November 30, 2005

Memes I have known and cultural interplay

Are you ready for the vapid? Here we go! I'm doing this to unload my bookmarks.
Have you noticed certain things spread quickly through cultures, thanks to this internet thing?
So, shortly after arriving in Japan, I noticed that kids in my town would hum the numa numa song. I found this suprising, because many of them don't even own computers (recall that I am in the stix as much as one can be in Japan). Even old men had numa numa ringtones. To find out what Numa Numa is about (if you've been living in a hole), go here, to the wiki about it.
Then, check out this new Hebrew Numa Numa. Yeah, you read that right. They put a lot of chutzpah into it. That's a fine lookin' Jew...
Anyhoo, the Japanese did get ahold of the phenomenon and made this flash (bringing us to our next meme), featuring ASCII cats. The cats are an off-shoot of Shift_JIS art, which is extremely popular in Japan.
One really annoying pair of memes were the badger and banana phone ones. Well, they are combined in Japan with Hardo Gay. Even the ASCII cat makes an appearance. Enjoy (or don't, rather) Hard Gay badger phone.
Another meme that has spread from Japan to the US via the net is that of the crazy Arnold Swartzeneger.
Did you hear that Mr. Miyagi died? :( Sad, but I think this is a fitting tribute to him, thanks to the infamous meme-generator your the man now (
As long as we're on memes, may I proclame the funny gospel of The Flying Spagetti Monster to you all?
This is not a meme and it's kinda late, but here is Thanksgiving, the movie, starring the Rock.

November 29, 2005

Riddle: What's Turkey day without turkey?

it's thanksgiving in Japan, that's what. I cooked pumpkin soup, so we at least had something autumnesque. The ALTs gathered and partook of each other's food and wit. Then, naturally, we had to do Karaoke. I was suffereing from a cold, but I can't not go wild on the karaoke. I'm a professional; you wouldn't understand. So as I screamed out the chorus to "smells like teen spirit," I'm pretty sure I caused serious damage to my throat as well as a few ears. I was talking like grandma (you all have the grandma that smokes, right?) for the next 18 hours.
Followed by sleepovers and deep dark secrets and my ursurping the position of the thunder god Thor (I never saw that one coming, but Basha's illuminati theories had something to do with it).
And the next day brought dancing at a real Mexican bar run by a real Mexican. My dancing partner up there is the lovely Basha (and for the record, I am not staring at her apples in that picture and she is not staring at the little head that seems to be coming out of my jacket pocket).
Follow it all up with a random pigback ride for a very tipsy Tomoko that had me amused. The weekend was too short!
More pictures!
Punching machine. Reminds me of the penguin fighting, where I make the same face.

Arcade guitar game. Bad hair all part of the plan.

The gang. No, I have no idea what my pose is supposed to be.

November 24, 2005

These are some of the things I do

to fight boredom on the job. Now don't get me wrong. I love this job to pieces and those pieces get everywhere and people scrunch up their noses and say, "did you step in a piece of work? It smells like love in here" but still, there is a certain amount of repeditiveness to the job (see last post). So I do little things to entertain myself. Lets start with this worsheet I made to teach about thanksgiving... (btw I left my thanksgiving message on the zombie blog).

You see, that's me daydreaming down there. That's what I do when I'm supposed to be "working" or "helping out" or "driving."

This is what I do when I grade the first year students' writing books.

I look out the window. A lot. The sea is right there!

A depiction of "tired" on the blackboard turned out to be a self portrait. Why did I choose a career that is so torturous to insomniacs?

Few things help with the constant colds and speaking soreness like hot lemon drinks from the vending machines. Hot! What a novel idea!

Of coarse, I spend a lot of downtime studying Japanese. This is a picture of a Japanese woman telling a gaijin how to properly worship the devil.

November 23, 2005

"I haf a dweam!"

