely be a movie theatre. The poet Basho liked Otsu, as well, and I like many of Basho's poems.

I also found out more about my schedule. It'll be a challenge, but at least having something to look at and mentally prepare for I feel like I can somehow handle it. I've got a booklist-to-order on Amazon focused on child development (behavior, psychology, neurology, and capacity-wise), classroom discipline, and bilingualism in children that I'll place maybe the week before I leave here. I'll have 4-7 classes each day--more infants (2-4 years old) than three times my current kids' roster, and two babies (1-2 years old) on top of that. I'll have 75 students all together. There are a bunch of names in red on the schedule--the manager wrote that they are "special/trouble" students and she'd send more details later. After hearing that it looks like half the schedule is red, but it can't really be that bad...

The only thing, though, is that Friday is the latest night and it doesn't end until 21:00. From Moriyama, Kobe is about 80 minutes. From Sannomiya to the synagogue is another 10 minutes huffing it, 20 minutes less so. The last train from Sannomiya to Otsu is 23:37. Basically, then, unless it's summer and the last two classes on Friday are canceled I can't make services.... That's a bummer. Otherwise it looks like I'll have more early days as the classes are more grouped in the middle of the day than my schedule here--which is mostly lumped at either end of the day.

Also, the kids' school is moving into the adult school the week before I get there--hallelujah, I don't have to move it, too! I was not looking forward to that. And I'm going to weasel out of as much as possible with moving my current school because it's simply none of my concern and furthermore I've got my own shit to deal with.

I was too tired when I stopped at the grocery store, tonight, though, and didn't get anything for dinner tomorrow... I have some pasta and maybe I can get some fish or chicken at the grocery near work and then be able to come directly home to hopefully plod through a bit more packing. At any rate, it's already a little later than I'd like it to be, now, so I'll wrap this up and try to get to bed...
Some clouds, 24C (28C)
technically T -18 days

I didn't pack at all, today. I went to Nara to meet up with Masaru at heijyoukyou, and actually intended to get home around 6 and try to pack a little, but then we went wandering around Nara park a little, and then to find some dinner, ate dinner, and spent a few hours getting to the train where I caught the LAST one, and Masaru caught the last one heading in the right direction but would miss his final connection. We must've walked, like, 12 kilometers.

I haven't had a conversation like that in... not weeks or months, but years. YEARS. It covered so much ground--from some travel experiences (his is much, much more extensive than mine as the longest I've spent traveling is three months and he's ended up traveling for three years) to population genetics (one of the books I'm reading right now) to views on family (polygamy, polyandry, polyamory and what it means to see peers marry and reproduce) to exotic cuisines (like how to prepare brain dishes) and the price and quality of meats in Japan to ethics in civic law (bans on smoking and national educational curriculums) to God (is there one?) to abortion (should it be allowed?)... Maybe we will meet again next weekend for Gion Matsuri, if I can get enough packing done. But probably not...

Anyway, I just got home a little bit ago, took a shower and made some toast. A good day, even if it wasn't really productive at all. Oh, and of course we both squeed a bit over the surround-view video at Heijyoukyou. The refurbished garden was considerably less exciting.
Cloudy, 31C (36C)

Battle cry?
Growing up the way I did, we weren't allowed to stand out. There was a ridiculous clause that this didn't apply to academics but for the most part, I applied it anyway.

I think this has contributed to endemic laziness on my part, which is not particularly good for a lot of reasons. I want to become good at something and for that something to make me stand out. Maybe that's what I've been trying to do all along. But I also hate standing out. Dilemma.

Some of my students are pissing me off a bit. A handful have decided they want to use up as much of their contracts as possible before I go--which is fucking ridiculous and stupid to boot. But that aside, it creates lots of extra work for me--on top of everything else. It's a nice compliment, I guess, but I know it's inaccurate to take it that way. So I am left somewhat grumpy and sad. Some of them are already asking about details for a farewell party/event, which does not thrill me for many reasons, my own preference for avoiding such displays being least of which. I feel like everyone is imposing on me too much and it's completely uncalled for.

Bad attitude
So the plan for this weekend was to go to the museum and Nankinmachi today, Arima tomorrow. I'm dragging my feet on this. Because I think the weather outside is yucky. Really yucky. Even though going to the museum and Nankinmachi are important to me and time is seriously running out--even more so considering the above issue with students who were once a week now wanting three, four, or even five lessons per week.

The museum is closed tomorrow--it's so inconvenient. It'll be open one Monday this month--the 19th, but I'm worried about putting it off until then and it getting pushed aside because of packing coming down to the wire ; refer to this handy table to see my [planned] budget of time (the bolded items WILL NOT CHANGE, dammit):

July 4th-5th4th - Museum and Nankinmachi
5th Arima
July 11th-12th11th - packing
12th - I'm to meet Masaru (from online) for the first time at Heijyoukyou in Nara, we'll be focusing on the things I missed in May in the East portion of the site
July 18th-19th18th - packing
19th - packing
July 25th-26thKanazawa w/[ profile] tsubasa_en11!!! :-DDDD
August 1st-2ndthis hasn't been announced to me, yet, but this is probably the weekend I will move to Moriyama if the information I have plays out

There is an alternate plane wherein I would do not much at all this weekend and do the museum, Nankinmachi and Arima all on the 19th. While I would like to do them all in one day, Sundays at Arima are supposed to be very busy (avoiding crowds for nakedtime is a good idea, as a foreigner, since I am so averse to the staring that rustic Japanese seem to think is acceptable) and the museum is closed on Mondays (except when Monday is a public holiday). Besides, it's already a little late to do all three, today...

