Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dont know what to get your girl for Xmas?

I do...

Last day for overtime. Happy and sad.

So a while ago I took on an overtime project where I would spend every Monday from 6pm - 7:30pm teaching a low level class that is normally 50 minutes... for 90 minutes.

Fast forward 4 months , and the time came up tonight. Tonight was my last class, which went good as usual and then the festivities began (yes TWO nights in a row!).

We went to Desperados, my fav bar/Mexican food restaraunt and had an awesome time. Now mind you these students are rather low level with their English but some interesting topics were discussed.

1. A short, hairy, pale white coworker of theirs with pretty hair, had sex with one of their cute and gentle coworkers, who has a Brazilian boyfriend, who is also very hairy. Now the girl can't decide who she wants. Eh no different than stuff that goes on in the US. They said this was just ONE of many love triangles.

2. One guy met and hung out with the owner of Square Enix, at his house in Palos Verdes in California. I became enthralled with envy!

4. My student ate some spicy food and started choking and got rice stuck in his nose, that never exited his body the rest of the night. He continued to choke and make such comedic lines as "In my nose, there is rice". Amazing...

5. I learned some new counters in Japanese, and learned that 3 cubes of tofu is called sancho... I had to explain to them what that meant in Spanish, and they all had a good laugh.

6. The above lead to talk of dirty old men paying young girls for sex, so they could buy all the latest fashion. It is rather common here, as you find high school girls with LV and other such bags, that mommy and daddy DIDN'T buy!

All of these were the very memorable moments of the night and I will definitely miss teaching them on my Mondays. They promised to invite me out for drinking whenever they go again, so of course I promise to be there as often as possible! I will miss my fun company lesson folk!

Satoshi, Hiroki, Fumika, and Takeshi, this one is for you! (named in their seat order in our classes)

Xmas in Japan!!!

So yesterday marked my first xmas party in Japan and damn was it fun!

Started off with some dinner and drinking at the same yakitori place I ate at a while back (remember when I drank 10 glasses and came home to pray to the porcelain god?), but this time, I drank till I got a buzz. I got to be Santa-san and host a bingo game to make sure my students won some cool presents. (I think my students won all but one of the prizes). The game was super heated and I got to learn about the Japanese REACH system with BINGO (you yell reach when you are ONE spot from winning and then they stand up, which made the competition awesome!).

Before that we played a game of charades that I had planned and it went over rather well. The only thing I would have changed would have been to keep the other 2 teachers from being in the game, and especially on the same team! But it was just a time killer.

After the festivities, most of us went out for some karaoke (first time in Japan) and fun was had by all. A student and I did some Slipnot, Oasis, and then I did some Justin Timberlake, Spice Girls and some other songs I cant remember. Overall it was a good night!

You can check out a few pics below or the whole album HERE!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wish me luck...

Going to a Playstation 3 lotto tomorrow... I need the luck!


I got no PS3, but gained 3 new friends who speak NO English AND I am going to a monkey park tomorrow!!!!

Well, it was worth a try!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Food: Part 1 - Turkish

I have discovered Turkish food...

To be honest, it isn't MUCH different from Armenian food (Zankou Chicken) but the restaurant I went to just finished my love for this place.

I was walking around my neighborhood for exercise and just to learn about my area a bit more. I saw my fav curry house CoCo Ichiban, and an Indian food place, but the subject of this post was a Turkish place I didn't bother getting the name of! (May be updated with name tonight, I am going again tonight)

So the place is totally decked in Turkish art which makes my want to go to Istanbul even greater (I had always wanted to go to Istanbul since some time in college, can't remember what brought it on, but I wanna go!!!!). When I got there, there were 2 people there, done with their food, and sippin several tiny glasses of Chai tea. The chef/owner is Turkish, married to a Japanese woman, and only speaks Turkish and Japanese, so things were interesting.

The menu was in Japanese katakana, so I could read it, BUT, it was in Turkish, so I couldn't understand it!!! So I asked the chef what EVERYTHING was on the appetizer list and ordered some garlic yogurt (can't remember the name, I am sure someone out there knows) and ordered a chicken kabob.

When the food came it was just physically appealing. The kebabs came on these Turkish sword skewers and had a plate of veggies and a half loaf of this AWESOME bread to go with it. I devoured it in like 10 mins! I needed more and grabbed some Turkish ice cream, my first time experiencing this. Now this is when things got funny. I thought the chef seemed a little slow and sluggish, so what happened next, totally played on my wrong assumption. After he got my ice cream in a cone he walked over, and said the ice cream was for me in Japanese, then it looked like he was going to drop it on me!!! But he flips it over his hand and catches it, presenting it to me, damn near making me pee on myself, and have a heart attack. When I realized it was his shtick, as he smiled, I started laughing hard. The ice cream is like VERY sticky, to the point of needing to cut it with your tongue or teeth to pull it apart from itself. After the ice cream, he gave me some free Chai tea, that took about 15 minutes to make, but it was worth it! It was AWESOME!!!

The food was awesome, atmosphere and prices were awesome, and overall just a good place! I will try to take some pics when I go tonight!

Anyone who visits me, I HAVE to go here, just so you know!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween party fun!

Oh my damn was it fun! But pictures speak louder than words.

I wasn't a pirate, and also wasn't in a costume I was too proud of, but I had fun, and that was the bottom line!

Please laugh and have fun!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Work is... interesting this week.

But I won't share that here.

Anyways we are doing a pirate theme for Halloween this year, and it will be my first time dressing up as a non-vampire or ninja, so I will feel out of place. Oh, I also havent dressed up since 7th grade, where I walked around all day with the coolest damn Darth Vader mask anyone has EVER seen, but, I had my normal clothes on under for the effect. I got so much praise that day for some odd reason, but goes to show how cool you are if you have a good Darth Vader mask...

Since I am ergonomically uncomfortably big for Japan, I have to make my own pirate costume. This will be interesting... I will have pics here eventually and be scared when I do. Hopefully I do a good job sewing...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So my internet came back up sooner...

Now for the FUN!

Went to the zoo, bowling alley and yakitori resteraunt on Sunday. I planned the zoo trip a month ago and it morphed into everything it ended up being within the last week. The zoo turnout was amazing, seeing as how it was RAINING! One of my students even brought her 1.5 year old daughter! We had about 17 people! Because of the rain, the animals were pretty lazy and we saw a lot of sleepy or sleeping animals, but a lot of us had fun! After the zoo, we lost a few people before we went bowling...

We had an hour and a half wait before we could bowl, so we did air hockey, some arm wrestling game, table tennis, and the girls did a round of purikura. When it came time for bowling, I was able to see exactly how much our students could have with us, if only our school would let us. Everyone was laughing and in the heat of friendly competition with our scores. My first game was awesome, with a score of 98, next game was like 61... One of the girls with us, on the other lane, bowled a 104, then a 138!!! WTH!!! She got her respect from everyone!

After this we headed to yakitori for food and drink. We met up with the head teacher and she walked us to the place. It was very cool and 4000 yen for 1 full course and all we can drink. So all of us, staff and students, started drinking, but of course I drank too much! The cocktails were in a cup about 6 inches tall, and I had 10 of them, all made to be strong... The students, as a result, got free Spanish lessons, I raced one of them in drinking, and was done with my third for the race, when he got to halfway done with his second, I did some stupid "Ma-ji-de-de-ji-ma-ma-ji-de-ji-ma" thing with my arms that someone taught us, and it was recorded, I hit my head on the table behind me when SOEMONE tried tickling me (I honestly don't know who it was...), made plans to take a group of them to go to my fav bar with good mexican food and after all was said and done, EVERYONE had such a good time!!!

I really enjoyed this weekend, with the good and bad that came with it. I will put up the pics as soon as I upload them, since I haven't even done that yet!

Highlight of the weekend...

When I was telling my students that hares are like rabbits, the male starts mounting the female, and the first step in the circle of life took place...

I was talking to a students about the difference between reptiles and amphibians when Atsushi tells me to look at some turtles, who were in the middle of the first step of the circle of life... I took pics...

I LOVED that everyone showed up to the zoo, even though it rained the whole time we were there! I see this as more of a help for the school, than a hurt to it. To bad I am semi alone in this (the other teachers agree with me...)
I became good friends with one of my students 12 year old son, because I could sing/hum the Japanese theme songs to Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball GT, and talk to him about it in English/Japanese. He got the impression that I was fluent in Japanese and would hang with me for the whole day speaking Japanese! I thought it was cool and only wished I was able to understand and respond to him!

Woke up with a bad stomach after drinking and "I Love Lucy" was on!!! Unfortunately it was the last time they were showing it for now, and now they will show Bewitched, which I guess is cool, just not I Love Lucy cool!

I coulda caught a Green Bay Packer game EARLY this morning if I didnt have work today. Came on at 1:10AM. Well at least I know I can watch Monday Night Football on Wednesday mornings at 1:10am...

Until next time, I look forward to the next event. Halloween is coming so expect stories about Halloween week and the party, where myself and students will dress up... Should be fun!


Now I have a link to the pictures! Hope you guys enjoy them!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Look at this space soon!

Life has been fun this past weekend. Good and bad things, but here are some highlights before the full scoop...

Field trip with students to go to zoo was RAINED out.

Rabbit having sex

Turtles having sex

Bowling in Japan

Drinking 10 glasses of cocktails... LARGE glasses (and vowing to give up drinking for a LOOONG time...)

Come back for details later...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Went to another car event last weekend...

This one was a car show, kinda like Japan's Hot Import Nights. But during the day. With domestics. Plus the weather was pretty decent, so I can't call it hot...

Anyways I had a BLAST at the 2 shows in one (X5 and Dream Car Show). Saw lots of cars owned by people with the same city code as me, that I have never seen before. It was so interesting to see the things people do to their cars over here.

