Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! In Nagano!

So Sayaka and I decided we would take each other on trips for our birthdays, and since mine is today (yay me!), we went to Nagano yesterday!

We spent the day in a town called Iida, and did sooo many interesting things!

The first thing we did was head to a farm where we made our own apple pie, ate a potatoe with some GOOD butter! We also got to eat some blueberry soft cream which was DELICIOUS!!!

We made one of severa stops to some souvenir shop, and bought some omiyage!

Our next stop was going to a river which was moving pretty fast due to the heavy rain! We saw these tiny boats with motors on them and we soon boarded them for one of the most exciting rides I have ever had! The view, mixed with the rain and everything that surrounded us during this boat ride, made for a VERY memorable experience. When we got to the end, there were 7 or 8 ducks just waiting in the water for us! There was also a white cat just sitting there watching the ducks! The highlight of this moment, was when Sayaka and I were taking pictures of them, since they were so close, one of the ducks attacked her camera (pecked the camera when she wasn't looking!). We both got startled and the duck just stayed there like nothing happened! Too funny (see the picture later...)

After this we headed to a beautiful area that had tons of old Japanese shops and items to buy. It really felt like being in ancient times in Japan. I took WAY too many pics of this place because it was soo beautiful!

After that we headed back home and I had to head to my friend Mike's farewell party (he is going back home to Canada :( ). We started at the Hub, where we drank too much, then people bought me beer and shots for my birthday at midnight. Then a few of us stumbled to a hip hop club which I totally regret! The music was SOOOO horrible, as an American who knows what real hip hop is. There was some singer who was similar to Exile's style and everyone sat on the floor to watch them perform. We just stood then eventually sat with our face's in our hands because it was soooo bad! We just sat and talked, while people "danced" to horrible music, and then the Euro Cup game (Spain vs. Germany) came on and we watched that until it was time for first train.

I made it home and went to sleep after Sayaka attacked me, knowing I was exhausted! Thanks for that baby!

Tonight we go to Hard Rock Cafe and eat some GREAT food!

Check out the pictures from yesterday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Another weekend full of excitement! - NOW with videos at the bottom!

So for weeks I was planning on going to my student, Shigeo's, band Coffee Time's live show. (who I designed and maintain their website at

Well the day finally came and they were amazing! I got there a bit late due to stomach problems (Sayaka and I ate like 30 something gyoza in 10 minutes...) and the band before them was on. I got in and was the only foreigner, but when is that ever a shock! I got there, and Coffee Time's drummer recognized me and said "Heeeey Tommy!" which instantly made me official as for having a reason to be there. He went up front to get Shigeo, and he came and we talked and joked around a bit. The singer Chikako, from Coffee Time came to introduce herself in English to me (I haven't met her yet, I only met the previous vocalist. Plus the new bass player and keyboardist came to introduce themselves to me too. Shortly after they were ready to go on!

They warmed up with a cover of a Maroon 5 song, and after that they did 4 original songs. They really are a great band, and it is hard to describe their style. It isn't J-Pop, too hard, it isn't JRock, to electronic... I will have vids up to decribe it a bit better later!

After that, I joined my friends for the farewell party of a local teacher. We hit up Karaoke Kan, the Greek designed karaoke place with an AWESOME night view (well the room we got had the great view!). We did this all while drinking too much and singing horribly to horribly old songs (but like always Ryan and I did Justice's D.A.N.C.E.). Most were going to stay and do karaoke for one more hour, while Ryan, Susannah and I were going to look for the club that would be our after party.

We went to JBs and it was closing at 4 and they were playing, what they call "techno". We tried Daughter, and it was dead, but playing rap (who wants to dance to rap?). SO we decided to take the walk to Magos. We are glad we did! It was Electro/House night and DAMN were the DJs good that night!

I met a DJ who will be having a set on August 27th and he will get me in for free to check him out! I always love clubbing in Japan because people seems to have more fun when foreigners are around. It was so quiet, even thought the music was BANGIN, but when we got there everyone got louder. Some guy eventually came up to me with a bottle of white wine which we drank from, literally in front of the DJ booth!

The other joined us, but I wasn't sure for how long because of the alcohol, but eventually the sun rose, the last song played, and I stumbled to Denny's where everyone was crashed at. I made the decision to go walk to the station so I could catch the first train home at 6:10AM. I caught the train, stumbled to ride my bike home, and got home and took a shower then slept!

I was shocked to wake up and see Sayaka was gone, but forgot that she had work! I woke up at 10 something and got ready to go to Immigration to go get my visa and passport renewed! I left around 10:30, got my passport at 3:30. Yeah, immigration offices... After that I headed home to get the first care package my dad and his wife sent me!

When it came I was sooo happy to see 9 packs of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (MY FAVORITE CANDY IN THE WORLD!!!!), 4 containers of Creole seasonings (Zataran's and Tony Chachers), 2 bottles of Frank's Red Hot sauce (such a good taste, and not too spicy!), some mac and cheese, and liquid popsicles to freeze! I will be happy with these for some time!

