Partly cloudy, 4C (4C)

Saw Unstoppable, tonight. I almost didn't. At 21h10 I was like, "Steph, are you really going to go see a movie [started at 21h45 so if I was going I'd've had to leave the house in five minutes] the night before you're moving across the damned foreign country." And then I was like, "Hells, yeah, I am." Good adrenaline release ; maybe I'll actually get some sleep, tonight.

But, oy... someone come keep me company while I pack? Maybe?

I'm glad it's wrapping up about as quickly as I had imagined, though... :-) About... So far, so good. Let the good times roll on... like that unmanned freight train from the motion picture, tonight...

I'm starting to lose track a little bit of where exactly things are... I haven't even started on the suitcases, yet. But they'll be last/next-to-last, anyway. Actually... I might end up nesting the two biggest ones so that I only takkyuubin one... we'll see. It depends a lot on... maybe the laundry detergent.

Anyway, I'll stay up packing late enough to get this load of wash hung--it should be dry enough in the morning ; or, at least, ten minutes before the bag(s) should be picked up.

Time might be a little prickly tomorrow, actually. Various representatives want to inspect at 14h00. I told them I have no control over when the hikkoshi service comes. I can only hope they come around noon. Well, between ten or eleven and one would probably be fine. I can only do what I can do. The rest is not actually my problem, because it's not my responsibility or subject to my power/influence.

I might actually be carrying more than I care to, tomorrow.... but... I should survive, nonetheless. With the help of the omnipotent, infinite, transcendental force of the universe.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Dec. 23rd, 2010 12:57 am)
Some clouds, 12C (10C)

Moving [obligatory, obviously]
I packed some more, but it still feels like I haven't done much/enough. Messy apartment, you suck. I don't want to just pack the mess (I ended up doing a little bit of that leaving Kobe). But I also don't want to throw away something I shouldn't, or have things that ought to go together packed in separate boxes at separate times--which makes packing slower. So far I've only packed books, anyway ; and only found two to throw out...

I still need to decide/plan my Kobe farewell, including choosing a date for that. And I still want to see Hikone castle before I leave Kansai--which means, basically, this weekend. Meh! These things feel so stressful, right now!

Monday movie
I forgot to write about it, but I went to see TRON : Legacy on Monday. Since Biohazard 4 (the zombie franchise with the blonde chick...), the studios have already gotten better at 3D. I'm excited about POTC4 because it looks like another leap forward--but into the slightly cartoonish. Looks like their 2D-ing all the characters 3D in their environments like cutout animation... I think it'll be next winter before the really cool stuff starts coming out with that tech... Anyway, TRON was so full of allegory and allusion that it was hard to enjoy the effects, though some of them were pretty darn attention-getting. I like that it was intentionally shot in both 2D and 3D to help develop the separation of worlds. Though the contrast seemed off for most of the movie--I guess that's one con of costuming with flexible halogen...

Oh, and I can't use one of my free tickets for 3D movies, it seems, so I'm one stamp away from a third free ticket, now. Tokyo should have Warner Brothers MyCal Cinemas...

Contract for new job
My new contract came while I was at work, today. The soonest I can get it redelivered and be here to accept is Friday morning. That kind of sucks for them ; their first date to have it returned was this Friday--impossible without personally courier-ing it to them. The next date is the 28th, which they'll just have to settle for. I like that it's actually here just waiting to be delivered, since I started breaking the news to students/parents today.

Closing salutation
I think it's increasingly important to have my nightly meditation and prayer these days, so I'm off to do just that.
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)
( Dec. 6th, 2010 11:26 pm)
Some clouds, 12C (13C)

So I went out to see Space Battleship Yamato. Being sci fi, there are some questions--for example, in the war against the Iscalans (which is actually found to be a False War, but the bodies look real enough to me), the Humans of former Earth are also trying to discover the secret to turning their home planet green once more (the poor planet is so ravaged there aren't even oceans anymore!). In the end this happens, but we, the audience, have no idea how or why. Wikipedia says the alien race are poisoning the Earth with radioactivity but that's not how it seems in the movie, etc... The hero also has a terrible habit of betraying his promises mere moments after giving them. "I'll definitely save you!" he says moments before ordering missiles be fired to doom the crew he's just promised to save. "I'll definitely come back alive!" he promises moments, again, before blowing himself and the alien menace to oblivion (literally!). This would not fly for American audiences, I think, but it's fine for Japan.

Anyway, it was a rather beautiful little space ballad. So that's good enough for me.