So, speech contest time is upon us again. Pause for collective groan from the ALTs. Basically, it means I get to correct the same mistakes I've been getting from my students since before they mysteriously won. Yay. Let the Martin Luther impersonations begin to issue anew from their little mouths.
Tonight brought another dinner with the good doctor, and the beautiful Kate. I found out she's not renewing her JET membership; quite the shame.
Tonight's quote:
Me: Ano...*
Woman: Ah! You speak Japanese!

*:Ano is the Japanese equivilent of "uh..."

November 20, 2005

Kazoku means ohana

The picture has nothing to do with today's post; I just thought it was too cute to keep to myself (taken when I visited a pre-school).

"This is how family eats, so, welcome!" Thus Rumi inducted me into the family, which is the JETs that live around Takeo.
This past Thursday and Friday, we had a conference about how to be better team-teachers and cooperate with our JTEs. The conference ended with many of us grumbling; lots of us had stuff to get off our chests, but what I got from the whole thing was this: I do a lot of good things, and could benefit from doing a lot of little things, so I will. I don't think I can change my JTEs' opinions and habits, but I can at least try to accept them.
Friday found me spontaneously going to Takeo, seeing Maurice's place, and eating lots of Yakitoriya products. At one point Tan accidentally had Sara order seven plates of ribs for us, but my mighty gullet came to the rescue and devoured all extra meat in the place. We walked to the town's karaoke and entertainment center. I tried my best at the batting cage (it was aligned for a very short person), and in Virtual Fighter 4 against Maurice (he beat all contenders), and House of the Dead 2 (I was killed by a frog), and ping-pong (my lack of ability to serve due to cave-man finese caused much entertainment for Tan).
Afterwards, we had a sleepover at Bashas'. Four boys and two girls, and a lot of missed sleep made for funny conversation. We played twenty questions and learned a lot about each other; it really shattered my caricatures of some of them. Sugei!
The next day found me trying to encourage kids to do the YMCA dance as Maurice, Tan, and Angus performed it Karakoe-style for a crowd at the Yama-uchi festival. The kids seemed rather enamored of them due to the copious candy that they threw to the crowd; they seemed similarly enamored of me, probably due to the fact that I was the only pale, blonde foreigner in town.
That festival ended in fireworks, I and Tan sat on an old wall and tried to come up with names for the different blasts. Phrases like "There's a Tina Turner hair!" and "seizure-blast" were uttered.
Follow that up with Chinese food (they almost got chow-mein right, but it's just not the same) and crashing at Tan's. Somehow, during my time at Tan's, I beat Halo 2; I was a little surprised when the ending just happened.
Conclude it all up with a long train-ride home and a smile.

November 16, 2005


Today I ate natto and found it not unpleasent, if somewhat slimey. The secret is covering the fermented taste with shoyou sauce.
I hear a new phenomenon is sweeping the hipster community: Movieoke, where one says the lines of the movie as opposed to singing the lines of a karaoke song. Nifty idea, especially for those of us who have memorized The Princess Bride. Ah, there's your cue, Ving Rhames!
That joke never gets old.

Heaven's blessings upon you, my son. Maybe I should start the ninja blog next? That's the ticket, everyone loves ninjas...

Something to do with all those darn yen I keep acquiring.

Hard Gay has his own Wiki now.

My need for cute cats and starwars is satisfied by one outlet here.

November 14, 2005

Khronos Projector

I remember having a conversation with Ben long ago (the night after the big sleep-over at Eions house to be exact) about how to visually represent the forth dimension. I suggested that you could have a diagram with an x,y, and z axis, and time would be represented by colors the lines would take.

This idea is much cooler. Spacetime warping at the touch of a finger. Watch the video.

Or you could watch odd Japanese Moonwalker flash. Whatevs

November 12, 2005

Sushi instructional video

Sushi movie

This movie
starts of kind of strange, and gets more and more funny. I hope it doesn't screw me up when I go to a sushiya next. Bit of a download (about a full minute on my 100mbs connection) but worth it.
Also of interest is the talkman program for the Sony PSP. In this commercial, you can see why I am considering buying a psp, this thing translates speech brilliantly. It's a beautiful world. Link credit goes to Mari
Katamari Damacy sushi.

