March 30, 2006

kindergarden

Spring break means I do an hour at all the kindergardens/preschools. I don't know who is more daunted by the prospect of two year olds learning English between me and the kids. We played the Japan-famous gokiburi game (wherein I inadverantly teach not only evolution, but apotheosis--two heresies for the price of one!-- but it's a good game for teaching simple conversation). One girl decided that the game was far less interesting than me, so she climbed me and stayed on my back the whole time. The odd part was when she started to clean my ear!
An--Oh no! Look out for the abrupt stop to the entry!

March 28, 2006

Small town interactions

Saga is an interesting place. Where else can you see the sky littered with hot-air balloons on any given Sunday?
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It's warm enough to start exploring again. And so I went for a long walk yesterday.
I approached the old man from my walking path (the top of a wall) and said in my best Japanese: <Excuse me. Are there any restaraunts in this direction?>
As I got closer, I realized he had no teeth at all. I estimated his age to be approximately one gajillion.
Old man: <Huh?>
I repeated my query.
Old man: <What?>
Me: <On this road, are there any good restaraunts?>
Old man: <This is Tara town.>
Me: <I know, but on this street, are there any restaraunts? That way.> Wild hand motions
Old man: <Nah.>
Frustrating victory to me! I'm not quite sure why a gaijin's Japanese, capable though it may be, is so hard for the older population to comprehend. Maybe we speak too much textbook Japanese, but we speak it so simple.
--
A man a walked up to me and started bugging me at the supermarket. Even though my Japanese wasn't really up to this particular conversation, he just kept talking, the way that most Tara people do. He asked me to put his phone number into my cell. I did, then promptly and accidentaly erased it without realizing it. Now there is one guy out there that is going to think I am a jerk when I don't give a call. It's just as well, his invitation to "Asoubou" (lit. shall we play?) sounded a bit odd to me.

March 27, 2006

Clayton=Superman?

Lois Lane once drove a popemobile. And had six fingers on her right hand (zoom in and count em!)From this hilarious website.
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I read recently that names can have a big effect on male children.
My father dreamed my name, literally, one night while I was still in the womb. People in the dream were referring to me by the name, and so that's how I became who I am.
Clayton is a unique name, but not necessarily rare. However, it seems to appear in media for interesting roles and actors. Anyone who can remember the character of Dr. Clayton Forester gets a cookie. And here is proof that Clayton=Superman ;).
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Some people's strong reaction to the dogs and lasers vid amused me.

March 26, 2006

Hypnotic dogs and lasers

Mr. Roboto is great for karaoke

Sadly, one of my JTEs is leaving the school. It's just as well; I was becoming rather unprofessionally fond of her.
I ended up singing "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" at the after party last night, among four other male teachers. I was shocked they didn't know this song. It's a classic, and I figured the lyrics would cause it to have been inseminated into J-pop culture long ago. Also, they were very surprised when I did "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," whistling and all.

March 23, 2006

How I became Tom Cruise and destroyed everything with help from Japanese radio waves

The male announcer leaned in. <"What famous person do you look like?">
Me: "Uh, one of my students said I look like Tom Cruise a few weeks back..."
Female announcer:<"Okay, you are Tom Cruise!">
And so we went on the air.
Male: <"Hey why are you smiling so broadly? Could it be that a handsome man is beside you?">
Female: <"Why yes, but sorry, I'm not thinking of you, the man on my left. No, I am talking about the one on my right, Tara-cho's own Ku...reton... Bar...rukudo...ru. Man, he looks just like Tom Cruise! Clayton, please tell us about yourself!">

So I opened my mouth, and I caused a sequel to the apocalypse (see how I caused the end times). Then I got invited by the pretty producers to go drinking sometime.

March 22, 2006

How do you cause a riot in Japan?

I've been surprisingly absent, haven't I. I wanna get back on the ball with the novel experiment. Because of this recent wave of logopastion (logo (word)+constipation... what, they call that writer's block? No I have no dearth of ideas, just motivation, so logopastion it is) I haven't gotten much of anything done online. Well, here's some pictures.
How does one cause a riot in Japan? By sitting on a rock outside and drawing. The students have never seen such a spectacle as that apparently, because no sooner had I started than they began to pour out. I laughed at them for thinking I was interesting, and photographed them. They thanked me. Will I ever make a true impact in this country (i.e. show the students that foreigners are human beings and not mystical giants from the North)? Is the JET programme useless? Who knows. And who ain't telling. The jerk.

Student color theory art. I was impressed; we don't do this sort of thing in America until college.

Me being filmed.
You know, it's a bit odd to be sitting at the Yakitori pub, watching as the channels on the TV are flicked through, and suddenly seeing yourself "teaching" English to everyone. Bonus embarrassment for bad hair days. Won't have to worry about that, at least, for the radio interview tomorrow.

Student depiction of me, for the yearbook. Seeing this made me realize that Japanese students look at the world though a very strange filter. I mean, they completely missed the fact that I am always in dramatic lighting. Always.


Colon awareness in the nurse's office. Anyone hungry?

March 16, 2006

March 14, 2006

Who says Asians can't dance?

I think my body is mad at me, because I haven't worked out in two weeks. I can actually feel the extra energy being turned against me. Still a little sick though. Pushup time? Or maybe I should just shake like the Korean girl in this video:

March 11, 2006

March 7, 2006

sick

Sandwiches from elementry kids are much appreciated when one is sick.
And due to sickness, I've had ample time to watch LOST. I decided to pick up this show when I heard there where some fantastic elements to it. It's good; sometimes the masses choose to like something that is good.
In other entertainment news, I heard that Arrested Development has been picked up by showtime. But what plots are still to be resolved?

March 5, 2006

final fantasy drink

This add has me convinced; I'm out to get +100hp worth now (it's out tomorrow). Btw, I've been playing FFV in Japanese recently, it's teaching me how to talk like a salty Japanese pirate. One of the fun things about being a gaijin is using traditionally rude terms to comedic effect. Bobby Ulgon has built a gaijin idoru career of this.

The skeybese

The skeybese [ske*beez]: That guilty feeling you get when someone's Japanese girlfriend seems to like you more than is appropriate. Bonus points if the boy in the relationship is a native nihonjin.

From すけべい: lewdness; lewd person; lecher

"Sorry, Takahiro, what can I say, I'm a gaijin, but I do feel the skeybese over this."

March 3, 2006

The girl rushed up to me. She had an urgent look on her face. "Mr. B... I..." She waved her little arms in anxious movements.
"MR. B, I LOVE YOU!" she shouted, loud enough for everyone to hear.
Stunned, and remembering that these kids really don't know the nature of the statement, I utttered a suprised, "Oh, um, thank you." I graciously took the goodbye card she had made.

And that's how the last day of ninth grade went today.

March 2, 2006

We need the healing power of a kitty

Let's just say I'm looking forward to playing "Peter, Paul, and Mary" with my ichi-nensei tomorrow. It's almost as funny/a tension reliever as "Smile if you love me," but I can only do that game on Valentines.