Sunday, May 27, 2012

Week 22

Last Tuesday and Wednesday were one of those weekends where nothing much gets done. I did some laundry, built a model, and had the guys over to play video games but not much else. I had planed to get up early on Tuesday to go hiking but a combination of rain and sleeping in made me change my mind.

A pretty normal work week again. I'm more or less in a good groove with my schedule this year.

Saturday, after work, I made my way out to a new Costco "near" my office (20 minutes by bus.) This new Costco is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but on the plus side it wan't too busy on a Saturday. The joke here about Costco is that it's "the cheese store" and indeed most of what I brought home were cheese products. (It"s hard to find good / cheap cheese elsewhere in Japan.)

Sunday after work I went with ome friends over to another friend's house to see his new baby. And a very cute baby it is. He looks just like his father and is even calmed by the music of the rock bands we all enjoy.

Monday I had to get up early again and head into the deep south part of Osaka to teach at a kindergarten. As with last time the class went well and the kids seemed to have a good time and like me. I came home in the afternoon intending to update my blog but I ended up crashing out after lunch and sleeping until it was time to head off to my evening shift. I met up with some of the gang at our neighborhood bar for the first time in a long while for an after work drink.

If I can get some work done today I think I'll attempt to go hiking again tomorrow. Later in the week I've got a friend's wedding I'm supposedly the photographer for. I guess I should brush up on my technique before Saturday.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 21

A pretty good week this week. Had a nice balance of being busy, relaxing, and having fun.

As planned, last Monday I got up fairly early and headed off to teach at a kindergarten for the first time. It went as well as could be expected and I didn't mess up too badly. The kids were really cute and super excited to meet me. Now that I've done this gig once I won't be as nervous for the next one. I even had a chance to stop home and take a nap in the afternoon before I headed off to my regular shift in the evening.

Tuesday was a bit rainy so I cleaned the apartment in the morning before having some friends over in the afternoon to play video games.

Wednesday morning I met a friend at the local JR station and took the loop line out to Universal Studios Japan. Although I've lived in Osaka for three years this was my first time visiting one of the biggest attractions in the city. I was kind of surprised at how busy it was for a week day; though far and away the longest line was for tickets to go in the front gate. I went with friend who had also not been before. We took our time and worked our way through all the main attractions. I think my favorite ride was Spider-man, though I also liked Back to the Future. Both were "4D" rides where the "car" you sit in moves a bit but stops short of being a full roller-coaster. Other things we saw included Jaws, Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, the Water World show, as well as various street dancers. We had lunch at the Jurassic Park restaurant (ribs) and a late afternoon snack of 'blooming onion' and a beer at a bar in the "New York" area. In the seven hours we were in the park we did just about everything big and even had time to ride the Jurassic Park ride twice.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning were all fairly normal work days.

Sunday evening I invited some friends over once again and we finally got to the end of the video game we've been playing for the last six months.

This morning (Monday, the 21st), with a little help from my noisy neighbors, I woke up in time to catch the total solar eclipse which occurred at 7:26am local time. Looking out from my balcony it seems a lot of other people were out early in the morning stating at the sun too.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 20

Last Tuesday I decided to take the local street car down to it's terminus in the South and find out where exactly it ended. Turns out it goes to a really nice park down in the area of the international airport. Unfortunately all of the cool parts of the park (the small-gauge railroad, the go-kart track, the waterpark) are all closed on Tuesdays. After seeing what the park had to offer I hopped on one of the main train lines and continued South until I got close to the airport itself. The area next to where the artificial island that is the airport is is called Rinku-Town and is home to the Rinku Gate Tower Building which is the second tallest building in Japan. Sadly, there's no observation deck at the top but the staff of the restaurant on the 54th floor was kind enough to let me get a view out the windows. All toured out I came home in the evening and a friend came over to play games for a while.

Wednesday I decided to re-arrange my room. I more-or-less left-right mirrored my old setup; but it's nice to see things from a different angle. In addition to just moving stuff around I had a chance to vacuum and rid myself of some of the dust bunnies that had been growing in the corners.

Thursday was busy as usual but, again, the day sped by.

Friday I did my high-school gig. In the evening, try as I might, I couldn't get together anything social and ended up relaxing at home and watching movies alone instead.

Saturday was a long one as I had to get up early for my regular shift. After work, instead of heading back to Osaka, I headed the rest of the way into Kyoto. (My Saturday shift is in a city near the boarder between Osaka and Kyoto.) In Kyoto I tracked down the concert venue I was going to, then went off to look for dinner. On my way to dinner I ran into one of the lead singers of one of the bands I was going to see that night. I was very surprised when he remembered me from the last show of his I went to. After dinner I headed back to the venue, met up with some friends, and enjoyed the show. It was a good three hours of rock (4 different bands) and I ended up catching the last train home before falling like a ton of brick into my bed.

Sunday I headed into web-school for what turned out to be a pretty easy day. I came home in the evening and wrote this post. (Explanation in the next paragraph.)

Tomorrow morning (Monday the 14th) I have to get up pretty early and go teach at a kindergarden in South Osaka. I'll then have a little break in the afternoon before I have to head off and do my Monday evening web-shift. It's looking to be another long day.

Looking forward: I've got plans penciled in to go to Universal Studios Japan with a friend on Wednesday. I've lived in Osaka for three years and never been so I decided I should give it a try.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Week 19

Last Monday I spent most of the daytime relaxing at home and getting a little house work done. Had I known what the week had in store I might have been more adventurous in my actions. Monday evening I had a few people over for a small game night.

Tuesday morning I woke up with a hideous sore throat and ended up not leaving the house (or even changing from my pajamas) all day. I'm not sure who gave me this cold (thought I have a few prime suspects) but it kind-of laid me low for the rest of the week.

Wednesday I was feeling a bit better and went out for burritos and karaoke in the afternoon. In the evening I went over to a friends house to play video games.

Thursday morning I had my first overtime web-shift of the week. I came home and crashed hard in the evening waking only long enough to order a pizza and watch a movie before snoozing out for the night.

Friday I did some more overtime and met with a friend in the evening.

Saturday I did my third overtime shift and had another game night in the evening. The game night had a small turn-out but was still pretty enjoyable.

Yesterday I was back at my real shift but it didn't really feel like it because it had the same time that all my overtime shifts had. Right after work I headed out to a friend's going away party. It was held in a large pavilion behind a concert venue down the street from my place. The weather decided mid-day to cooperate and made for a nice evening outside. A few people came back to my place afterwords for an after party.

I've got one more shift to do today before my weekend starts tomorrow. As much as I need a vacation from my vacation, if I'm feeling better I'd really like to get out and do something.