Once again, Steven Tyler manages to write a very powerful love song specifically for the film which somehow totally misses the point of the movie. But it's played over the end credits, so maybe it's okay.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Oct. 19th, 2010 01:35 am)
Partly cloudy, 18C (17C)

Bone to pick
I've been pissy about something past toleration, lately (or for the past fifteen years?). I think I'm gonna do something about something. But I can't say what about what because it'll be too humiliating if [when?] I fail. Cuz I suck like that. So just send me success vibes. Kthnx.

This weekend's movie
I saw The Expendables. For whatever reason, I was really excited about this movie. I thought it would be excellent. It looked like something the guys got together to do together just for the hell of it, for the fun of making a movie together. Watching people have fun doing something they like is fun, indeed. But in the end I was disappointed. Nearly betrayed. Oh, well. Thank you, my country, America. Good thing I'm an [aware] American and therefore used to it.

The previews for Space Battleship Yamato looked awesome, though. I definitely want to see that one.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Oct. 11th, 2010 06:36 pm)
Partly sunny, 24C (22C)

I've always thought of and understood energy to be finite.

But I think, now, that that was incorrect. In fact, I'm pretty damned well certain I was wrong.

Knight and Day
(Saw it yesterday.) Cute spy movie. I enjoyed it.

Mysteries revealed!
I've got it! I have this hopeless drifting sense when I feel like my efforts and decisions are pointless! Too bad that's not such a revelation. I think a true revelation would be on the order of how not to feel like my efforts and decisions are pointless. :-) God/cosmic order is too big. Something in my life. With an obvious connection that I can observe whenever I waver.... I hate stumbling in the dark.

That reminds me
Watching Knight and Day... ahhh, I want to travel! //weep
Cloudy, 18C (16C)

I'll try to keep this somewhat orderly. Have some headings!

I may allow myself to sleep an average of 8hours a night for a little while, although I maintain that 7.5hours ought to be more than enough, even when depressed. Since my cold, my body wants 8. I'll yield for now.

Movies and technology
I saw Biohazard 4 (which is the name in Japan for Resident Evil 4). Suspending logic is vitally important to enjoying such films, but since I am incapable of fully suspending my own logical capacity, I simply redirected it.

3D technology has come a long way, but still needs some work--especially when it comes to panning shots and short-frames.

I think the costumers did a great job choosing materials and styles. The characters' images easily lent themselves to the video-game style expectations.

Damn, those cthulu-mouths were surprising and creepy! And I haven't even read that book (and don't intend to, as an aside). The crazy dogs reminded me of worms.

I would have liked some more background or explanation on the giant with the huge meat-tenderizer, but we're treading dangerously near a comment on character development, here, so I simply won't.

I think commenting on anything else would spoil my good memories of it. Decent zombie fare (though I don't think anything could top Shawn of the Dead, in all honesty, and I'm probably ruined for zombie movies forever, now, because of it's magnificence...). A novel experience (thank you 3D!).

Holidays and work
I think I've failed to mention it here, thusfar, but at this school the teachers wear halloween costumes all week for the special cultural lessons--which will be held from the 19th to the 23rd this month. Ten years ago I would have been all over this because then and for a long time Halloween was my absolute favorite holiday. Now it's really not and while I'm not troubled by not caring about it either way, now, I am a little troubled by having to actively participate. I have no idea what I can dress up as that's not going to (a) take effort, really, (b) freak out the kids, (c) cost as little as possible, (d) not be totally lame/still pass as a costume.

I was thinking pirate, but that takes too much effort, even for a simple rendition. A vampire would definitely be too scary for the kiddos. So then I was thinking I could just get a sparkly crown hair decoration and wear my regular work clothes but say I'm a princess or a queen. Maybe I could buy a sheet, cut eyeholes, tie it to my head and say I'm a ghost? Ideas, please!!

If I were a man, this would be so much easier.... As a woman, I am expected to wear something pretty or cute, and crossdressing isn't really allowed for women the way it is for men. You men have it so easy!! I hate you all.

Speaking of work...
This week I'll only have to teach three lessons--it's an intensive period for the kids, but I've decided to follow an alternate method for dealing with their attendance and will take the intensive periods as planning opportunities rather than trying to shove make-up lessons down their throats. I hope it'll be productive! I'll have to be very creative to apply what I've been studying/learning about teaching, language acquisition, and neuropsychological development and bring my lessons to the next level....