Mug left by the last people that lived here. I'm not quite sure what it means.

From the speech contest the other day. I was rather upset that my 1st years didn't win; they were brilliantly funny. But some other students of mine won, so I saved face at least.

November 7, 2005

Imperitive memory meme

Memory lane Message: If you read this, even if we don't speak often, you must post a comment on my page with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want -- good or bad, just as long as it happened. Think long and hard now!! Then post this up yourself and see what people remember about you.
For example: My memory of Danielle (one of the friends I made last summer): "well, we didn't have much time together, but I remember asking you to say, "Everyone will suffer." like Samara, and you did, just as creepily as the movie. I believe my reply was, 'Is it so wrong that I'm really turned on right now?'"
Maybe you'll see what I meant if you see her picture. Hey Steph, assignment time! Take a picture of Danielle doing Samara.

November 5, 2005


This a pic from the Halloween party the other night. As you can see, I was my zombie-hunter self. The angel is T. She's a very fun person.

There is some strange photographic trick happening where it looks like my head is half-shaved. Odd...

November 3, 2005

Thou villan!

Where do the slugs come from? Recently, I've broken all sorts of long standing building-code laws by trying to insulate and vermin-proof my home. Japanese homes are known for being very open to the air. Great, until you take into account mosquitoes, cockroaches, and winter. Seriously, Japan, time to get with the temporal period that is the 21st century. So anyways, yeah, slugs still find a way in, despite the fact that logic would dictate that they had all frozen to death by now, and that my lemon-fresh floors would insult their noses. Maybe slugs don't have noses.

In case you're wondering, the maze of doom is only for really frustrating days. Otherwise, slugs meet their ignomious end in the toilet.
Ha ha. We don't do daylight savings in Japan. Enjoy your arbitrary time shift.
Quote for the day: "You're so charming!"--said by a twenty-something nihonjin girl dressed in a cow outfit, to me. She had known me for approximately about 13 seconds at this point. Guess she has a different definition than me; wish I knew what it was. I called her gyunuu, which may be my first Japanese double-entendre.

November 1, 2005


(expand this post to read the whole thing)
Tis' the season. I meant to blog sooner, but there were these two girls...

They were really creepy and insisted that I play with them.

Then they went all bloody-like. Major over-reaction to losing our game of tidily-winks.

And then Timmy started crying and going on about drinking red rum. I'm pretty sure the poor kid's autistic. De-definitely autistic. Yeah...

Anyways, I like to be prepared for any and all zombie-infestations, so I went and bought a chainsaw*, and made sure my shed was well-stocked with sharp implements of destruction.

I even got a slick leather jacket to be like my favorite fighter of the supernatural, Harry Mason (from silent hill*).

Unfortunately, my chainsaw had no effect on the incorpeal ghost that shagged professor Howl unto death. Worst demise I've ever witnessed. I say! I don't like you like that! Oh dear!

Then it was off to an enkai with the teachers. Btw, tell a Japanese woman how old you think she is (as compared to how shockingly old they really are), and she will instantly think you are the sweetest thing.

Poe got dressed up as a gangster for the occasion.
post appendixes:

*While trying to upload the chainsaw pic, I ran into a weird glitch. No doubt I have stumbled upon photographic evidence of ghosts (seen below).

*:I think it's time to regale you all with my Silent Hill story. The first time I told it, I got Abra to laugh in a strange manner and hit a pitch that I've not heard from her since.

So I was playing Silent Hill for the first time ever in Regis and Dillon's dorm room. I had only gotten a little ways when a group of skinless three-year olds rushed me and started to latch onto my crotch. I was dead-scared. Then, in sheer terror, I screamed the now-famous line "THEY'RE EATING MY BALLS!THEY'RE EATING MY BALLS!"
Regis calmly walked to the door, closed it, and said, "I wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea.