Monday, May 29, 2006

Moved!

My blog will henceforth be at http://www.nihongowned.com/blog/ so update your bookmarks and links accordingly.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Building...

Sorry about the lack of updates for the last few days, I'm working on a few interesting things for this blog. Unfortunately, one of them isn't the Korean girl, who just wants to be friends. No idea why she acted the way she did the first time. I was hoping for something more traumatizing. Oh well. Sorry to keep you all in suspense over nothing like that. Tomorrow I have a day off and will try to organize all the last miscellaneous bits.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Crazy

Things have been extremely weird the past few days, mainly thanks to a Korean woman who goes by the name of Ji Wan Yoo. I met her on Saturday night, after coming back from a white-water rafting trip which was awesome and I'll have pictures of soon (I didn't take the pics myself; I have to scan printouts that the Hokkaido Outdoor Adventure company sent my friend, who's away until Friday while I keep an eye on his apartment and cat). Basically, in our homestay now is a third person who goes by the name of Dan, an Albertan studying fashion design for a few months at the University of Ebetsu. Well, some other Canadians came as well for the same thing, and the always-eccentric homestay mother invited a whole slew of Korean girls who were also here studying. Now most of these girls were behaving like normal Japanese girls. Just making small conversation, acting impressed that I was teaching English and could actually speak Japanese, stuff like that. But not Ji Wan and her two friends. At one point I went over to the table where they and Mrs. Okawa were sitting. Now, Mrs. Okawa likes to play matchmaker, and has the subtlety of a bag of hammers to the crotch, so she starts asking stupid questions like "So many cute girls, you must be so happy! You like girls, no?"
Now what I wasn't expecting was for Ji Wan to pipe up that she likes boys. While looking at me. With a succubus smile. So after she finds out my name, age, and what I'm doing in Japan, she writes down her phone number and draws what looks like a lopsided heart with an evil-looking smiley face on it. So I think to myself, "Oh, maybe it's a bunny." I ask her. She says "no, it's my heart." I think that's the first time I was visibly WTF with a woman. So the rest of the night she kept doing the two-fingers-to-the-side-of-the-head gesture and kept saying "call me! Call me!" And then her friends joined in.
So then the evening ends, and the only thought running through my mind is "what the everloving fuck was that?" So then I think back to my training, and realize that most of it would be counter-productive with this woman, such as the wait-three-days-before-calling rule. The variant with this girl was something along the lines of "failure to call back within three days will result in waking up bound to the bed with a ball gag in your mouth as she sits on your chest in a schoolgirl outfit with a Hanzo sword held to your throat as she screams "WHY DIDN'T YOU CALL ME?!" in Korean over and over again." So I call her back the next day. I don't catch her at first, I leave a message, thinking maybe the bet I made with the Canadian girl that it was a fake number will actually pan out in my favor. Turns out she was just at work, and promptly calls me back. So now I have a Karaoke date tonight in Shin-Sapporo. If we exclude my bitchy first girlfriend I've only been on about 3 or 4 dates in my whole life, and this will be my first in almost three and a half years.
And with the agressiveness of this girl I fully expect to be at least missing limbs tomorrow, so I might have to type my next update with HawkingTwitcher 2.0 or something. Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Babies!

Congratulation to my good friend Evelyne Deshaies and her boyfriend Jean-Francis Mainville. On the morning of April 27th at 6:30 a.m., Evelyne was admitted to the hospital, and on April 28th at 9:13 a.m., gave birth to Morgane Mainville, a 7-pound 4-ounce girl measuring 49 cm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Grabassticism

Work got underway a few weeks ago very suddenly and it's been kicking my ass. Two days where I work twelve-hour days due to two jobs are also the days I have to get up earliest, as I have to go to the super-boonies to teach with my replacement Simon.



This station actually only has one side, and is so small that people getting off the train heading East have to actually cross the train tracks via a walkway equipped with the same crossguards as road railway crossings.



And this is the station itself. It's very tiny. Also, it doesn't seem to have an automated ticket-checking system and I think instead uses the honor system.

Simon's considering getting a bike to go to work once I'm gone.



Here at Homac, they have 6 trillion identical silver bikes.



A little further behind is the more Potter-esque transportation.



This is the horror that awaited us when we arrived at school. It's going to be a fun few weeks.


That being said, the most interesting thing happened on Thursday. After a stressful-as-hell week, just when I thought Japan had thrown everything it could at me, they unleashed the Mormons. Yes, THOSE Mormons.

At first I thought it was some guy wanting to survey foreigners for some reason. He was dressed all in black. Alas, I saw his name tag had the title "Elder" and I recognized the kanji for religion. Still, I was thrown for a loop when the name John Smith came up. I kept playing along but my mind was wondering how the fuck Mormonism made it in Japan, being such an American religion. But I kept talking, and they eventually gave me (for free) this:



The Book of Mormon, Japanese version, in all its splendor and glory. Actually a well-printed book, all things considered.



The inside of the Book.



Here's the Shimakawa group I tutor holding a "drive carefully" flag for national driving safety awareness day or something they made the teachers do in Japan.



Here's my bad-ass cell phone. The drummer boy was a gift from the Shimakawa group.



And here's the cell phone when it's open. That pic I posted earlier on my blog.



Flipping the screen the right way auto-converts the cell into a camera, with the same button layout and functions. Three megapixels, bitches.

It has a barcode scanner as well, which can scan URLs from magazines or anywhere you can reasonably take a picture. A very nifty feature.

And as if that's not enough, it has Street Fighter II. Yes, THAT Street Fighter II.



Colonel Sanders in a baseball uniform. I don't think any further explanation is required.



This is a series of books with a main character called David. David doesn't appear to be a cooperative little boy. In fact, I think he's a rat bastard. That middle book where he's shaking the fish bowl's table is called "David, NO!"


DUCKS!







And finally, the inevitable literal conclusion of grabassticism.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I'm slightly less alive

Man, today is the end of an ass-ramming week. So far being 25 has sucked tremendously. Been working long hours and just about everything I've looked forward to fell through in the last two weeks. Girl I met at a bar last Friday seems to have lost interest in me after looking very promising at first. Tonight I really needed to drink myself into a coma, but the bar I usually go through was having a private function. Shitcock. That being said, I was very surprised to find a sudden surge of interest in my blog. Thanks, Kotaku! Accept this full-res NES Tree pic as a gift. I bought some webspace from Dream Host and can thus get around some Blogger file limitations. Even more interesting stuff coming soon. I have the next 3 days off, so I can get some backlogged shit organized in that time, but for now I'm going to drink myself into a coma in the relative comfort of my homestay room off of cheap Seicomart beer.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm alive...sort of

Tuesday night I was called and told I had to work the next morning at 8. Way to be organized, city of Ebetsu! I had a nice drinking party last night with Josh and Simon the new guy, though. I'll elaborate more later, just confirming my aliveness and failure at being dead.