Sunday, March 25, 2012

Week 13

It was quite an exciting week this week. I got to go to my favorite event for the first time in two years, there were games, there was a party. Lots of fun was had by all.

Last Tuesday I whittled away the morning in sweet anticipation of the "2012 Nipponbashi Festa" that started in the afternoon. The event was supposed to start from one o'clock but when I arrived early at twelve thirty the main street through Den-den Town (Electric town, the local name for Nipponbashi) was already closed off and packed with people. I wandered around a bit taking lots of pictures by myself before meeting up with some friends and wandering with them for the remainder of the three hour long event. Unlike other Japanese festivals there aren't any food or game stalls set up on the side of the road. This is just an afternoon long cos-play (dress-up) event punctuated at intervals with small parades of the police marching band, the mayor of Den-den Town, and the maids from the local 'maid cafes'. Like clockwork at four o'clock the main street opened back up to traffic. A lot of the people dispersed at that point but a few stragglers moved to the next road over (Ota-road, or "nerd-road") for a sort of after-party where I was able to snap just a few more pictures. After ging out for dinner I played video games with a friend late into the evening before crashing into bed and sleeping off the six miles of meandering I had done that day.

Wednesday morning was spent sorting my photos and doing light housework. In the afternoon and evening I had friends over for yet another game night. In addition to the usual crew a friend I haven't seen in a while came over which was a nice surprise.

Thursday morning was my last day of special assignment training which meant it was the last day I had to get up at seven and drag myself out of the house by eight. In the early morning's brain fog I accidentally got on the wrong train (headed to my afternoon shift, not my morning training session.) I managed to make it in on time but it was a lot closer than I would have liked. After training I had a short lunch break again and then headed off to my last day of kids classes for this contract. As with last Thursday, I was dead tired by the time I got home and quickly fell asleep.

Friday I woke up early and did a lot of busy work. I managed to get the laundry, week's grocery shopping, and house cleaning finished before I headed off to work in the afternoon. In the evening I met up with a friend who was working close by and played some more video games for a while.

Saturday's shift was pretty slow. Without kids classes the day dragged a bit. In the evening I went out to a going-away party that ended up being the social event of the season. There were a lot of people from all over there including a few people I hadn't seen in a while.

Sunday's shift was busy as usual but in contrast to Saturday, went fairly quickly. I ended up playing video games with a different friend Sunday night. (The game I've been playing this year is a very long cooperative Japanese role -playing-game that is taking us a while to beat.)

Looking into next week there's not a lot on the docket other than another going-away party on Saturday night and the schedule change next Sunday (which won't effect me as my Sunday/Monday shifts won't change.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 12

This week started off a little rocky but ended up being pretty fun in the end.

Although I really wanted to go see sumo wrestling on Tuesday the cold from the weekend reared it's ugly head and I ended up staying in bed and watching TV all day instead. In the evening I managed to drag myself out of the house to meet up with a friend for a while but that was it for the day's activity.

Wednesday afternoon was the graduation ceremony for the high-school I teach at on Fridays. It was in the same hotel as last year and went along pretty much the same. After the ceremony part where the students got their diplomas we adjourned to another big room where we had a really nice buffet-style lunch and mingled. None of "my" students were graduating this year but I did get to say "congratulations" to a few kids I had known for the past three years I've been doing that shift. In the evening I had some friends over to play games and chat before turning in early.

Thursday morning I was up at the crack of dawn again for day two of my new-assignment training. After that I had a short break for lunch then my usual Thursday shift. I was pretty worn out by the time I got home and zonked out while watching my favorite TV show (a walking tour of Tokyo presented by a famous Japanese comedian.)

Friday I had to go in earlier than usual to cover a shift for another teacher but mis-heard my start time and was almost late. Fortunately the rest of the day was pretty stress free as the teacher I was covering for was actually there so we each only had to do half a day's work load.

Saturday was the first day of the last week of kids classes so I said goodbye to all my little ones at work. In the evening I played a new game at a friend's house for a while before heading out for St. Patrick's day. The original plan was to go see one co-worker play a show at an Irish pub but when we got there it was beyond S.R.O. so we went with plan-b and headed over to an Australian pub to see a different co-worker's show. (Evidently English teachers tend to the musical type.) It seemed as if everyone from work was out and about and having a good time.

Yesterday was extremely busy at work and I once again came home in the evening and zoned out.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the Nipponbashi Festa (a.k.a. The Nerd Parade.) I won't be dressing up this year but instead plan on taking as many pictures as I can. Aside from that, spring seems to be around the corner. I can't wait.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week 11

After I updated my blog last Thursday I headed into work and started a blessedly quick work week. I was busy but that really made it zoom by.

Friday morning I lounged around the house before going into my "sub shift" that I've got until April. I kind of like the place I usually get sent as there are a lot of other teachers there so I can get caught up on on the news and goings on in the teacher community. Unfortunately news isn't the only thing I "caught" this week.

I awoke Saturday morning with a throbbing headache and a sore throat. I've never called into work before and didn't really know what to do (headquarters opens at 10:00 and I usually leave home at 9:25.) I figured I could at least drag myself to the office which I did then promptly called for a sub. The substitute teacher took a while to arrive so I had to teach my first lesson, but then went home after that. I arrived home to find next year's schedule and contract in my mail box which was nice. Then, after a long nap, I was feeling well enough by the late evening to meet some friends going to see the latest zombie movie (which was awful in a good way).

Still not at 100%, I had a very busy day yesterday followed up by meeting with friends again in the evening. I'm not sure when I became such a social butterfly but it's really digging into my anti-social life.

Work today promises to be busy but at least tomorrow is the weekend. And what busy weekend; with Sumo on Tuesday and high school graduation on Wednesday (followed by another early start on Thursday.) No rest for the wicked at the end of the school year I guess.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week 10

Yes, yes, this week's post is a bit late again. The end of the fiscal and educational year is (one might think, "understandably") busy for me. This past Monday (the 5th), just as with the last (Feb. 27th), I got a message from a friend wanting to meet up before work which kind of threw off my usual schedule. Now, let's see, what else happened last week...

So, two Mondays ago (the aforementioned 27th of February) I met up with a friend before work and chatted a while before heading in together (on bikes as it was almost warm enough to do so.) Work was busy and I had a full schedule which is pretty standard issue for this time of year. At the end of work some co-workers and I decided to meet up the next day and hang out.

Tuesday (the 28th) I met one friend at our favorite burrito place for lunch before heading over to a second friends house for the afternoon.

Wednesday (the 29th) I got up at a reasonable hour and did some housework and the week's shopping (a day earlier than usual) in the morning. I ended up hanging out with the same two friends from the day before again in the evening.

Thursday (March 1st) I got up at the crack of dawn to get ready and head into my company's headquarters for training in a new (to me) program I'll be starting from April. I don't usually go out or ride the train quite so early in the morning and was surprised at the number of people out and about in my neighborhood at that hour. The training secession was informational and ended in just enough time to give me a little lunch break before I had to head over to work in a different part of town. I was pretty dog tired when I got home that night.

Last Friday I had a "sub day" as my high school class is over until April. This meant I had the morning to sort things out at home before heading into work at a different school than usual. I happened to be assigned to work in the building next to where the friend I've been hanging out with a lot recently was working and actually ended up hanging out with him after work for a while.

Saturday at work was busy as usual and was followed up in the evening by another friend's birthday party. A collection was taken up a few weeks ago during our usual Wednesday night meet-up at the local watering hole and we were able to buy her an X-box 360, which she really liked.

Sunday was unusually slow at web school which let me get some more of the book I'm reading read. In the evening I invited some friends over to my place for another game night. It was a light turnout but I think we all had a good time.

Monday (the 5th) and Tuesday were basically repeats of the previous week's activities. Same friends, same times, same burrito joint.

Yesterday (the 7th) I was planning a relaxing day at home so I could get some personal work done but was messaged by yet another friend wanting to go out for lunch. Not being one to turn down a social call without a good reason I obliged and ended up having Mexican for the third time in two weeks (and a second time in as many days. I think I need to take a break.) After lunch I helped my friend "fix" her video game system. I was the first time I had worked with that particular system but it was pretty easy and went well. I zonked out in the evening and ended up watching tho original "Alien" trilogy.

Alright, all caught up to now. Looking forward: this weekend's looking pretty busy as I've got plans to see the new movie "Zombie Ass" (a zombie spoof movie featuring the lead singer from The 50 Kaitenz) with some friends on Saturday night. Next week Tuesday I'm slotted in to go see Sumo wrestling for the first time and next Wednesday is my high school's graduation ceremony. Let's hope I can find a spare moment to update - closer to "on time" next week.