Being a Californian, and black, it was even MORE interesting to see the amount of imitation on the aforementioned status points by the Japanese attending the show. I saw MORE California and Los Angeles related clothing and accesories than I did in LA! Some great things of mention in case you don't LOOK at the pics...

1. 1 SUV hood being held up by 2, yes count them, TWO 40 ozs of Olde Englishe malt liquor.

2. Another car has some random bottles of Malibu rum. Why? Nooooo clue...

Anyways here is the album and a few pics that I found especially interesting at this very moment.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I love pay days!!!

Not only did I get a new TV, but I was able to stock up on...

Now I can spend more time at home instead of at bars! 3 drinks at a bar = ONE bottle of one of these. So I AM coming out on top! Just need to buy more stuff to mix with and I am set!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yesterday I got a new addition to my family...

...MY NEW HDTV!!!!

It is a 26 inch Sony Bravia (S2000 series) that supports up to 1080i! This thing is a monster in my tiny apartment, so it is perfect. I did spend a pretty penny on it, but so far it has been super worth it! Getting in HDTV signals for free, which has turned out to be a lot of English programming. Soo happy!

After I got the TV I headed down to meet with some of the friends from training. I had to do OT last night so I only had an hour to spare. We did a Starbucks lunch, until I had to leave, then they headed to HRC.

I rushed to my school to prepare for the OT, then headed HOME to change, THEN RUSHED to the next train station, THEN the subway 5 stops to my location. I was met at the station and walked to the company I was working at and the class was fun and easy! I really enjoyed it!

But the most important thing is, now I can watch movies and play games in HD! HOLLA!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Japanese TV can be funny, when you can understand it!

Proof is in the videos!

Please Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Just so you know, Wednesday's = drunk nights

Drinks are half off on Wednesday's at C's Cafe and I usually got grab a lot after work with coworkers or alone. So if you ever see weird posts, or get weird emails, you know why.

Consider yourself lucky if you get blessed with a drunk e-style (free style via email). My friend Mark proved to be a master at this the other night!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Got some posters in my room now!

So my mom dropped some money into my bank account this weekend with a message to have a good weekend to go along with it. Well I didn't go out and do dmg to the city, but I bought a couple of posters to liven up my room a bit. I have made myself a plan for home improvement, and the posters were the least expensive, first step of that process.

Next Monday = 26 inch Sony Bravia HD TV.
Next month = replace my coach for something smaller and more comfortable
MAYBE the same month or the next month = a larger, more comfortable futon.
The next month = cooking and kitchen items, so I could cook different foods.
The next month = a new large table and 2 new small tables. The current ones are old.
The next month = a fan to reduce electricity from the AC.
The next month = a ???????? so I can ???? ?????. (Yeah the ? are there on purpose, don't even bother to ask...)
The next month = curtains to go with the theme of my room.

So in 6 -7 months my apartment should be fully pimped out and comfy for guests, and more importantly, me. Should be able to do a LOT of these in the same month as they don't all cost an arm and a leg. Plus, saving money out here is EASY with no car, gas, and insurance to pay for! Woot for public transportation.

Anyways, here are pics of the posters!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What I do in my free time...

...when I have it!

Lost Season 2 just arrived yesterday. 2 awesome Xbox 360 games, and Malibu rum is featured in this photo, but it often has friends!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 11, 2001, I think we DID forget...

So in my last year of 100% American residence, I definitely noticed the decline in extreme patriotism (read: sometimes hate. Stupid ignorant people) in California (can't speak for all of the US). I really think people did forget the most televised attack on American soil ever! Last night on Japanese TV, they had a REALLY good show on the events that day, and I mean they were in depth! LOADS of replays of the plane hitting the tower, the towers falling, and different stories of people in the tower who survived, and didn't survive.

One story was NEW to me and absolutley amazing! Some guy was in his office, on the floor the second plane hit! In the re-enactment, he was sitting at his desk after he made it to ground level and was told he could go back up to his office, since there was no threat to the second tower. He goes back up and is conducting business as usual and sees a plane heading RIGHT FOR HIS DAMN WINDOW!!! He gets under his desk and braces for impact. The plane hits and explodes into his office, missing him by about 10 feet! Long story short, he survived and made it to the ground floor and lives today! If I find his name I will post info and links to his story, but I never heard about that until 5 years later and in another country!

So to the point... Where were you, what were you doing, on the day America was attacked. My story will come later.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

ANOTHER lightning storm...

I am getting 1 second or less lightning - thunder response over my head right now for the third time this week. I am soo glad I don't have to be sleeping, but I do need to hop on my metal bike for dinner tonight... It was clear an hour ago... Finally some exciting weather!!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

1 pict\her of beer + 2 glasses of veer =drunk

Prood in the mornignbtgh!

Sober edit:

Yep that was me on a work night! Had a going away party for Miki who is leaving Saturday to go get married in October!!! Loads of drinkin on my part, because when I ordered a pitcher of some local beer (it was very good, kinda fruity), only ONE person drank a glass! So of course I had to finish it!!! By the way I got to try some chicken wings which are famous in Nagoya and they were SOOO good! I am taking everyone who visits me to this place!

On to the pics!

This is me (oh really?), Miki and Tomomi.

Here is my glass of beer. No seriously. I did at least have the class to pour it into my glass continuously.

Anyways I slept in so I gotta hurry up to work for a 12PM working hour (I am the best flyer folder in Chikusa!!!)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

One of the greatest things in Japan... BEER GARDENS!!!

The set up: Neil Firman and Tommy Adams, are hungry and have struck out (AGAIN!) trying to eat at Heaven's Door. We know the Beer Garden across from the Twin Towers is closing this week.

The results:

Cost: 3500 yen (sanzen gohappyaku en)

The Rules: All you can eat, and all you can drink for 2 hours.

The Damage: I had about 2 plates of raw meat and bowls of rice to accompany them! At nights end I was at around 6 - 8 huge glasses of Japanese beer. Made some friends with the table next to us who were proper toasted, but they were good 15 minute friends. I asked one of the more social guys to do one more toast, which we did before they left, it was great!

We met some guys in the elevator down ended up chatting with them at the station for a bit in Japanese and got their number to go out drinking sometime. It was all gravity around then. This lead to the story below about the skateboard.

Breaking News!!!

No pun intended but I found out Sunday night that I can NOT ride a Japanese sized skateboard while drunk. I pretty much ATE IT on my ass in front of several 10s of people. At least everyone asked "Daijobu?!?!" I felt like I was part of Japanese society since they asked me in Japanese! The love!!!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

If I ever made a music video...

I want it to be about 10% as awesome as Devo`s "Whip It". Seeing as how I was an annoying little 2 year old when the video premiered, I had the pleasure of viewing that video in it`s interiety last night at Hard Rock Cafe. All I have to say is AWESOME! Please do yourselves a favor and download this video and vote for it on your local music television stations NOW!!!

Interesting findings since I have been in Japan...

This will just be a list of obnoxiously hilarious things I have noticed while here, that make me laugh until I pee, figuratively...

A Japanese guy around my age in a black "Compton" hat and a Ben Davis shirt. Doesn't he know he needs a Dickey's shirt and pants? Dr. Dre and The Game would bow their heads in shame...

Last nigth some black dude was cuttin and scratchin on a turntable near the fountain in Sakae and all the Bgals and Bboys were out in effect. So circling the block he was on was a TON (read: 6) lowrider cars, with drivers and passengers dressed in a mix from SoCal Mexican and Black gangsta apparel, hitting switches and everything! IT WAS GREAT! One guy who stood out the most, had a white rag on his head, one over his mouth, and a white TOP HAT (you know like the Planter`s peanut dude?) and a white button up shirt with the 2 top buttons buttoned! He was rolling in some expensive looking black car with some other "hoodlums". Everyone was bumping some 1980 something rap at the time while the guys peeped the girls and vice versa... I wish it wasn`t so late or I would have stayed and snapped some pics!

Japanese girls with shirts that read "I am so bored with Japan..." I have seriously seen like 5 girls with these shirts and I think it is damn awesome!

Obsession with Jamaica. I mean everyone has Jamaican flag colored wrist bands, shirts, hats, shoes, socks, this, that, those, these or another here! I don`t know why! Plus I now prefer the Japanese pronounciation of Jamaica over the English one! (JAH-MAI-KA)

TV has 3 options.
1. Variety shows with the same famous people as 30 minutes ago.
2. Cooking shows.
3. News.
I am so glad my mom sent my movies!

The pleasure/curse of being completely ignored by 98% of the population. Sometimes this kicks ass, sometimes it doesn't. But PLEASE don't have your ipod semi loud while loud girls are talking away on the train, or you may have someone tell you in English, that you are too noisy...

Moriyama ku has NOTHING to do. Really...

Clouds do NOT = cold weather.

Rain does NOT = cold weather.

Everyone's stories and experiences of Japan will be different. I heard horror stories and dreamland stories. Mine are more towards the positive than the horror stories I have heard. I have no clue what those people were doing to have such a hard time...

If you J-walk apparently taxis will speed up to try to hit you. Read my earlier post about how I will die in Japan...

DRUNK people at night is Japan`s saving grace for free entertainment. Screw NHK television. Go to a train stop from 9pm - 12am!!!

That is it for now. Going out after this 1 hour of OT for a day in the city with Neil, so expect some fun pics and more observations.

Total number of giant mechs seen in Japan to date - 0

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Friends in the U.S. exit stage left, friends in Japan, enter stage right.

Save a few people, the emails have finally stopped flowing from peeps in the States, and mostly from people in Japan now. The switch is complete.

