I have lots of news! Well, not lots, actually. Just a little. And as per usual, I shall write things in reverse chronological order. And in a numbered outline format. 'Cause it's annoying. :-)
1) I got my reappointment contract today. It's due on February 4th, but my supervisor (Supes) asked that I decide by January 20th. Way to make a difficult decision even more difficult. >_<
2) I am in the Osaki City newspaper! Osaki is the large city north of me; it's not actually a "city" per se; more like a district or county. 'Cause there are many towns and an actual city in Osaki. But yeah, a photographer came one day after I was teaching the Kindergarten class, and the other teachers told me to join in the picture! So I did! I'll try to take a picture of it and post it up, if I can.
3) It is cold. Like, really cold. It was 3°C this morning. BRRRRR!!! It sucks. I miss insulation badly. My heaters heat really well, and I thought I got used to the smell, but I was wrong. Well, I should put it this way; when the heaters are running, it smells fine. But when the heaters are either starting or stopping, they ventilate themselves, so the fumes get all spread out. It's especially annoying when I turn off my bedroom heater before I go to sleep.
4) There are a bunch of games that have been released (or are coming out soon) that I really want to buy. But they're hard to get, 'cause I have to import them from the US. But that means I have to buy a PS3. And that also means I have to connect it to my SDTV. Which finally means I have to find the time to play it.
5) I have a hard enough time finding the motivation to study, let alone properly manage my schedule. Well, I've been keeping up with all of my normal responsibilities; just not studying Japanese. Maybe it's because of how the text book is set up? You know: really annoyingly.
6) So, my car broke down the other day. Well, not exactly. But over the past two or three weeks, it had been giving me a slight bit of trouble. It wouldn't start right away; I would turn the key, and the engine would chug a couple times before it started. It was a sign that I needed a new battery. So I asked my friends about it that weekend; how to go about getting a new battery, and possibly an oil change. I had a feeling the oil needed to be changed. Well, one day, I was driving towards a convenience store about 3 kilometers south. When I got to about 2.5, I noticed the car started acting funny; something felt weird. Well, when I pulled into the parking lot, the car was slowly choking, and finally it just DIED, two feet before I was completely in the spot. So, I put it in park, pulled the handbrake, and stepped outside. I had a feeling something was wrong with the oil. I don't know how I knew this, but I knew I had to check it. So I went inside, bought a towel to use as a rag, some work gloves, and some food (which was my original intent). I went back outside to my car, popped the hood, and began the procedures. When I checked the dipstick for the oil level, my heart dropped. There was barely enough oil to touch the dip stick, let alone the minimum level that should be in the car. So, I had to fill it up. Thankfully, my predecessor left a container of engine oil in the trunk, in case something like this should happen (Thank you!); I guess it was foreseen? Or it happened before? Anyway, I was trying to open the container. For about five minutes. No matter how I turned the cap, it wouldn't open. Finally, I mustered up the courage to ask a passersby. The guy was like, "Here, do this," and he touched the cap. With a *pop!* it magically opened. Feeling like an idiot, I thanked him and took it back. I emptied the container, and filled the oil up so that it was right in the middle of the appropriate level according to the dipstick. It really must have been foreseen. So, after letting the car run for a few minutes, the engine sounded normal again, and I drove safely home.
7) One day, I couldn't even start my car. "Dammit! Effin' battery!" I shouted. I stepped out of the car, bowed to a neighbor as he was throwing out the trash, and said, "My car won't..." I couldn't think of how to say it, so I went Filipino-style, "My car won't open." He asked, "Is it locked? Did you use your key?" And I was showing him that it wouldn't start. I demonstrated. We agreed that it was the battery. So, he waved to a guy in a truck that was driving by. They looked like old friends; the first guy told the truck guy what the problem was, so the truck guy drove off to find the jumper cables. Eventually, he came back, and my neighbor helped me get my car started. Having arrived at work a couple minutes late (I called as soon as I couldn't start my car), I explained the situation, and one of my JTE's called his mechanic to come in and change out the battery. That day. In the school parking lot. What nice guys! And what great service!
8) Kyoto soon. :-)
Word of the day: 面倒くさい 「めんどうくさい」 "mendou-kusai," which means "troublesome" or "annoying." I added the hyphen because it is actually a root word, mendou, which itself means "an annoyance" or "a troublesome (thing)," and "kusai," which means "reeks of". "Kusai" can be used to say, "smelly" or "stinky." Like, "Gross, man, that stinks! くさい！"