My mom should have sent me another package today too, with 3 new suits that I bought, plus some other things I asked for!

Such a good week!

Also, 6 more days until my birthday, and Sayaka and I will go have a day trip to Nagano on Sunday, and after that I will go to one of my friend's going away party. No idea what the plan is, but sounds like a bar night!

Busy busy busy busy busy... You should know me by now right?

Also after this weekend at Club Magos, I was seriously considering thinking of becoming a party promoter, and give some local DJs more recognition. These guys are as good, if not better, then other artists who make a ton of money and travel the world. I think they need someone to get their name out there! Maybe that someone is me...

Pics from the live!

Video from the live will come as soon as I get em uploaded!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I met Nabe Atsu!!!

AKA Watanabe Atsumu!!!

If you live in Japan, you know who he is, or at least know OF him!

Sayaka and I went to the big Eiden event at Nagoya Dome and got to see him and his partner do a 10 minute comedy sketch. Before that I bought 2 hi vision camcorders that were on sale for a GOOD price, and now I am going to sell them! (YAY!)

Anyways, Sayaka made reservations fora book signing event that he would be doing at Nagoya Station, at Books Sanseido. I didn't think I needed to do it, because I thought we would have been closer to see him at the Eiden event, but I was wrong...So after we ate I asked her to see if she could make reservations for me too. Well who would have guessed it, I got my reservation, 4 hours or so before the event! LUCKY!

So we go to Nagoya station, go get our tickets to buy the book and get in line to meet him. We waited for an hour and a half or so, but when he arrived, everyone got soo excited and started cheering. As they say in Japan, everyone became TENSION UP!!! (this always makes me laugh when I hear this being said...)

Thanks to Sayaka getting us in line early, she was number 8 in line and I was 9! We both went up together and she kinda acted as my translator. She asked him if he was tired, because he LOOKED exhausted (after the Eiden event, now signing 200 people's books and shaking their hands...) and he said he wasn't. He asked me if I understand his act, and I said a little, which made him laugh. He also asked if I spoke Japanese and I said a little again... We both got our books signed and Sayaka looked like she was about to explode, cry, faint, or all of them at the same time! She was tension up for hours to come.

Following this momentous occasion was a 2.5 hour drink fest at the beer garden in the Dai Nagoya Building. I was meeting up again with my trainers and other teachers after they did a day hike at some mountain in Mie. We drank ourselves stupid and ate till we couldn't move, just like you should at a beer garden! After that a few of us went to The Hub to chat and BS around until it became too late.

A super eventful day yesterday, and I was sad to see it go! Now I am stuck in my apartment, with no water, and thinking of how to sell these camcorders!

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Bowling party, drinking party, and almost going to Nagoya University's school festival...

So my student who goes to Nagoya University invited me to go to the school's festival. So Sayaka and I got ready early and I picked up a day pass for the subway, and we headed to the station. When we got there, there were signs, and people in megaphones saying the festival had been canceled. A bit of back story is in store...

So Saturday night, after work, we saw that a lot of people got sick from eating some food at a school university. They were sent home, and people were shown crying and what not. Then we found out it was Nagoya University! OK, so get rid of the bad food, and all is well? Nope, the sign said something about not being able to continue with the festival knowing they got people sick, and they remained hospitalized. I do understand that though, but felt bad, because I KNOW my student worked sooo hard preparing for it, only to have the last, most busy day, be canceled! Maybe next year will go better!

So after those events, we thought we would go to Sakae before I had to go to my school's party. We did some walking around and caught a glimpse of a new J Pop artist who was signing her CD at Parco. I took pics even though I shouldn't have!

It eventually became time for Sayaka and I to part ways for the day, so we said bye and she lead me to the station. After a short time, I realized she lead me to the ENTRANCE to the shopping center, while she was walking towards the station... Dizzy dizzy girl! I walked back and she was on her phone calling me, and started laughing and hid her face when she saw me. A funny moment, for sure!

I eventually made it to the meeting place, and everyone was jokingly mad at me for being late. I admit, I was 9 minutes late, but stupid slow walkers in Kamimaezu station were to blame!

We rounded almost everyone up and made our way to the bowling alley.

The first game was my best game in a long time, where I scored 155 points. This put me in the number 3 spot for total points. After the first game we were set into teams for the tournament, and we bowled a difficult 10 frames, only to tie for last place. I ended with a 138 for that game. Pretty consecutive day for me, nothing below 100 this day!

After bowling we headed to Wara Wara, where we all ate, drank, and had a great time!

Our next party? BBQ in August!

On to the PICS!

Friday, June 06, 2008

My last 2 photo days!

Check out my new photo galleries for pics of what I have done recently!

Our anniversary at my student Yoko's strawberry themed party!

Our first Chunichi Dragons game!!

My last 2 photo days!

Check out my new photo galleries for pics of what I have done recently!

Our anniversary at my student Yoko's strawberry themed party!

Our first Chunichi Dragons game!!