Still, though, I'd like to stay up to all hours watching anime and not go in until the last possible moment tomorrow. Maybe I'll do just that.

So, I'm watching Sengoku Basara 2--which is just as rawly entertaining as the first but much more involved with politics and 'the lay of the land' than the first season. This is to nothing but benefit. So I looked up one of my favorite characters so far, Katakura Kagenaga, and discovered that his grandson and namesake (Katakura Kagenaga, II) was born on my birthday in 1630. How interesting!

[I looked up the character because I was thinking maybe I could dress as one of the samurai from the show for Halloween, even though that would involve renting a costume, which I'm willing to do--although it does fly in the face of the 'cheap' motive--but would also involve (a) finding a costume rental store, which may not actually be as difficult as it sounds, but even more importantly (b) finding a costume that will fit my fat ass, which is almost certainly impossible....]

Also, I thought I'd check up on an old article I wrote for Wikipedia from a bit of translating I did a while ago on a man from a place that struck me once, and reading through it, I noticed something I hadn't before but that I think explains why I was so very fascinated by and curious about this man and his life. He's possibly a cousin (based on my instinct alone, I would like to make that a 'probably' but there's so much uncertainty about the 9th century!)!! I knew there was something there ; it's called blood.

Oh, and while we're on the topic of me and my ancestors, it occurred to me some time ago that among the 7,000+ or so ancestors whose names I know, I am the only 'Stephanie'. There are Stevens and Stephens, but no other Stephanies. I am the only one. In the whole known family, for it's whole known history.
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Sep. 27th, 2010 11:19 pm)
POURING, 20C (17C)

So I went to see 十三人の刺客 (The 13 Assassins), today, which is just an insane movie. While I was at the theatre I saw the flier for Russel Crowe's new Ridley Scott gig, Robin Hood. Can anyone explain to me how this will be any different from Gladiator? Other than the fact that Crowe is nearly a decade older, now, and therefore less agile? Anyway, back to Jyuusan-nin no Shikaku. Crazy movie. Since nobody reading this is likely to see it, I'll spoiler it by noticing out loud and publicly that the only d00ds to survive are the ones with girls they want to screw**. Thank you Japanese men-find-women-to-make-your-babies propaganda machine.

I just had a really hard time remembering that word, "propaganda". And I've been reading a ton of English recently (high English, too, not pulp English!), so that's really uncalled-for.

Before the movie, I thought I'd try what looks like it's supposed to be a German-style restaurant. But it wasn't. Like, it totally looks like a Stadthaus or Hoffenhaus or Staffenhaus or whatever (I can't remember much of my German at all, lately), but the food is definitely very Japanese and they were playing some crazy '50s and '60s Cuban music. The aesthetic discord was too much and I left before finishing my meal.

Also before the movie I went to a coffee bean shop with an extremely and puzzlingly limited array of foreign foodstuffs for sale in addition to roasted beans. For example, they have three kinds of German rye crackers and ten kinds of hard cheese but no soft cheeses and none that could go with the crackers, except perhaps some bleu cheese from Denmark, of all places. Also, they have two kinds of pita bread, but no hummus or even chickpeas in any form anywhere. Crazy. I bought nutella and celestial seasonings sleepytime tea.

I also got Read Real Japanese in what will probably turn out to be a[nother] misguided attempt to become literate. Misguided in that it won't result in literacy. It's been three years that I've been in this country, beating my thick skull against this language with varying intensity (let's not count that time at uni...). I can't help have the feeling that if I were going to achieve literacy, I'd have done it by now. That fills me with dread and disappointment. So I keep trying. Mostly. Because any idiot can see clearly that this is a literate society--maybe even hyperliterate by my native standards. I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on something awesome ; and I'm not about that sort of thing.

So I tried to avoid it but had to ride my bike home in the POURING rain. It wasn't so bad because I didn't have to go in anywhere and I rather like the night and the rain, though it does mean that I will have to dry my hair twice in one day which I find simply excessive.

Anyway, as soon as I didn't have to think about traffic, all I could think about was escape. In fact, I'm thinking about it, now. I want to run away. Far and fast. And I know that my earlier escape should have happened much sooner, if only it could have... meh... so I keep wondering in the background of all this, maybe I shouldn't try so hard to stick anything out...

I don't want to go to work tomorrow. Someone I know today was complaining about being bitter about work so he feels like he needs to take drastic action to keep from becoming mundane, such as becoming a couchsurfing mooch (which he calls "homeless", but I know from multiple experiences that "homelessness" is another beast entirely!). Oy.