The problem with the second plan is the weather. Today is basically clear--which is good for Nankinmachi--the 19th may or may not be and is also supposed to be closer to the height of summer heat. Also, the 19th being a public holiday, Arima will probably be swamped (although the rainy season is off-season for onsen...).

Fucking hell, I should just get my shit together and go to the damned museum, already!
Cloudy, 27C (30C)

So, I went today to see Moriyama for myself.  I happened to also know about Ishiyama-dera, which is the place where Murasaki SHIKIBU is said to have written her famous book, The Tale of Genji, the oldest continuously acknowledge novel in the world.  Since I am in the midst of a bit of private study on this and related matters, I took the opportunity to visit.  I had intended, originally, to finish the day with this excursion, but, as fate would have it, I saw Ishiyama-dera on my way to Moriyama rather than from.  I think it worked out better that way, anyway...  so here we have some pictures and commentary :

Pictures and Commentary : Ishiyama-dera )

Anyway, I was so pleasantly impressed with Ishiyama-dera that I bought two metal-cut-outs of Murasaki at work and a charm for "safe returns".  I will send one of the bookmark-plates and the charm {one item to each, that is...} to anyone who comments or PMs with their snailmail addresses...

A favorite point about Ishiyama-dera : the wonderful, rich, clean, earthy smells and sounds of flowing water.  Just magnificent!

About Moriyama, I'd rather not comment, really, at this time.  Except to say I will want a bicycle, that I did see at least three restaurants, and that a lot will depend on my apartment so I really hope that it is quite nice.  Lots and lots of staring, again ; but people seem to have a slightly different attitude than they did in Shikoku about it, also, I'm much, much better with it than I was when I first came to this country--of course, I'm much better after living for a year somewhere where I'm not enough of an oddity to be stared at or at least people are cosmopolitan enough to know better than get caught at it.  This will probably be the source of some trouble, still, but at least for the time being I think it'll be cope-able.  The staring, I mean.

Ishiyama is very near the water--both the lake and the one river which flows out from Lake Biwa.  It made quite an impression, really!  (I was born in the land of 10,000 lakes, afterall...)  One thing I noticed was that there were a lot of people rowing.  I've been interested in rowing for a little bit ; perhaps, living in Shiga, the opportunity to partake of this sport will present enough of itself for me to snatch at it.

Overall, I think I will have a more active outdoors life there than I had in Kawanoe, which is fine by me. I also think I will write a handbook to surviving in the inaka. For various reasons which may or may not be discussed at a later date...

View the Ishiyama gallery, here.
Rainy, 18C (21C)

About my new assignment... and why July will suck inordinately (is July the new November??) :

So I have to close my current school, meanwhile trying to convince as many of my students as possible to go to Sannomiya school, meanwhile I know the native instructors at Sannomiya are a bunch of half-assed twats and probably won't stick out the year. That ought to be enough, and I think it is.

But add to this that in Moriyama there are currently two branches : Moriyama and Moriyama-dai2. Well, Moriyama-dai2 currently has no native instructor--that school wants a native instructor yesterday, I'll arrive after closing my branch (dates still not determined, as far as anyone local is aware)--and is supposed to combine with Moriyama (the original branch). I can't be sure, but I think they expect me to move that school--which, if I'm right, will be a godawful pain in the ass, mostly because I don't know that school and so will have to move everything and then sort it and what I bring with me in the new-old building, which I also have absolutely no idea about and won't until I arrive. It's possible I could actually enter the school if I took my pilot trip to Moriyama on Monday rather than Sunday, but I really need to do something about that sooner than later and Monday I want to take a bath at Arima.

In completely other news, I'm getting seishun18 for my trip to Kanazawa, which is a certificate of sorts good for seats for five days on non-express trains. Kanazawa will only require two of those days' seats. Maybe I'll go to Asahi Zoo in Hokkaido with two of the others.... Then all that's left is a one-day trip ; I was already considering Matsue in Shimane-ken or, in the opposite direction, somewhere in Nagano-ken--from Shiga-ken, Matsue would be longer and Nagano would be shorter... I'll have to think on it a bit more.

Seriously, though, today was the first day I was allowed to begin informing my students about the first half of this mess. I only had two classes today but when I got home I just wanted to collapse and sleep for the rest of the evening ; I felt so drained I didn't even go to synagogue, and I'm not even going to be able to so easily very soon... I have seven classes tomorrow [today!]. I hope it is less taxing...
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Jun. 25th, 2010 10:53 am)
Sunny, 24C (26C)

This Sunday I will go to see Moriyama for myself--there's only so much you can find out online (and some things are terrifying ; like a proud local tradition of not having restaurants because Moriyama home-cooking is so excellent!--JHC, I hope that's some kind of exaggerated misunderstanding...). Seeing things for myself always calms me down a bit. It's because I don't trust other people about me...

There are things Moriyama definitely doesn't have, like a Synagogue and Nankinmachi and Tokkyu hands and a seller of Dr. Pepper that I know of--and that is detrimental, very detrimental--but then, Moriyama must have other things that Kobe doesn't. I will try to find them, and appreciate them. Of course that doesn't mean I'm not annoyed or irritated with not getting my way--that's just how I am--but maybe, if I nurse it, the two sentiments can fight each other and the one that will make making the best of it a whole lot easier will win.

In Moriyama, in MayJanuary, there is a fire festival held at two different shrines. In Kamakura-period, there was a sick emperor and the cause of his illness was determined to be a dragon. So the dragon was killed and the emperor recovered. When the dragon fell, burning, from the sky, his head landed at one jinja and this body at another. It seems fitting...

Besides, whatever Moriyama is like, I've had worse. So I know how to take care of myself, at least. And I can. Because I have. Mostly.

It'll be okay. I'll be okay. For now, I want to just leave it at that because there are bigger fish to fry.