Not like I wasn`t expecting it, nor do I mind, just stating the situation. I would do the same, hell! I am 6,000 miles away from most of the peeps back in the states, so of course it will be all contact-contact my first month or so here, until the wow factor is gone, now it is time to move on.

Same for me too now. I am living an amazing life and experience here and everyday is just so much better than the last(even if I am paying 1500 yen to take my bike out of jail every other week...)! Luckily I have a group of friends for different occasions out here and I am not a loner in Nagoya (only when I leave Nagoya am I a loner)!

Good luck to all in the U.S. and hope all is doing well with you guys!

Had an earthquake last night!

Was preparing materials for today`s classes and the earth decided to start talking. I didn`t skip a beat while the rest of the staff made a little "OH" or Japanese "Eh" sound.

Another reason why being from California (Killa Cali!!! Someone wanted me to say that once...) is just too damn good! Let`s have some more!

So this week there was a 3 hour DOWNPOUR of rain stopping the trains, and an earthquake... what is NEXT!?!?!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tommy gets his bike taken by the police again!!!

Can we say "Tommy wa sugoi baka desu yo!" I know we can...I parked it in the SAME place as last time too!

So yeah my bike is in jail again and the place is only open from 2pm - 7pm. I work 1pm - 9pm. They are closed Sundays. Which means no biking until Monday... After I pay the bail money. Why am I sooo stupid!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I have dumb luck...

This is why my electricity went out...

I used too much. Apparently when your electricity breaker thinks you use too much electricity, it shuts it all off. How to fix it. Flip ONE switch on your breaker...

I also found out the PO doesn`t know that I am also Thomas Adams, and not just Tommy Adams, so my electric and gas bills have not been delivered yet. So if they get shut off, it is my POs fault! I have done step one to remedy this. Anyways time to go head to training before another day of teaching! Gotta head into the city for that!

I also got my first set of DVD packages from my mom! Now I have movies to watch IN ENGLISH! WOOT!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So I think I didn`t pay my electric bill...

I really have no idea, but today my electricity went out!!! YESTERDAY my water went out for an hour or so, then came back on luckily. Now my luck is just pretty sucky huh? Want to add more to that? OK!

Grabbed my bike from the parking structure (I learned my lesson) and the back tire was flat. Cost 1365 yen to fix this morning... I swear I am a magnet for bad luck like this. Things that cost money when I am low on it, or when it really just doesnt have to happen. At least payday is near, and it will be good because of yesterdays OT!

Do not have to go to work until late today so I will be mailing a couple postcards out today! Also my mom`s package of DVDs and other random electronics should be coming in today! NO MORE JAPANESE TV FTW!!! (FTW = for the win!)

I need to figure out how to pay my bills though, I thought I would at least receive something first...

Monday, August 21, 2006

Oh yeah, one of my students made me a cake!!!

One of my students made me a small piece of cake last week. She likes to bake and always makes her teachers cakes. It was chocolate so I couldn`t eat it (I didn`t tell her that!), but she said she would make cheesecake this week, WOOT!

It made me miss Cheesecake Factory though:(

I will put pics of the cake once I have internet at home!

WOOT my first time working OT today!

I actually dont mind because it got me off of my butt, but I work OT tonight, for just 2 hours! The kicker is, any time spent for OT is 15,000 yen! (About 150 bucks).

Woot! Gets me one step closer to the HDTV I wanna get in 2 months!

Suzuka Circuit - Cars and Girls...

So yeah this event was as much about the cars as it was the Race Queens, and I had no idea until I went there! It was just crazy how popular these women are! I went for the race having an idea how crazy it would be, but no, it was MAD! Check out the pics, they speak MORE than I ever could!

Here are some teasers:



Yeah, links to whole album below...

On to the race...

The first 2 cars to win the race were both 350Zs (which I HATE! Sorry Mark and Phong, you know I am partial to my old Z32). The Calsonic blue came through first, then the Motul Red in second. 3rd was a Lexus that I couldn't recognize in GT form, but the mother was loud and fast, just not as fast as the Zs!

Once I get internet I WILL be uploading EVERY video I took, I promise.

Teasers of the race and cars:



So onto the albums! Have fun!!!

The Cars!

The GIRLS!!!

For the first time in my black life...

I have a damn sun burn and this mess hurts! Now I know how all of my lighter complected friends feel. I am sorry I ever made fun of you...

I woke up after the day at Suzuka (which kicked ass!) and I felt like someone snuck into my apt at night and slit my neck with a razor... It hurt (and hurts still) THAT bad! It isn`t red since I am not light enough, but it is a darker intense color than my normal tone. HOW FUN!

Suzuka post and pics soon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tomorrow I go to Suzuka Circuit with Atsushi!!!

So I have played the track and seen it in sooo many racing video games, now I get to BE THERE!!! We start our day early (9AM) with the hour drive to Suzuka in his Skyline (never a bad thing...), then we get to see the Race Queens (WOOT) when we get there and the racers and their cars before the race. Expect about 20,000 pics tomorrow when I get a chance to upload the pics. Should be fun!

Same old song...

So I was without my laptop for almost 3 weeks right?

Get this...

Now my free internet is gone, and I am back at the internet cafe. Guess it is time to start paying for internet monthly. Gotta pay the man!

Friday, August 18, 2006

If I die in Japan...

It will be death by car. I swear one of these days these cars are gonna hit me on my bike, and while I lie on the ground in pain, I won't know what to say in Japanese to explain that I think I may die. Kinda fun!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


If anyone knows who the Japanese celebrity Razor Ramon Hard Gay is, you will know what that foooo means!

All this time it has been broke, it was just some bad RAM. I took it out today and it worked... Desperate testing ended up winning in the end. Plus I am still getting internet from the old teacher's account! NO MORE MANGA KISSA!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So last night was a hilarious drunken blur. Want details?

So some random last minute plans plopped up during Summer Sonic Sunday to meet with some peeps from training week with Aeon, and of course I accepted, I miss those folks! SO the night came last night and how memorable it was... LET'S LOOK!

So the horrible part came first. I spent 7 hours at the internet cafe downloading stuff to fix my laptop, a program had to reboot the PC I was using so I could burn the CD. I reboot, and EVERYTHING I DLed erased. If I was born with tear ducts I woulda cried, like a baby. So this was perfect timing to pack up all my crap and go out for a night of fun, WITH MY LAPTOP CASE! HORRIBLE! It is heavy! Oh well!

I head to the meeting place and I am a bit early so I head out to find the Citibank nearby, which I didn't find (I am about to go try again once I publish this), so I went to my local UFJ bank and pulled out the necesary cash for drinking! Oh and eating...

Got a call from Becky that her and Laura were waiting for me and I was literally across the street almost there, so we had to wait for Neil, who I spoke to earlier and he said he was gonna be late. This is the best part of the night (maybe for me...)!

So this random Japanese dude, 25 years old named Rikiya, walks up and sits next to Becky, making her visibly uncomfy. He spoke some alright English and started talking to us, as Becky inched further from him, he got closer. So I decided to intervene. I started talking to him in Japanese and English and had a pretty fun conversation about him saying he has no future, no hobbies, and no girlfriend. All while Becky and Laura are giving me looks like "What the hell!?! Make him go away dont talk to him!!". At one point he grabbed my laptop case and I was eyeing him but didnt feel a threat, even though Laura looked a bit nervous, I eventually grabbed it from him and set it down. I eventually got his phone # and he said he would call me in a week to go to a party/club and listen to house music. Hell, why not! He got a phone call and had to leave to the ladies` relief. We waited for Neil a bit longer and met him at the fountain. We headed for Heaven's Door for a night of drinking and eating!

OH HELL NAW WE DIDN'T!!! We got there and it was CLOSED. So of course everyone laughed at me and Laura took a pic of me pointing to the closed door, of course I am made a FOOL! We just headed to Outback Steakhouse for bacon cheeseburgers and an awesome blossom for local vegetarian Neil. We had one drink each because they are hella expensive there. We sang happy birthday to the table next to us. At the end of the meal we spoke with them and one of the guys was the son of the drummer for War, a group my sis in California was friends with. Small world. We exchanged info and he gave me a DVD of his music, as he was a drummer like his dad. He also said he fixes laptops and computers, so if I have no luck tonight I may try him out tomorrow, as he lives in Japan with his wife. He was happy to see a fellow Californian. See, we are THAT cool people. Do not deny the truth life has brought forward to you. Please!

We needed more to drink. So Neil and I navigated to the same bar where we met the Okinawan dude back during our first week and made it there! SURE we knew where it was exactly... The girls got girly drinks, Neil and I got some rum drink, which he sipped, I downed. Oops it wasn't a shot? Then next I wanted to do a shot of Spiritus which is like 98% alcohol, and tastes like it. My fellow drinkers smelled it from my throat for a while after drinking it, it is STRONG. So I was on water for the rest of the night. Neil got bit by the bug and wanted to try it too! More power to him! He did so and felt the strength and power of SPIRITUS!!! The girls cringed as we killed braincells on it and the night just got funny from that point on. This Japanese dude next to us was singing and dancing to Koda Kumi, who is kinda like Brit Spears here. Now thise dude had a big beard and a cowboy hat, so you can imagine how this looked. Gonna upload the VIDEO and pics of him when I get a chance... Some other bearded dude came up and started dancing and posing and more laughing and pictures/videos were taken. It was then time to leave and we made it halfway down the block when I realized I left my laptop at the bar, so small detour for me to pick it up. We passed by the place where all the hip hop dancers dance and I walked in for a close look to see 3 people doing some STRAIGHT UP BEL BIV DIVOE (did I spell that right?) moves! Omg welcome to the 80s! I really want to help them, but I can't dance like them, so their loss... We rushed to the subway then the train to my place since Neil couldn't make it back to his place since he lived too far and we got THE LAST TRAIN to my inaka apartment station! WOOT!

