Thursday, February 21, 2008

Went to a concert last night! Digitalism!

Yeah yeah, I go to a lot of house concerts, but I have sooo much fun!

This is probably the first and last time I go to a concert on a work night though! I have no motivation to go to work now!

Oh and I finished the website for my student's band, and with the money, I will buy what I need to start producing my own house music.

The legacy continues...

Pics here

Video tonight.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Just got back from Kobe!

And no I didn't get to eat any beef!

My coworker told us we could find some shish kabob style beef, but we couldn't find it, but we did go to a Brazilian chirasco all you can eat/drink and got stupid drunk!

As you know, Sayaka's little brother got hit by a truck and she went out there to take care of him. He was OK, but she stayed to help him out for a bit. We decided that I would go out there and spend the weekend in Kobe to meet him and check up on him myself, and I bought my shinkansen ticket right away. Saturday night finally came and I convinced my head teacher to replace my cleaning night with hers, so I can try to catch the 7:25 shinkansen. I get off work at 7, have to clock out, mark down my students, get to the station by 7:10, which gets to the shinkansen station in 10 minutes, and the shinkansen leaves at 7:23!!! Mission impossible huh?

Well my fellow foreign teacher coworker Krystin helps me out, and puts my stuff from my last class away, I had brought everything I needed into the teacher room so I could just grab it and run. I clocked out, and ran to the station, and got there at 7:03. 3 minutes! Record breaking for SURE! I text Sayaka to let her know that I MAY make the 7:23 (previous plans were the 8:03) and tell her to get ready to leave just in case. I get to Nagoya station and RUN RUN RUN to the shinkansen platform, get to the right platform and run up the escalator! I find a shinkansen, but not sure if it is the right one, I ask one of the station workers if it is the right one, and he tells me NO! But then he looks at my ticket, and says YES GO GO (in English!!!Even though I asked in Japanese) and I run to the nearest door, which closes on my arm! It of course auto re-opens and closes when my arm gets out of it, and the shinkansen begins its trip to Osaka. I was the last to board!

An hour or so later, I am at Shin-Osaka station and make the transfer to Osaka station to meet Sayaka. We finally got to see each other after over a week and we g find some places to eat. I was super super hungry (after a small breakfast and lunch)and I ended up eating, gelato, spicy chicken wrap from Subway, AND a bowl of ramen and gyoza. I was super upset with the gyoza because it wasn't hand made, it came from a bag in their freezer, and tasted like it should have! After eating this I felt sick, which was scary since there is a huge scare about frozen gyoza from China in Japan right now. I walked it off though and have been fine since!

We headed to Kobe after eating to go to her brother's place and I was shocked at how close it is after taking the express train (just under 30 minutes!). We get to his place, do the introductions, and begin eating some snacks and watching TV until it was time to sleep.

Sayaka and I woke up early so we could start our day. We headed to Sanomiya first to go grab breakfast and go to an area famous in Kobe for foreign buildings. A long time ago some foreigners lived in Kobe and made a community that looks like the homes from their own country. The houses are all well preserved and in great condition! Disaster struck though, when I was trying to change lenses on my Canon DSLR, with Sayaka's help, and we ended up dropping it and what appeared as, breaking it too! This put me in a horrible mood as this was my 50mm lens I got late last year, that has been responsible for some of my favorite pictures. I later found out it was just the lens guard/filter that broke, and 2200 yen later, I was back in business.

We ate at a cafe that had some special deal for cheesecake and a drink for around 600 yen. Sayaka and I wanted to relax at a cafe so we bit. We were both surprised by what the cheesecake was. We expected traditional cream cheese like cheese cake, but what we got was a sweet tasting cake, with some form of cheese melted on top of it, like pizza almost. Mentally, I didn't want to even try it, but I just bought it and didn't want to waste my money. The taste was definitely interesting. Not good, not bad, but edible. Sayaka said the same. After our cake we visited some pet shops to look at some dogs and cats, then it was time to meet her brother so we could go eat dinner.

Sayaka decided on a Brazilian chirasco all you can eat, where basically they keep bringing meat to your table until you turn over some green and red block, that means they should STOP. The servers were funny as they spoke Portuguese and Japanese only, and kept quoting famous Japanese lines that comedians say, calling everything they brought out "mazui", and even saying that the meat they brought comes from snake legs, or giraffe or something else absurd (it was all beef and pork). We drank WAY TOO MUCH (since her brother was younger than us, and drinking faster, we couldn't let him beat us. End result, him 6 glasses, me 5, Sayaka 4) and stumbled our way through 2 stations and back to his apartment. When we got home they plopped in front of the TV, as I went to go shower first. When I got back, they were both sleeping and I quickly joined them.

This morning we had to wake up early to catch a 7:10 bus from Osaka to Nagoya, so we ran with a LOT of stuff to the nearest station, caught the right train we needed based on our online search for train schedules, and made it to Umeda station. We felt we got a bit lost and asked someone who worked at Family Mart, and he guided us in the right direction (went as far as leaving the store and walking with us to the street, then hand signaling where we should turn and even gave a rough time estimate). After the great guiding, we arrived to our destination, and got some quick snacks and boarded our bus.

During the ride I saw many places covered in snow and was sad that I was not in Nagoya when the snow came through! The week before it snowed a LOT in Kobe, but not while I was there, and then it snowed in Nagoya! Oh well, next weekend I go snowboarding AND to Kyoto, so I will see my snow soon!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

So I ate motsu last week...

...and just found out what it was yesterday...

So yeah my student invited me to go to a nabe party with her and some other students because some couldn't make it to Krystin's bday party. Well Krystin felt sick and I wanted to go so I went. I love nabe!

I get there and see what looks to be yakiniku style grill tables and some noodles with meat in them. 2 of my female students had ordered my drink and put some of the food on a place while I hung up my jacket. I took a bite and it was great, but I noticed I didn't have any meat, so I took a bite of that by itself. MAZUI! GROSS! Seriously, it tasted to the effect of when/if your gums ever bleed and you can taste the blood. Yeah multiply that taste by 3 and you have a rough estimate at it's grossness!

Well yesterday I told the student who invited me I didn't like it, and she said she didn't either and apologized to me for not knowing it wasn't the kind of nabe both of us expected! She didn't have to apologize, we both went in not knowing what it was...
Well she tells me what motsu was, and I swear I wish I didn't know...

What motsu is the small intestine and bowels of a cow. Well when it is gyu motsu. Yeah. If I had known then what I know now...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Bad luck, Good luck

This week, wow life is strange...

So today I can't find my key for the life of me and I always leave it in the same place, and I destroyed my room looking for it, arriving to work late in the process... Had to leave house unlocked all day...

I do an interview today with a girl who spoke no English AT ALL (after being told she is slightly above beginner) and I had to tell her to talk to me in Japanese and I would teach her the English. She ends up signing up for private lessons with me for around 300,000 yen...

My mailbox door breaks.

Had a party with students and my coworker for her birthday. Took a lot of pics and videos with my camera. Connect it to the PC, use the MS camera manager to upload em off the camera, click delete after transfer. Well everything goes through, and deletes, but NO files transferred. So now we have no memory of that day whatsoever (if you knew how much I drank, you would know).

When being observed by the new Japanese teacher, my class that is normally GREAT was horrible and completely out of character! Luckily it resulted in all of us laughing way too too much and making the new teacher laugh until she cried. She complained of stomach pains later...

Strange week...

Oh well! Will be watching episode one of Season 4 of Lost soon! Can't wait!