So, yeah, this aversion to going to work is interfering with my plans to live every ounce and fiber of my life so it's all used up and gone (granted half in spite of life itself, but let's not squabble over petty details...). And, honestly, I don't get it. I took another skills/personality metric this weekend and, as usual, it says I should be a teacher. This is basically the ideal profession for me according to my strengths and character, and it seems to be one fate that I cannot escape, so I don't get what's so horribly wrong. The job isn't that bad, the kids aren't that bad. It's mystifying, really, why do I want so badly to run away? Where would I go, anyway? I feel like there's nowhere in the world I could go to hide from anything or discover anything, anyway...

I know that fulfillment in life is about using your talent(s) to help others/improve the world and propel your own growth. Theoretically, this is what's happening. But I don't feel fulfilled at all. Then again, I also don't know what my talents are and I'm pretty sure I don't have any. Anybody could do what I do, and most could do it better. Of this I have no doubt.

I watched a lot of TEDtalks this weekend, and saw a Tony Robbins talk. And started crying. Who the hell cries over Tony Robbins talks!? Emotionally unstable mofos such as myself, apparently. I don't get it. So I try to inquire of myself, 'if this isn't what's right or what you want, what would you rather?' And self has no answer at all. Which is frustrating because my reasoning goes : if you don't have any better ideas then stop the whining and contribute, already!

Anyway, perhaps I'll owe an apology for the abrupt ending, here, but I won't give it.

**Though to texturize it a bit more, I think it could be very interesting to understand one of them to actually be a ghost. Also, the survivors' commonality could be parsed as both being somewhat outlier to the "samurai" dogma through which the whole revenge plot takes place--participants rather than members. ...
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Sep. 19th, 2010 11:13 pm)
Partly cloudy, 25C (25C)

Going to Kobe tomorrow is postponed. Just a few minutes walking around and I could tell that I'd need tomorrow to be a whiny baby before rock star-champing it at work all week. I got most of what I was going to get at Tokyu Hands, got a guitar-stand for my shamisen (780Y, and I was prepared to shell out 3000Y for it!), got some vitamins (including one to "make you clear"--Gaba supplement), and a few other things (tsumego books** for seme-ai (attacking) and yose (endgame), as well as some short stories by Murakami, as he's all the rage but I didn't want to invest in reading Norwegian Wood and being horribly disappointed as I often am by much-lauded [Japanese] novelists), I also got a tube of 36--36!--colored pencils on 50%-clearance for coloring my mandalas.

I meant to see The Expendables, but I got the month wrong for it's release and it'll be out next month, not now. So I saw Eat, Pray, Love, instead. I thought it was really excellent in both content and virtually all aspects of execution.

That moment towards the beginning... I know that moment inside and out. I am that moment. I recognized several other moments throughout the rest of the movie as well, which made it all the more dramatic and [unexpectedly] emotional for me.

Except at the end.

But it gave me an idea, nonetheless.

And it gave me some questions to ponder in between reading my books about child neuro-psychological development, teaching theory/technique, language instruction/learning, and disciplinary systems.

I also like that the protagonist was closer to my age than female protagonists usually are.

It's a little bit of a letdown that coming down with whatever cold I'm getting is going to mean I won't have the stamina for "catching up" on Internet things. Probably for the best, but still somewhat of a letdown.

Recently, I've been trying to imagine what would the Important People from various phases of my life have to say to one another if they were in a room together.... It's a kindof... strange exercise.

It also occurred to me some weeks ago that many, many people have been disappointed that I wasn't a boy, a few have been disappointed that I wasn't a more typically-girly girl, and that almost none of any of those people have anything to do with my life, now--but they were, once, each and every one, very influential.

**I'm glad and relieved to know, now, that I'm at about a level where such books can actually serve a purpose, but now that I know I'm not crazy or stupid I'm noticing some rather pointed discord between the national trends of Japan (the source of these tsumego and, more notably, their solutions) and Korea (the background and basis for the series I've used to learn the rules and basic theory/technique of the game--therefor my foundation). So where, for example, the "Korean school" (as I'll call the teachings based on the book series I've used) calls for priority going to balancing corners before taking a side, the "Japanese school" (as I'll call the underlying theory for the solutions to the tsumego I have easy access to) seems to reverse the order. It makes things like fuseki (game opening) more complicated for a novice such as myself to evaluate clearly....
sjcarpediem: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2010 06:31 pm)

Inception is like Memento, but 10times more elegant!

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