So of course we got more beer at 7-11 and we drank and talked about many things until about 6 in the morning. I think I fell asleep on him talking then he fell asleep while talking. Awesome! We did have a conversation that may have a huge impact on what I may end up doing with the rest of my life professionally, but that will be between us and the 1 or 2 people I may have mentioned it to in the past who actually pay attention to my scatter brain ideas. Wait a few years, you may hear about it...

Anyways I am 7 mintues past my hour and pissed I gotta pay for a second hour. Time to go to Citibank!


So yeah... I uhhh.. didn't get my bike stolen. I parked it in the wrong place and the 5-0 took it to the concrete jungle (aka bike jail). Yoshie came down after her night of hard partying, like I did, to take me to the Koban to check and they said check there and of course it was. Bail was set for 1,500 yen and I was able to get my bike! Anyways I am here at the internet cafe to find directions to Citybank in Nagoya, cuz I spent WAY TOO MUCH in Tokyo/Osaka and need more money fundages! Plus I go to Atushi's after that to try to fix my laptop. Wish us LUCK!

Monday, August 14, 2006


So after this week of major travel for me with travel to and through Japan's 3 largest cities, I got to experience 4 rides via the Shinkansen. It was COOL as hell! They move sooo fast and it is very smooth. I snapped a few pics from the window (when I was sitting... I had to stand FROM Tokyo to Nagoya, an hour and a half, and Nagoya to Osaka, 50 minutes) and everything close is a HUGE blur, while things miles away stay clear.

Here are the pics of said moments.

Summer Sonic 2006 - AKA the best day of my life. Seriously!

So like I always planned when I bought the tix, I would arrive early, so in case I got lost I would have spare time. I didn`t get lost so didn`t really need the extra time. When I arrived to the venue I looked for and found the place to buy my wristbands (OMG the Japanese phrase "... wa doko desu ka?" is the BEST phrase when new to an area!). I walked straight to the open air stage where all the rock/metal bands would be playing for the day, with ORIGINAL plans to hop around to go see Kururi for my coworker Miki (which I didn`t, sorry Miki). After getting to the Open Air Stage, I was able to pretty much walk straight up to the front of the stage with only a few people at the time, with only about 10 others at the time, and the first band was going on in 20 minutes! I sat and listened to my ipod the whole time until we got word the band was about to start, and those 10 people turned to hundreds in my music listening hypnosis, oh well I was in front! So todays lineup goes as shows, I will have impressions of each one:

Hawthorne Heights - Stone Sour - Taking Back Sunday - Avenged Sevenfold - Zebrahead - Hoobastank - Deftones - Metallica (who I need to only watch 40 minutes of, to try to get good seats for Daft Punk, the whole reason I was here)

Hawthorne Heights - Now I was under the impression they were a pure pop punk band, but DAMN did they put on a good show. Now I am only familiar with the chorus to one of their singles, but the crowd was into it, so I got into the show. Minor mosh pits formed, but nothing too violent. ***(WILL EXPLAIN A JAPANESE MOSHPIT AT THE END OF THIS!)*** After an hour their show was over, and I was glad I saw them, I may have to check out their music more, once my laptop is up and running again. Next up Stone Sour.

Stone Sour - Now I LOVE Slipnot and was told Stone Sour was a softer Slipnot (lead singer of Slipnot and Stone Sour are one and the same), and I heard the first single "Bother" and never bothered to listen to them again. BIG MISTAKE. They kicked ass and the moshpits proved it. Corey WORKED the crowd into a frenzy and a HEAVY moshpit started everywhere in the front (the front stage seats were seperated into 2 areas, each with their own 2 areas. So 2 areas seperated with a place in the middle for the artists to run down and yell at and with the fans, and on each side two areas seperated by a gate that ends halfway up the gated front section) sections. The pits were kinda behind me, but I did get crushed against the gate and elbowed a few times, no visible damage. After this show I was worked up, and ready to check out Stone Sour's albums, and was ready for more bad assness from the show.

Taking Back Sunday - Now I am worked up OK. A decently hard show, then a HARDCORE show, Taking Back Sunday just HAD to kick some ass, but didn't. Now maybe because their music isn't my style, but I just wasn't into it too much. Plus the lead single was a little too fem for me,PLUS, and this is personal, he ripped off Cedric from At the Drive In/Mars Volta's stage antics, with the way he danced on stage like James Brown, and whipped the mic around his neck and spinning it in the air to catch it at the right part, bad news in my eyes! The ONLY saving grace for this band came when their bass guitar broke after a song. During the time they spent waiting for it to be fixed, the lead singer did his own rendition of Jay-Z's Big Pimpin, one of my fav Jay-Z songs ever! I gained respect for them RIGHT there! Even if they will never do that again, it was awesome to probably just me. Everyone in the crowd thought he was probably just talking, since there really was no music playing, and it took one verse for me to recognize it, but then I felt like a dumb blonde when I realized what it was!

Avenged Sevenfold - If Stone Sour kicked ass, AS kicked it, then punched it. They brought SOOOO much energy (and many more people to the front of the stage and this is when I got pushed into the first moshpit, my first moshpit, of the day). They did their songs while the lead singer did his best to rile people up. In between a song he shouted they were a band from Orange County California (Huntington Beach to be exact) and then was the moment I yelled and shouted, and NO ONE ELSE did. Oh well, they don't know better! Then they did a Pantera cover and the place about lost their damn minds! Now if you know me, I usually only like newer music, and only people I was fans of when younger, will get a listen from me with their new music. But I couldnt help but rejoin the mosh and lose my mind. A good time indeed. Covered in my sweat and other people's I was ready for more, and boy was I NOT prepared for this...

Zebrahead - Now I have heard of them, but never heard a millisecond of any of their songs, but coworker Miki said they were good and from Canada I think, so I expected a few fans. Now honestly, minus what i saw for Metallica, this band brought the biggest crowd to the front. When they started, they went right into a heavy song, and the lead singer INCITED people to go crazy! I got shoved into another pit while I had some guy on my shoulders (which I dont remember him getting up there, plus whenever anyone would get one someone shoulders SOMEONE else would shove the person carrying and they would crash into a pit OR on the ground, casuing laughter from me) and it was on! For their whole set myself and hundreds of people in a 50 foot by 50 foot area lost or goddamn minds! They HARDLY took breaks to talk in between songs, and when they did their guitarists would spout the dirty Japanese he knew, causing the crowd to go nuts (well the men and some women) then BAM, new song, MORE crazyness! After an hour of this the set was over and I was physically and mentally tired from all of that. I decided it was finally time to eat for the first time and get more to drink (in between each set I would grab 2 waters or 2 calpicos). Mind you at this time it was 3:35 in the afternoon, and I was JUST eating my first (and only...) meal of the day. Next up was Hoobastank, who I had no interest in going into this, so their performance was spent with me eating from afar, watching them, then these 2 guys practicing Capoeira!

Capoeira - Really cool fighting style from Jamaica/Brazil using rhythm, flips and kicks to beat people's ass, and REALLY cool to watch. There was a really tall (later saw he was about my height, but he looked a lot taller) white guy and a short Japanese dude practicing it, IN the gravel filled dirt of the food section. I WISH I thought to grab my camera, because as soon as the thought crossed my mind it was over. An awesome part was some Brazilian dude who just got there with his other friends (lots of Brazilians in Japan who work in the car factories)jumps in and just ABSOLUTELY OWNS these guys with the Capoeira he knows. He was fast and doing some HIGH ass flips and spins and I was just amazed. This ended the litle Capoeira show as the other 2 were a bit too embarassed to continue after the Brazilian dude shcooled them! I talked with them later and told them how good they were and the tall white dude said he was teaching his Japanese friend until the Brazilian dude walked in and "owned them" (his words, not mine, even though I used the same words to describe the humiliations). I c\told the Japanese guy he was good too even though he was learning and was shocked to see he didn't know English, which meant his friend had to be fluent in Japanese or close to it, so I commended him in what Japanese I knew, and then he smiled and thanked me. Oh well Hoobastank is about done (after a cool moment where the lead singer who is half Japanese brought out his grandma who was born in Japan and was at the show with him and I guess it was her last time coming back to Japan), and time for some DEFTONES!

Deftones - When I told a friend I was looking forward tot heir show, his words were "Dude, I have heard Deftones live, and they SUCK!". That must have been a bad night. They started the show with "Hexagram" which is pretty high energy and everyone went MAD. This show had probably 40 people less than Zebrahead, so it was packed. It got worst when Chino jumped onto the gate facing the square I had been in all day. When I saw this I ran and jumped on top of a few people for a chance to high 5 him, which I did, coo! Anyway they did lots more high energy songs, and brought it down with "Change (In the House of Flys)", which was awesome because it started to POUR down raining, which was just perfect timing for that song! After a song or two more of high energy and more moshing it was over, and headliners Metallica were up to bat.

Metallica - Now I KNEW I came to see Daft Punk, but a chance to see Metallica live before any of them die (they are getting older ya know!) I was sooo pumped for this moment. But, I knew I couldn't be up front and get to the exit in time to run to the stage to see Daft Punk. So I went ALL the way to the back where I could see the big screen. Now it was show time and they weren't on yet. I was nervouse because I wanted to see 3 - 4 songs and JAM, but here they are 15 minutes late and nothing. So I head for the exit hoping to find a place small enough for just my body to see the strage and I was told I was too far into the exit to stay there. My mind began to race at what to do, say F it and leave, or go back in and sit for 15 minutes to see maybe one song if they ever came out. My mind said F it and I headed out. I get down half a block and hear the voice of thousands of people cheering and Metallica goes RIGHT INTO "Fuel", no intros needed. Oh well I heard them at least, and when I got to the stage where Daft Punk was, there was a jumbo tron showing their show from the same angle as the big screen I was in front of earlier. So I stayed and watched 2 songs and saw the exact area I was standing at so many times on camera (because I saw the same 4 Marine guys who were all assholes to the people around them, damn I hate their attitude, now I know why Japan hates the US's military bases in their country). Anyways into the Mountain Stage to see Daft Punk.

Daft Punk - The moment I waited my whole life for was about 50 minutes from starting and I enter a big empty building with thousands of people in it listening to The Charlatans. I do not like The Charlatans now, and din't before, not my style. I saw a bunch of people fighting their way through the crowd to get to the front and I decided to follow so I can be ready for Daft Punk. I got about halfway from the entrance from the front of the stage and all 4 of us hit a wall of people and had to sit through the death of 4 more songs from The Charlatans, the pain should be felt as you read this. When the show ended, myself and the 3 people I followed fought our way forward and got about 150 feet from the stage, arm to arm with everyone else wanting to see Daft Punk, this wasnt gonna do, NOT AT ALL! I saw the security letting people in behind and to my left so I ran over and got in with them. For some reason this was in frot of what I thought was the front gate and I got a pretty decent distance from the stage (maybe 20 feet or so). They were playing some band's music that had a house type feel to the beat but the guy sang like Depech Mode or something similar, and everytime a song would end and a new song would start, EVERYONE would cheer thinking it was Daft Puk, then stop when we heard the guys voice again (I wish I knew who they were because their music was really good!). Finally THE moment arrived after what seemed like forever. It started with the alien music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (wow as I type this I seriously just got chills thinking about this moment, seriously this is exactly what I wanted to be doing, seeing Daft Punk live) and again I was the only one to cheer, because I knew that band wouldn't use that theme for a song, and I KNEW Daft Punk would, and what did you know, the curtains opened to show the dynamic duo (learn your stuff to roll with me please. Daft Punk is 2 DJs from Paris France who always wanted to make a punk music, and when they tried to get their first record deal, the agent said their music was too "Daft" for "Punk", hence the name Daft Punk. Their names are Thomas Banghalter and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo. Know this MAN!) dressed in their ROBOT SUITS!!! The latest album which honestly isnt THAT great compare to their first 2 albums, and not just me thought so, it didn't last long on the charts like their other albums, is called Human After All, and their theme is for them to be robots, realizing they act more human than they were built to be like. So yes the WHOLE show they were in their robot suits, which was absolutely insane to see! After the CEOTTK theme ended the beat from Technologic came in slightly, with the words for it getting louder and louder (and the screen in the back getting brighter and brighter with the words from the song, ALL in synch!!!). Now the cool part of this was, Busta Rhymes, the rapper, recently used, well the producer Swizz Beatz did, parts of the chorus with the SAME voice from his recent single "Touch It". Now Daft Punk just floored me when they would sneak in the beat from the Busta Rhymes song and chorus in with their song. It was just beautiful. It would go from this total Euro house beat to a rap beat, then back, over and over, maybe like 1 minute of each. Now what was awesome and bad for my heart at the same time, after every few songs, their cool ass stage and lighted scren in the back would go off and the music would stop and I thought it was over, since they clapped. Then they would go back to work on the turntables and EVERY song started off at like 1/1000 of the pace, and speed up maybe 50 points every 10 seconds, causing this "What the hell is this! Oh Hey it sounds kinda cool! OH SHIT THIS IS "ROBOT ROCK"/"ONE MORE TIME"/"AROUND THE WORLD" moment with everyone. Now what was cool, each "section of music had about 3 songs in it, different songs from all of their albums, played seperately, then at the end you would hear some part of EVERY song at ONCE!!! These guys are house music GENUISES! The rest of the night just went on awesome with more of the same then the finale which was just BAD ASS effects and probably their best 4 songs (one from each album, 2 from 1 album) mixed in one (Around the World/One More Time/Prime Time of Your Life/Human After All). This had THE coolest effects, some amazing bass and just AWESOME energy from them and the fans. Often time THEY would stop spinning and just bob their heads in unison to their own music, or pump their fists. The people in my area were probably the coolest. Many times I would get grabbed and we would start jumping or singing what songs had words to them, but the music brought us all together (2 Brazilian guys, 3 Japanese guys, and 4 Japanese girls)even though we probably couldn't ALL communicate on the street. When the show ended I couldn't stop saying "WOW" out loud and as I exited I grabbed the ipod, put it to artists, Daft Punk (which has about 95% of every song they have released, some songs I just don't like) and I eventually made it to my hotel after a tram, a subway, a train, then walking! Perfect ending to a perfect Obon vacation. Depending on who is going next year, I am SOO going to Summer Sonic again, but next time I wanna go with friends. Going to amusement parks and things like this alone sucks, especially when you can't just strike up a conversation with anyone you want. So here is to next year going with friends AND learning some more Japanese!

On to the pics of the SHOW and OSAKA station area!

Osaka - Day before Summer Sonic

Well I was typing this out earlier and had a good 3 paragraphs and it just cleared, don`t know why, but now I have no intention to type it all up again, I will do it in the future (which means I won`t). So a quick run down of my first night in Osaka goes like so: Arrive, call Saki to make plans for 7:15PM, walk around Yodabashi Camera, walk around mall with ferris wheel on it, meet Saki, eat Italian, go to a dive bar complete with live band playing bad 80s rock, play pool and only get 1 ball in, losing to an Iranian guy fluent in English and Japanese, left bar, said bye to Saki, walked to my hotel, sleep.

Tomorrow is Summer Sonic 2006!

Did I get placed in Nagoya or Los Angeles?

So I get back to Nagoya station from my awesome 3 days in Tokyo, to drop off dirty clothes, and pick up some things I forgot, and when I get to my train station, my bike isn`t where I left it. I frantically look in the surrounding area, and come to the quick conclusion it was STOLEN! Yep, stolen bikes in Japan are fairly common, but mine was LOCKED, and CHAINED to itself in between the wheels, so someone whould have had to cut it right there on the spot, OR lift it away somewhere. And no one saw this? Oh well, 10,500 yen down the drain.

UPDATE: I look for it today as I returned from Osaka, and it was still nowhere to be found. I even looked at every bike parking place about a block in each direction. Guess I am buying another one...

Friday, August 11, 2006

So my 2 days in Tokyo are almost up, but have had a blast!

Did Disney Sea and Disneyland in 2 days. Did Shibuya and Ginza yesterday after Disney Sea, did Odaiba today and doing Shibuya again tonight, gonna try to snap some shots in Harajuku. I will write more when I feel like it, right now I have been sitting at Apple for too long and my butt is numb, time to go walk some more miles in Shibuya! Laters!

UPDATE: I didn`t end up going to Harajuku, I just spent a lot more time roaming Shibuya, the area is so massive and active. I walked around several stores, music places, and places to look around, finding fun and interesting people to watch and snap shots of. At night I went to the same bar I went to the night before which was WAY different than the first night! The first night had me and 2 other people, this night had me, and about 23 others! They play Rap/Hip Hop music which attracts different people, way different people. So tonight the guy who was the bartender before, was NOW the DJ, and 2 girls were the bartenders now. The girls spoke quite a bit of English, different than the guy who spole none. There were also a group of Nigerians, some guys from somewhere in the Middle East, and then quite a few Japanese. What was funny about some of the Japanese, was they didn`t look the typical part to be in a bar that played hip hop. I sat next to a Japanese dude who`s whole head was tattooed and was dressed kinda like a chollo, who`s friend was dressed like a black thug, complete with Los Angeles hat in Olde Englishe and everything. I spoke with one of the Nigerians who has lived in Japan for quite some time and was fluent in Japanese, his native tongue, and English. He had been married 4 times while in Japan, and he was saying wife number 4 was going to be the last time (I guess the first 3 were to get settled in Japan or something). Anyways he was cool peeps and we talked a bit about life in Japan. After drinking and chatting I headed back to my hotel for my last night of sleep in Japan, heading back to Nagoya in the morning and then Osaka right after.

Here are the PICS!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Laptop STILL broke but had an AWESOME day with Yuka and her sister!

So skipping the fact that laptops suck, I had a rather awesome weekend! Went out last night with some people from MySpace and Atsushi and we all blew a good 40 bucks each on alcohol and food from Outback Steakhouse (7 PER Corona...). Atsushi had to leave (poor guy had to work the next day) and we all just spilled over across the street to a bar called Heaven`s Door where we drank 1 or two moxed drinks (2 vodka tonics here), then tequila shots, then some drink that was supposedly the strongest drink (can`t remember the name), which only myself and Oya-san (whom I just met last night) were MAN enough to drink. I downed mine and felt the burn, but it didn`t take me any further into being drunk than I already was at the time, after that we just had some more fun/hilarious random stories about life in Japan and America (Scotland for Clare) and just had an awesome night. We decided to taxi it home, because it was too late to take the train, they were done for the night. Had an awesome night of sleep before my day with Yuka at the aquarium.

So skipping all the morning crap I would usually type about, I met Yuka at Takashimaya in front of the clock (if anyone ever actually visits me in Nagoya, I will show you this place, it is THE meeting place at Nagoya Eki) and we proceeded to grab some udon at a nearby restaraunt. During our conversations during lunch Yuka offered to help me book hotels and buy shinkansen tix for my Obon adventure. So we headed to the bookstore at T-maya and checked some maps and hotel guides. During our research, Yuka got a call from her sister saying she wanted to join us to the aquarium, and of course I didn`t mind, the more the merrier. When she met us we ended our hotel reseach for the moment and followed her sister (damn her name escapes me right now) to Nagoya ko (Nagoya port, I may have it wrong though, either Nagoya jo or ko, bad memory plus long day...). Her sister was only one to know how to get there which is why we followed her.

