Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week 26

For the first time in a while I might actually get an update out on time. Hurray for me!

After finishing my post last week I headed off to work in the rain. I followed my new routine of stopping for groceries on the way home and made an interesting observation: When I did my shopping on Thursday mornings the store was packed with housewives and the elderly doing their thing but in the evening most of the customers were salary-men on their way home from work. I guess this makes sense, it was just interesting to see the gender-divide played out.

Friday was another easy day at my high-school followed by a relaxing evening at home.

Saturdays are becoming quite hectic at work but keep me on my toes and go by pretty quickly. I came home Saturday afternoon and took a nice short nap before getting up, making dinner, and watching "Sixteen Candles" for a bit of 80's nostalgia.

Sunday's shift was moderately busy, which meant I had a few breaks in which to get more of "A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings" read (I'm almost done.) In the evening I went to see a band I hadn't seen before: "The Okamoto's". They were pretty good and I'd almost certainly see them again if I could get tickets. The house was packed with fans and it might have been the most crowded show I've been to in Japan yet. This probably has to do with the fact that they're a pretty big act and most of the bands I go to see haven't really 'hit the big time' yet.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I've planned a birthday party in the evening to celebrate by 31st (which actually happens on Thursday, a work day.) The plan calls for burritos, bowling, ice cream, and karaoke. It should be fun!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Week 25

Wow, I let this week's update slip a bit more than usual. Well here's what went on last week:

Tuesday (the 12th) started off early with a kindergarten shift. Not early enough however as for the first time ever I was late for work. Thankfully I just missed some prep time and was in the classroom on time but it still made for a less than optimal day. I mis-read my schedule and botched the meeting time at the station by half an hour. I then proceeded to get on the wrong bus and get a stop out before realizing it. I then ran back to the station and got a cab to the worksite. In the end the lessons went really well but I've really got to be more careful in the future. A friend invited me over to play games in the afternoon and I eagerly accepted the chance to blow off the morning's stress.

Wednesday I finished several at home that I'd been working on for a while. It was nice to have som me-time and get some things marked off my to-do list.

Thursday was un-commonly slow at work so I got some side projects done there as well.

Friday's shift was also pretty laid back (well, the high-school's almost always laid-back.) In the evening I joined some friends at a concert. We saw "King Brothers" and "Mudy on the Sakuban". King Brothers are one of my favorite bands and played all of my favorite songs. It was my first time seeing 'Mudy (a six-piece band with 4 guitars, a bass, and percussion) but they were pretty good (very melodic) and I think I'd see them again.

Saturday's shift was busy so I came home and crashed out in the evening.

Sunday's web shift was oddly slow again but allowed my to get some more of the book I'm sludging through read (A Clash of Kings, bok two of A Song of Ice and Fire.) The fiend from Tuesday came over to my place in the evening to hang out for a while.

Monday morning I was back at my kindergarten gig (and on time this week!) I took a long nap in the afternoon (instead of writing this post, again) before going to a busy web shift in the evening. The pay for this extra work is nice but the actual work part of it is tiring.

Tuesday (the 19th) Typhoon #4 swept across Japan. I ended up staying in my apartment listening to the rain batter against my windows for most of the day. In the evening (thankfully after the worst of the storm had passed I went over to a dinner party with the friends from Friday's concert. We dined on a nice Thai curry and, being all Australians, they taught me all about Aussie punk music.

Wednesday (yesterday) had some awesome post-typhoon weather. After going out and enjoying that whole shopping in the afternoon I came home and bought  airline tickets for a trip this fall.

I was up early again this morning for no particular reason (oddly, I woke up at 7:30 each day this weekend) and figured I'd better write this all down before I forget it as I get busy with the next week's work.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week 24

A fun but exhausting week this week.

As predicted I didn't do much of anything last Tuesday but did manage to go for a long bike ride Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday evening I went out for karaoke with my friend who just got married, his new wife, his father and brother, and another friend. After many hours of sining I stumbled home in the wee hours of the morning and managed to get a few winks of sleep before I had to get ready for work on Thursday.

Friday my high-school was on break so I did a web-shift instead. After work I came home, relaxed, and got some housework done in the evening.

Saturday was a good, busy, day at work and, after a break for dinner, I headed out to a good friend's farewell party. He's moving back to Arizona for a while but plans to come back to Japan some day. On that note; I recently found out that two of my good friends from a few years ago will be coming back to Japan soon.

Sunday's shift ended up being fairly easy and I came home and relaxed in front of the computer in the evening again.

I don't have my kindergarden shift for once today which means I can actually update this blog on time for once.

Looking forward: I actually have a kindergarden shift tomorrow that I've got to get up early for. We'll see if I can get anything else done after that. Maybe I'll find something fun to do on Wednesday.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Week 23

Who would have known a well placed extra four hours of work a week could thrown a schedule so far off? Oh, I'll just write an update between my morning shift and my evening shift, that shouldn't be so har... Zzzzzz. Anyways, last week was another busy one.

I did end up going hiking with a friend last Wednesday. We rode the train out to Sakurai in Nara and walked several miles North to Tennri (also in Nara.) We walked along an old pilgrimage trail dotted, along the way, with many old shrines and key-hole tombs. If this course sound familiar it's because I did the reverse (Southbound) hike with another friend a few years ago. We had great weather this time which made for a really nice hike.

Thursday was pretty normal, if a little busy at work. Friday at my high-school I got my kids hooked on a new-ish board game that involves trains, colors, and North American geography (called Ticket to Ride.) Friday evening I went to see Men in Black 3 in 3D. My plan to go on the first of the month and get the "cheap" 1000yen ($10) ticked was sullied by the extra 1000yen surcharge for seeing the movie in 3D. It was a good movie, maybe not $20 ticket good... but then not many movies are.

I took Saturday (and Sunday) off work so I could attend my best friend in Japan's wedding. This was my first wedding ceremony in Japan and it certainly was interesting. The couple picked the "Western" style ceremony which was an interesting take on an actual "Western" style wedding. Everything happened at one location with a banquet room and a separate hall for the ceremony. After everyone had gathered we were ushered into the ceremony hall where things progressed much as a Christian wedding might but in Japanese read by a "priest" how more likely graduated from acting college than seminary. After the ceremony we all filed into the banquet room where a multi-course lunch was served, speeches given, cake cut, etcetera. Of special note were speeches by the groom's brother, the bride's close friends, and your truly  (which I had to wing, as I didn't realize I would be called upon until the last minute.) Also the bride and groom read letters to their parents (not a dry eye in the house after those) and presented roses to their mothers. Everyone got a nice gift bag in the end with a little cheesecake and a cool catalogue you could pick and order your parting gift from. After a break in the afternoon, so everyone could go home and change, the party moved to one of the local Irish pubs in the evening.

Sunday morning I took it easy and cleaned my apartment. I met up with a friend who's leaving the country soon to get one more gaming session in in the afternoon. This was capped off with dinner at my favorite burrito place. It was nice to have a day off in the middle of the work week for once.

Monday morning I was up and out of the house early to do my kindergarden thing. This time was a bit special in that I got observed my a trainer while I did my classes. He gave good feedback and things went smoothly in general. Planning to come home and blog I napped instead, waking up just in time to go to work in the evening.

Today (Tuesday) it turning into another lazy day so I'll have to think of something fun to do tomorrow.