February 27, 2007

Here come the water works...

It is rather touching, that upon realizing that this is the end of the last English class I will teach to them, the students started to cry. Even boys. And this is the ninth grade. Now, I am not saying I am some sort of super teacher that inspired them like in those after school movies with the cheesy music. In fact, I feel rather unworthy of such sentiment. So I said, "Thank you very much kids! Please visit! Goodbye!" and walked out of the class at a brisk pace before I could feel more awkward. Besides, if I had stayed much longer, I probably would have started crying myself.

February 25, 2007

Holy Crepe

So I made a dumb, rambling video. It got 5,600 9,000 11,000 15,000 hits last time I looked. Crazy. This is what I get for responding to a featured video on racism.

February 23, 2007

A quarter literate

How many kanji do you know? I scored 540-560 kanji. I'm not sure if this is good or bad compared to other people who have been studying for about a year and a half. But I've been thinking of studying kanji more often, so I can understand more of the three Japanese books I am reading now (Suicide Club, どんと来い, and The Gunslinger). It may sound a little crazy to do that, but keep in mind I like books, and reading is the best way to get vocabulary (though not necessarily vocabulary that you can say out loud, if that makes sense).

February 22, 2007

oh irony

The day I drop my iPod and it decides that is one drop too many was today. Maybe it will come back after the battery runs out, but that will be a while since it is displaying a paused song and doing nothing else (yes hard rebooting does nothing).
This is also the day I discovered the podcast feeds for writer's almanac and prarie home companion, so no iPod listening to them, but thankfully I have a mac with a remote, and a comfy coutch to listen to Mr. Keilor on rainy days, just like home. Speaking of which, gotta love the smell of spring's first rains in the mountains of Japan.
Can you see my new favicon? If not, what os/browser do you have?

The day I woke up with a honky head

February 20, 2007

More fun with insults, plus bonus sci-fi terminology

Today's insult is おととい来やがれこのブタ野郎 For some reason, ALC uses a swear word from Farscape in the translation for this term. It states, "Frell off, you filthy bastard!"
For more words you should never say, check this post.
Also, someone recommended 「英語分かってないくせに!」for times when you want to retort, "You can't even speak English, yet you have the gall to make fun of my speech?"

Should I splurge?

Should I get a cheap, small camera like the Pentax A10, or a big, expensive one like the Nikon D40? Which is better for shooting movies? I hope to decide by the time I make it to the Nagasaki lantern festival.

February 19, 2007

I am trying desperately not to memorize these


Different ways of thinking of the same thing

I asked my students, via worksheet, what they thought the biggest problem facing Japan is. A lot of them said bullying is the biggest one. I personally thought it was the suicide that results from the shame of bullying and getting caught/being bullied, and that Japanese people really need to toughen up and stop being so soft on themselves and their kids. It was just kind of interesting to me how we are two sides of the same coin on this issue. I also think its interesting that there is so much bullying over here when Americans are supposedly more violent. I really do think pride is a useful thing that can protect us; allow us to fight back.
But we can all agree junior high is hell.

February 18, 2007

Writing, traveling, singing

Someone told me they missed the posts where I actually write. I don't blame em, as I am the best writer on earth named Clay that lives in Tara, Japan. So I'll try to keep writing, though I like to make sure everyone has had time to see the video posts, as I love sharing Japan that way too.

After a great morning watching arrested development at C&C's place in the morning, it was a friend's birthday, and three of us made it through the night's proceedings all the way. So I and the birthday girl and her boy basically ruled a little club in Takeo, took over the dj booth, and put on some old school rap. Some girls that work at a club showed up, and we helped their よっぱり selves stand/dance. It was a great bonding experience with the two other foreigners for me.

At one point we saw a young guy notice a woman walking along the street. "Excuse, me sis!" he said, looking for a good time.
She lifted her umbrella in a threatening manner immediately and said in a fierce tone she would kill him.
"ah, gomennasai!"
We and his friends laughed at his plight.

This morning I got to do one of my favorite things, I went to the special gyoza place in Takeo. They don't make gyoza the standard Japanese way. If only I could duplicate
the recipe at home. But I did stop by the farmer's market today, cause I wanted to explore a little cave
nearby, so I will be cooking some saag.

So I have been thinking, every foreigner should know one enka. Enka's are kinda like the equivalent of country. They express the soul of the country, but in a cheesy way. If you can sing them, I think you will impress Japanese people, which will cause internationalization, and thereby cause understanding, brotherhood, and less selfishness and therefore save the world. Knowing you can save the world just by singing a song at a karaoke bar, why wouldn't you do it? So I present you with the easiest enka for a foreigner to master, via youtube. Enjoy "Sake Yo," with helpful furigana.

February 13, 2007

Racial Japan Stuff

Eyebrow-arching news.  Not only is Animax getting an American anime, but it is none other than the infamous, controversial, critically-praised The Boondocks. I  imagine it has something to do with The Boondocks being a Sony property.  There is no doubt that this is why Soul'd Out is doing the voice dubbing to localize it into Japanese. I just saw the advertisement myself, and the katakana-ized n-word jumped out at me.  The word that makes Al Sharpton and others bristle when they talk about the show.  I wonder how this will have an effect on the local language.  We've recently seen the word being used, and rather insensitvely, by the Gaijin Hanzai Ura File, so I imagine this might make matters worse.  But maybe it will have the opposite effect and open some eyes over here.詳しく (details in Japanese).

Also,this story may have blipped on your radar.  Basically, a school was looking for an English teacher, and only a stereotypical foreigner would do.  Today, it was actually on the news, much to my suprise.  I was with my girlfriend's family.  They all laughed and said how stupid the request was.  The news, and the reaction by native Japanese, made me hopeful for the future.

February 5, 2007

The algorithm takes over the world slowly but surely

When I wrote that last post about the algorithm march, I didn't think anybody would dig it as much as I do. But your comments were suprisingly exuberant*. And, now I present you with 967 (!) prisoners (?!) doing the march.

I would be remise if I didn't mention a similar algorithm is out there.
Also, can I turn anyone on to Paranoia Agent? Never bothered with the English dub, but the original is great fun.

*:I just realized what good translation for genki exuberant is.