Watching Yuka and her sister interact was hilarious! Her sister is kinda someone you can tell has a lot of fun joking around and such, and there were lots of moments where Yuka would maybe try to stop her from embarassing herself by asking me questions in English (she spoke a bit of English, just a bit) and her sis was so gung ho with asking me questions about anything in English, with Yuka behind or next to her lookign embarassed for the whole family, it was just too funny! She was cool people though and we all had fun together. Anyways back to the aquarium...

We got there after a subway trip with one transfer (man I gotta learn Japanese so I can do stuff like that all the time) and we entered probably the coolest aquarium I have ever been in. Now without pics to do the talking, and me without the drive to type up every moment like I normally would, I will just spam random memories from the trip. We got to see a pretty decent sized Orca (uhm kojira in Japanese, well it is whale) and several iruka (dolphins). It was funny because Yuka`s sister was so quick to give me the Japanese name of everything we saw, kinda overload for me, BUT highly informative. We saw a tank that had a school of over 3,000 sardines, it was a sight to behold (I took video and pics). I saw honestly the largest crab I have seen in my LIFE (giant spider crab). This thing would eat a full grown rottweiler if they ate meat. We saw some HUGE turtles (kame) and then behind them their tiny babies swimming in a little tank (imagine a room full of tons of KAWAIIs being shouter, but they were cute, I will admit it). We saw a dolphin show, which was no dif than one I have seen at Seaworld, but fun because it was ALL in Japanese! I was having father tendencies watching this little boy climb on the railings during the show while his parents were about 14 steps up from his newfound playground, but he never hurt himself, and I didn`t have a heart attack. More happened, I just can`t remember, but once my laptop is ok I will post pics and then probably make an addendum to this post.

We eventually finished and Yuka`s sister had to go to work (she works at a manga kissa like I am at now) so Yuka and I went to the SAME manga kissa I am at now to research hotels and book them for me for Osaka and Tokyo. It took time, I am not 100% confident things will go well, but things are booked and I drew some crappy maps from stations to hotels to concert locations, to Disneyland... Wish me luck this week... Next stop was to Chikusa train station to buy my shinkansen tix to and from tokyo, then FROM Osaka to Nagoya (I didn`t buy my return because I was waiting for a call from Saki to see if I would be able to hang with her, but no call, so now I know when I will return.)

So there it is. An AWESOME weekend in Nagoya from me, yet AGAIN! Plus I also am all booked and ready for my Obon adventure, AWESOME! Now I just need to fix the damn laptop so I can post from home and stop spending money for the train then fee for the manga kissa (key-sah. short for kissaten, which is cafe).

OH I remembered something from yesterday that was interesting, well to me. Aparently there was one of the world`s largest cosplay events in Nagoya at Oasis 21。Now I am not into cosplay, anime or manga but I love the video games. So I get out of Sakae station and hear One Winged Angel (if you have played and beaten Final Fantasy 7, you know this song WELL and you LOVE IT!). I see a huge stage and a girl and a guy dressed as Cloud and Tifa from FF7 and they were doing some form of play in front of HUNDREDS of onlookers! Kinda cool to see in person! Later on that night I found out I missed 5 guys dressed as Gundam mechs, complete with smoke machines attached to the costumes and everything... sugoi ne...

Oh well, next year right?

Now with pictures!!! Here ya go!

Nagoya Aquarium Pics!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

So the cool ass laptop I bought not so long ago...WON`T BOOT!

I am sooo damn pissed now! I woke up to a black screen and NOTHING I did would work! I get to try to fix it tomorrow and hope I fix it, or all of Japan will hear me cry. I am serious...

If I don`t get online, I WILL have fun in Tokyo, Osaka, and THIS Monday at the port and aquarium with my friend Yuka. I will have pics, but too bad NO ONE WILL SEE THEM!

And yeah, I know you are thinking, Hey Tommy, you can fix everything with PCs, what up homie? (Thanks! You are thinking that right?) Well fixing PCs and laptops are apparently different. Tonight I get obsessively intimate with fixin my lappie. I am at a internet cafe now to type this , then go head home to attempt to fix things. I can NOT lose things, because EVERY website I have worked on is ON MY LAPTOP harddrive. Only my old ones are on the external HD. Wish me luck, or I will be starting a buy Tommy a bad ass PC/laptop fund, that no one will support. Hell I wouldn`t!

Enjoy life wherever you are, I am still enjoying my time here regardless. My 2000+ dollar purchase dying on me can`t stop that! Right? Right...

Also a funny thing happened today. One of my students Kaori is a high school student who does hip hop dancing, according to Miki, so I asked her about it. So when I did, she was like "Yeah I DO!" Followed by this little rap video girl "snake" move, then these funny words, "I`m SEXY!". I could do nothing but start laughing out loud which caused me to get hit by her, but I couldn`t hold it in. She actually STARTED a hip hop dancing club at her High School, and learned how to do it at dance school. Ganbatte!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I got my cell phone, BUT I am getting sick!

So I am getting what feels like the typical cold, so let's see if this is a Japanese strand and it knocks me on my butt, or if my immune system becomes triumphant and this lasts a few days. My first weekend with no set plans and I may spend it in, uhhh, futon?, sick...

Anyways, onto the phone!!!

paste from an email that went out to family/friends/loved ones...

So today I got my ARC card (YAY) which opened the world of Japan to me!

No more carrying my ugly passport around, I could open a bank account (which I did!) and I could get a cell phone (the point of this email!

So now to the important, yet less exciting stuff: my phone number and the rules. Please do not ever expect a call from me, from this, when you are NOT in Japan. It will cost me an organ or two (read: four) to make any call to the states! Please only call me if you are in Japan until further notice. I am not sure if incoming calls are free or not, I have heard they are… but lemme confirm… I can receive email and send it from the phone from your PCs, they cost less than a yen per email, so it is all good to email me!

Also, if my contract has any say in this, expect me in Japan for at least 2 years (the cancellation is only 10,000 yen). The 2 year contract’s rates were MUCH better than the 1 year rates, so I got it. The phone WAS free, and I pay about 6230 a month for service!

Now to the cool details!!! My phone is a Vodafone V604SH (Sharp). It has a 3 megapixel camera on it (my pre Sony M2 camera was 3.1 megapixels) that takes pictures with a 2x optical zoom along with VIDEO. I can even output the video to my TV with the, get this America… PROVIDED cables! It has a mini sd slot to save pictures, music, video, and other things like games, ringtones and such. The awesome thing is, taking notes American phone companies… IT COMES WITH A 32 MB MINI SD CARD!!! Yes, I don’t need to run out and grab anything, because it also comes with a headset for it too!!! I can watch live TV for FREE, it is built into the service. Cool thing is I will pick up the channels of whatever area I am in. So when I go to Osaka and Tokyo next week, I can get their local channels in. There are some other features I need to read about, but yeah, those are the ones that pump me up.

So that is the news. Hope I get better!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Went to Toyota city to see fireworks!

During my first week of training, I told all of my students to let me know of cool things to do while in Nagoya if ANYTHING ever came up, festival-wise or other. So the second week, Megumi, one of my Talking Point 1 (first part of 2, of the highest level book) students brought in a book with a ton of Summer firework shows. Some had 2,000 fireworks and were weeks away and over an hour away, some less and 3 hours away, but one caught my eye...

Toyota (Home of Toyota cars and Denso) city, about 30 minutes away, had 15,000 fireworks... Yeah I know where I was going. So between Megumi and my manager I had some directions scribbled down from a nearby train station.

During the week I made plans with Atsushi to go to HRC for lunch. We decided to meet at Nana chan (she is the big giant doll you see in pics, and they change her clothes at some interval, not sure yet) and she is now in her summer clothing, a bikini and an inflatable intertube. After we met up we headed to HRC, where we both had Hypnotiq Tea (which are damn good, and strong...) and got some potato skins (which I miss my mom making) and fajitas (like I had the first time at HRC). After lunch I wanted to head to Toyota early to get good seats, so I asked if Atushi could show me how to get there from where we were, using the directions I got earlier in the week. He felt sorry for my poor baka gaijin soul with sukoshi nihongo skills he decided to come along with me, so I could at least GET there. Yeah without him I woulda been lost as HELL, but now I could make the trip again and be just fine.

So the trip pretty much consisted of the advice he gave me, follow the girls in the yukata, they are heading to this show, which ended up being true. From Nagoya station to Toyotashi, we followed a group of people with girls in yukata and the last train was honestly the most crowded train I have been on in my life, up to THAT point... When we got off the scope of how big this event hit me. I expected 3,000 people probably, give or take 100 or so, but when I got off the train, I probably saw that many in my viewpoint from the train station! It was a long stroll from the train station to the ticket uhm, the thing that collects your tickets, because of the amount of people that were on that train. Every last one of them were exiting at this stop! We eventually made it out of the station part and into the sea of people heading towards where the show would be.

It was at this point that I saw THE most foreigners I have seen in this night alone, compared to my total time in Japan, inclding my week in Tokyo! There were people from dif parts of the world including America. Lots of foreign guys with Japanese girlfriends, but also a lot of families just in for the festivities. Atsushi and I found a seat on the sidewalk where we stayed and snapped photos for an hour or so. We then decided to try to get closer and we got a much better view of the show, but it was about to end, so I grabbed some beer, him some food, and we decided to head back to the train before the show ended. Wow was the train crowded! Him and I slipped in between people into some invisible space for JUST 2 people to stand. Once we had to change trains, it was much less crowded and the night ended with me making it home safe. Thanks to Atsushi for spending the day with me, making sure I didn't get lost or anything, I definitely would have.

Anyways on to the part you were waiting for! PICTURES! There are a LOT and my camera SUCKS for nighttime pics, but some came out well! Also look for pics of the yamanba/ganguro girls I took! I didn't know this style was all the way in Nagoya, I saw a ton of em in Tokyo though!

Fireworks in Toyotashi

Things Japan is better at over California (I can NOT represent the whole US, hell I can't represent all of California!):

Firework shows
Public Transportation
Politeness at places of business
Japanese language

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tommy had fun tonight...

I am incable of typing anything, so here... Notice my hands being occupied by a familiar bottle. (3250 yen for 2 6 packs of Corona and a screwdriver in a bottle?)


I had fun tonight! This was welcoming party for me and farewell for Rob, the guy going back to America.

Something cool happened yesterday to make me feel good

So I didn't have a last class last night and I was asked to make a poster for myself, because I am a new teacher. After this it was pretty much waiting until after 9 PM so I could go home. Well at 9PM, Miki asked if I was free, because one of her students wanted to talk to me, sure no prob!

Since she is a Japanese teacher, most of her classes are lower level, so if she needs to explain things in Japanese, she can, and her student I think was at our second level, out of 10. I talked to him about hobbies, where he likes to eat, and he asked me several questions too. The best part came at the end when he asked me and the manager if I could be his teacher. Since foreign teachers teach from lvl 3/4 up, I can't at this time. He said he will try to hurry and move up so he can be my student. This was such an awesome feeling! Didn't hurt that his nickname was Tommy...

Earlier in the day I had an older guy, just retired in March, who was the President/General Manager of a metalworks company. He had to manage the Japan, France, England, and several American factories. The guy is pretty damn rich! His classes are interesting. He comes in for 40 minutes (classes are usually 50) and we just talk. So he introduced himseld, and I did myself after. What was funny was that when I told him I was from California, he said "California is NOT America" because the people and life there is so different than other parts of the country! After hearing that we had a good laugh and I told him I can talk to him about California culture next week (Southern Cali at least, he has only been to NorCal). He commented on liking my English, that I had a strong name (Tommy is strong?) and that he looked forward to our future classes.

The other classes in the day went perfect as well. Although my last class with those 2 high school girls I mentioned before, I kind of finished early and had to go back and drill things that I should have only done once, but oh well, they were having fun AND learning! After today, there is a party for me and the outgoing teacher, until 10:30PM. Something interesting is a few students only signed up after meeting me and they tell me that they have signed up. My students are SO awesome! Well have a great weekend guys! Hope my internet survives another day...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

So my internet may be going off soon...

I sent this email out to everyone just now, but lemme paste it here...

Just sending this to everyone in case you don’t hear from me for a while you’ll know why. I am currently using up the last of the old teacher’s time with his account and I think he said the 27th is the last day…Which would be today, so just sending the warning shot.

Last bit of info about me about my plans for the near and not near future, thanks to my coworker Miki I was able to purchase tickets to the Summer Sonic 2006 concert in Osaka on August 13th, where I FINALLY get to see…


I also get to see Metallica, Deftones, Avenged Sevenfold and some other bands from around the world. She also helped me get my shinkansen tickets from Nagoya to Osaka, so I get to do my first shinkansen ride in about 2 weeks. EXCITING. I am going to be going to Tokyo from Osaka to hopefully meet up with Ken and Taka who are near/in Tokyo. That is how I am spending my week off for Obon. YAY OBON!!!

Hope all of you guys stay well during my decline to the dark ages of no internet, but I hope to get my celly (cell phone) next week once I get my ARC, then at LEAST I will have that!

Ok folks, laters!

So yeah. I found out today that some girl I had to interview my first week of work, decided to be a student at Aeon today. Made my staff happy because I made a good enough impression on her to pay to come to the school. That was kinda easy. I thought the sales part of this job (which is hardly mentioned until you get here, but whatevers, the job is still FUN and EASY) would have been harder. So yeah, one new students, my second week of work.

One student remembered I asked the class of cool places to go in Nagoya, plus any fireworks shows, and today she brought me a list of firework places around Nagoya, and one will be in Toyota city, about 30 mins away. This one happens to be pretty damn big too, 15,000 fireworks will go off, and the show is 2 hours long. I will take pics and video, but hope I can have internet to share them soon. This will be THIS Sunday night. So yeah I am being pro active about my life in Japan, and like the last post, I am getting a lot out of it, because I am putting myself out there. I love this job and country so far! Wonder if that tone will change in a few months...

You get out of Japan, what you put into Japan

Now I know it is early to be saying this, as I may still be experiencing the honeymoon stages of this life, but I am loving my job and life outside of it! I hear so many horror stories from people about Japan being this and that and they want to go home soon, or that the Japanese only like you when they know you are going back home soon, but I tend to think these people's attitude is what's driving people away or causing horrible experiences.

Last night I went out for Mexican food and drinks (DELICIOUS enchiladas, HORRIBLE pina colada...) at a place called Desperados in Sakae (this place is right down the street from my job, I could walk there in 15 mins...) with my friend Atsushi. That night I met Atsushi's old coworker Hiro, a friend of his who I can't remember his name, a guy from Torrance, Ca named Steve (a teacher from a rival eikawa school), the owner/bartender Takako (who helped teach me Japanese along with Atsushi, on how to order different drinks, bottles or glasses), and the cook/bartender/bodyguard? RUDY (Atsushi recently told me his right name!). Last night was just one of those moments where you feel like you meet some cool friends and people who all want you to become a part of your group. Everyone wants me to start going there regularly and I just may. If I were to continue this, how could I ever have a day or time of loneliness and self pity, if I have a place like Desperados to meet and talk with cool people? As long as I have the yen I guess...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Went to pick up my inkan, pics of my bike, and more

Just a lil more. Went to Nagoya city proper, to go to Takashimaya to pick up my inkan and exchange the LAST of my dollars. I am officially void of any US money now, all yen!

Well here was what I went to pick up:

So purdyful! That is my name in Katakana (foreign word written Japanese alphabet) pronounced Tomii. I need this to stamp any officialy documents, like bank stuff.

Yesterday I mentioned I bought a bike, but I came home with it too late, so I took pics this morn. So here goes!

Isn't she hot?!?!? I think so, especially the basket and the bell! That is my kasa (umbrella) in there, I think...

And to end the day, I saw my first alien ever!

Ok this thing was the size of my finger! (Well lets say about 4 inches long...) I saw it and first thought to run, but then I went back and though people may enjoy the pic, so I took it.... GROSS! I never wanna see one of these EVER again!

Anyways, here are the rest of the pics...


You can see I had Fajitas from Hard Rock Cafe in there! One thing I miss from Cali is good mexican food, and HRC's fajitas were GREAT! So when I want to pay 16 bucks for fajitas, I know where to go, plus drinks were half off at Happy Hour, so anothe reason to go.

Time for bed, im sleepin early!

Japan Idol...

Well this is a week late, but oh well. Last weekend when I walked around near the hotel, I ran intot his band playing. I thought they were amateurs, but they ended up being pretty established. Here is their site:

And here are my pics of them:

Just strollin in my hood.

So I went to take care of chores and bought my first, and hopefully only bike, in Japan (The most popular crime in Japan is stolen bikes, and it is usually drunk people thinking it is theirs).

I took some pics of my immediate neighborhood. Enjoy!


Sunday, July 23, 2006

My first week of work...

...Had a rocky first day, but after that I got the hang of it for the rest of the week!

Now for the details, that only Tommy knows how to break down (I wish I did a day by day after the day, many memorable moments, but I can't remember them all!)

My first day at the job I had to lug my suitcases and everything to Honbu (The place we train at in this area of Japan for Aeon), which took a lot longer than I expected because they were SUPER HEAVY! When I got there I had time to kill so I went to one of my fav fast food places to grab some breakfast and also grabbed a caramel frap from Starbucks. After the quick meal I headed back to Honbu to wait for my head teacher to pick me up.

During this waiting time I met an emergency teacher from Australia. He was a really cool guy and just sat and talked a bit. Then my trainer Andy came by and we had some casual conversations. Weird after the week of him training the hell out of my group and I. Then Yoshie came. My first impression of her was kinda funny for 2 reasons. 1. As soon as she came into the office (where it just so happened, the president of all of Aeon was there) about 5 or so minutes late and her first words to me are, "Tommy right? Sorry I am late, I am a bit hungover, drank too much last night". Uhm...AWESOME!!! Someone who is real and not all about the image Japan usually tries to keep. 2. Now I have been made fun of my whole life for being black and "talking white" or "Like a Californian", but this girl talks and sounds like I do!!! Lots of "like"s, "totally"s, "you know"s and "whatever"s. I feel like I am at home! She lived in San Diego and Los Angeles for about 3 years, where she learned English.

We head to the train so I can make it to my new office and she offers to carry my laptop case which was heavy for her, but we eventually made it to the office, where I met who I am replacing, and the other staff. Rob the guy I am replacing was a cool guy. He gave me a lot of good advice and info about where I live and the office atmosphere. I met Tomomi the Asst. manager who is super sweet and I also met Ogawa-manager who seems like he is very cool, he is always smiling and laughing (he also wears pink shirts and ties, twice this week). Finally I met the part time teacher to our office Teresa, who is from Canada. My impression of her isn't anything special, she seems to not ever talk to me unless I talk to her, and when I talk to her she is short and straight to the point. One of my other coworkers told me she noticed that and was wondering why. Well at least I wasn't the only one to notice it. That other coworker was Miki by the way. Honestly she is my fav coworker. She is SUPER sweet and very easy to talk to, plus very helpful to me with praises and suggestions for classes. She gives me info that some of her students have made about me (her students are very low level, and all the comments were positive), since they can't tell me in English. She even had to translate one of her younger students (probably 20 or 21) flirting with me. I understood a bit of that conversation, but when she translated the rest, I had to laugh. So that is my office. Ogawa-manager, Tomomi, Yoshie, Miki, and Teresa 2 days a week (WOOT ONLY 2 DAYS!!!). Seems like a fun laid back group of people, and they are all super nice!

Day 1

So my first day was pretty much just watching Rob do 4 classes that day. He is a good teacher, but he doesn't follow the structure or some of the rules we were taught to follow, plus a few other office rules. Interesting... BUT he does keep the students happy and they learn something. At the end of this night I was told to meet at the office the next day at 12PM to go get my ARC application in. Without that I can't really do much as far as setting up services in Japan (aka no internet, cable tv, cell phone, etc.). So I said I was told that right? Let me back up. I overheard the conversation in Japanese, some head nods, then I was off to go to my apt by my manager. Ok. So maybe I could have just assumed it was meant to be there at 12, BUT what if I heard them wrong.

Day 2

I show up at 12:30. My morning was kinda crappy cuz I couldn't find the Mos Burger Rob told me about (learned 2 days later it was across the street, I didn't recognize the logo), so I grabbed junk food from 7-11 to munch on. I ate said junk food on a bench in a nice park, a bench covered in ants... So all of that and I come in at 12:30pm, with some odd stares. Ok, clock in and go sit down and prepare. I see Yoshie and ask her when are we going to go do my ARC thing, and she says that I should have been in at 12 to do it. Yep, my assumption was right. So I apologize to her and the manager, and take full blame, but I think Yoshie thought back to that conversation and maybe realized "crap that wasn't in English huh?" She explained it to the manager, they had a laugh, and she took me to go to the city ward. We had 2 trains and about 20 mins of walking each way. The whole time we just talked about lives in California. She really misses it. I was supposed to watch Rob's first class that morning at 1pm for my LAST observation before 3 real classes that night. Wasn't going to be making that at all.

When we got back to the office I went to have lunch with Rob as it was his last day in the office, and I just blasted him with a bunch of Qs about training, and the apt (he is the previous occupant). We eat at my now fav place to eat C's Cafe, where I get 650 yen quesadillas, with more lettuce than cheese, but hey, the first Mexican food I can find. He pays for our lunch because he got his bonus check + ticket home check, and he said it was WAY more than what AEON said it would be, interesting... After lunch we headed back to the office for me to prepare for my lessons until my first class came. I go out to do lobby talk (talking in the lobby with students when you aren't studying) and when it was time, announce my first class. 2 students follow me into the class, and so does Rob, who I didn't know was observing, kind of a surprise, but I remained composed. My first class went well. Rob gave me a few pointers to make them better, but I think it was good for my first in school class. The next 2 classes didn't go so well, made a lot of beginner mistakes, but easily fixable. The day ended and Rob said his goodbyes and I clocked out and headed to my apt with my 50 lb box my mom mailed me! LUCKILY Yoshie was sweet enough to drive me to my apt in her car, otherwise that woulda been hecka tiring to take that thing on the train then WALK to my apt from the station (about 11 minutes). When I got home I unpacked everything and just kinda threw everything where I can see them, leaving organization for the weekend. Time for bed...

Day 3

So now I am on my own. This day I made few mistakes and my students were praising me openly to the management and staff, which was just too cool to witness and feel like you are well liked on your first day. I was always getting comments on being really nice, making the class fun, and having a really clear version of English (Yoshie says it is because I am from California, ok). I had 3 comments on the fact I smelled good (had Dolce & Gabana cologone on), which was kind of funny to hear. Got to spend my downtime talking with Miki (who sits to my immediate left) and found out she is leaving Aeon on September 1st, because she is getting married in November. Now my fav coworker is leaving, that sucks. Today went rather well, even though there are a few things I need to work on, with time, I won't make those mistakes.

Day 4 and 5

I don't think I am making anymore mistakes, and the student compliments continue. My students are always smiling and laughing during class, as I try to make it more exciting for them while they learn. Everyday I swore I found my favorite students, and the next class would replace the previous person/people. Now I don't have names for everyone yet, but let me list them out.

First is Hashiko who is one of my highest level students. She is probably in her mid 50s, very nice, and her son wants to be a diplomat. After my first class with her she said "Ok now I will enjoy coming to class, you make this REALLY interesting!" There was another girl in the class who pretty much said the same thing. After the class they both spent 45 minutes (this was the last class of the night so I was able to spare the time) just talking and asking/answering questions, both very cool. My next class with Hashiko was a private lesson, so that means there is more time for free talk. This is when she told me about her son's plans and everything and said she was going to show me some picture he painted 2 years ago that one some contest in Geneva, where he got to go and meet some diplomats because of his work of art. Next is Daiyuu. he lived in australia for a looong time and he speaks English extremely well (he really doesn't need the classes). Because of his level, he is very easy to speak to and just a lot of fun to talk to. Then there is a guy who is in a class with 2 other girls usually (both of the girls, Sachiko and I can't remember the other girls name are really cool in their own marks. Sachiko is a scientist I think, where she tests the water in Nagoya for impurities, and the other girl a high school students, always in her uniform for every class). The guy, who's name I will for sure memorize soon, just has soo much heart to learn English. He is always speaking up and trying his best. He gets mad at himself for making mistakes but spends seconds correcting it, all with a smile. He is just too cool! Then there are the Sawadas... Two of the freakin coolest people I have met. They travel to Hawaii once a year to golf. They are a married couple in their early 6os and they are in our highest level class. Words can not explain how cool they are, I look forward to our next class. Then there is Kaisuke (I think) who is 36 (I swear he was 24 - 26 when I met him) and he wants to be a Dr. in the US. He told me I HAVE to remember his name next week and he was just very cool to talk to. He asked me a lot of questions about me after his class (which had a girl in it, Megumi I think, who asked me a lot of questions before class, as we had to wait for Kaisuke who was late because he is on the swim team) and he said every class he is going to ask me a questions. Sounds like it will be fun! And finally there are the two high school girls, cant remember their names though. They are both 17 I think and just freaking cute with their manners. They are about upper beginner level and they try so hard to speak english with no mistakes. They help each other out in Japanese when one understands my English over the other, and make cute sounds/faces when they either don't understand or finally understand. They have a lot of energy so I made their lesson really fun and high energy and they immediately went to one of the Japanese staff after our class to tell them how I made the class really fun that day. I really hope I can remain as fun as people have been claiming during my whole year, I really don't want to let that energy die down for whatever reason.

That was the work week for me. My last class ended on time, and I smelled the weekend. I raced home because I wanted to do something last night. I found a website with different club events and found a place called Club JBs in Sakae. I wrote down the address and phone # and headed to Sakae via subway and train. When I exited the subway I was totally lost. It was funny though, because their site has a map that is just boxes with names in them, and even though I couldn't read the Kanji, I recognized the kanji on a building that was supposed to be next door to the club. It was. I see a bunch of people and ask them where the club was, in Japanese, and he said he didn't know in Japanese. Uhm, the club was right behind him downstairs, all we had to do was look up at the sign that said BF2. So I head down and pay my 4000 yen entrance fee (last time I pay that much for a club until paychecks start coming). Now this club has dif music every night, but last night was house. What was cool was hearing local DJs, who also produced some of the songs they played. I WISH I had a copy of the music last night. What was cool was they would play some rap, and a few rock songs, in their entirety, then there would be a house mix of the song, that not even I have heard! Kinda cool. They also played some old music, like James Brown, and KC and the Sunshine Band, to name a few. Long story short, I stayed until the DJ played the last song, at 6:15AM. I got there at 10:12PM. Regardless I had a GREAT night, spent about 40 bucks on drinks (buy 2 at a time for 1000 yen), met a guy who usually DJs there, but was just an observer that night, a girl that had a foregin boyfriend and spoke awesome English. She actually translated the convo between that DJ and I. She then intoduced me and translated some conversation between me and 5 other people, 3 girls and 2 guys. One of the guys who I ended up talking to for a bit about House and other music for a bit. It was just a damn good night, fun was had by all. I honestly think only 3 people left from the time I got there, and about 30 more people came in (I got there 2 hours before the "event" was to start and it was KIND of packed with about 50 people, which fit TIGHT on the dancefloor, so picture 30 more people in the club, bar and dancefloor...)

Got home at 6:45, went to sleep and woke up at 12:30 and did my first grocery shopping in Japan today. Bought milk and cereal, found lotion (they call it Body Milk, that is why I couldn't find any), nail clippers, and some stuff to make the stir fry I usually made back home. I was going to buy my bike and a bike lock, but I didn't have my address on me, so I am going in about 20 mins to go buy it! EXITING! Pics in the morn I swear! I also did my first laundry day this morn... Good news, that small thing my hand was near is NOT the washer, it is the dryer, and it gets the clothes dryer than I expected, I might not have to hang clothes EVERY time I wash. But honestly, I HATE my washer. The cycles are manual! I have to set it to wash, put on timer, time runs out, put it on drain, turn on knob again to fill with water again for the rinse cycle, timer goes off, throw 3 articles at a time into the "dryer". I am about to put the coloreds in (that's racist!) before I go buy my bike. I am kinda pissed though, my light in my walkway doesn't work! So whenever I get home when it is dark, I have NO light to turn on immediately. PLUS my washer slowly drains water when in use, which may be good, so I can get a new one!!!

Anyways, you are now caught up with me up to this VERY minute I am living now. Hope all is well in the US, and see ya guys laters with pics of the bike!