Saturday, December 31, 2011

Another year has come and gone

Somehow December has flown by so quickly without a single blog entry. Just like last year. Despite all of the many happenings since my last post (what else is new?).

Well, to summarize, Thanksgiving happened, parties happened, my birthday happened, and meetings with old friends happened (not necessarily all in that order). It's been great meeting up with old friends again. And it's interesting being in the States again.

[note: I wrote this at the end of 2011; but I am publishing it in March for the sake of the next post.]

Word of the Day: 遅い 「おそい」 "osoi," which means "late."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Survey and tourism

My friends who run a fan website (w-inds. worldwide) for Japanese musical group w-inds. wrote a post with a survey for those of us who were in Japan during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami back in March, earlier this year.

Their post is regarding tourism in Japan and how it has been affected since the disaster. w-inds. worldwide wants to help out by spreading awareness about the issue (declining tourism) and to inform people that Japan is still a safe country to travel to. I want to help them with this task.

I filled out the survey, and I would like to share my responses with you all. Below the Word of the Day is a link to their website, followed by the survey with my responses.

Also, for those of you who haven't yet come to Japan, please fill out the second survey on their website. It'll help out with their project. Thank you!

Word of the day: アンケート "anke-to", which means "questionnaire" or "survey."

Why did you decide to come to Japan?: It has always been a dream of mine. Since I was a kid, I've been interested in Japanese culture, from history to modern society. Currently, I am here teaching English while improving my Japanese language ability. One of my goals while I am here is to further my skills in Japanese.

How long did you stay?: I have been here for about 15 and a half months straight. I haven't left the country, even during the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

What did you enjoy the most about your time in Japan?: I am enjoying my lifestyle! I eat delicious food, drive my favorite car, and have a great job. I've made good friends, and I have fun every day. I am enjoying studying the language as well as learning about the differences between my culture and Japanese culture.

What, if anything, would you change about your time in Japan?: Time flies by too fast. As does money. But one can argue that I am making the most of my time here by investing the time and money into having as many experiences in Japan as I can. After all, I can make money when I return home.

Would you come to Japan again in the future?: Of course! Japan has become my other "second home" (so, my third home?). After my job is complete here, I will certainly make a return in the future.

Would you recommend traveling to Japan to a friend?: Absolutely! I recommend it all the time, whether it's to visit me or just to enjoy everything Japan has to offer.

Do you have any travel tips or advice (cheap airfare, hotels) to give to future travelers?: Use as many online resources as you can. While traveling in Japan and booking hotels, I frequently use websites such as Rakuten Travel ( and Hostel World ( The best way to travel long distances in Japan, in my opinion, is the Shinkansen bullet train. Although it is more expensive than highway bus travel, the amount of time saved is priceless, especially for those only visiting for a few weeks.

Additional Comments: I live in Miyagi Prefecture, the prefecture closest to the epicenter of the earthquake (which was off the coast). And I can say that Japan is surely and steadily recovering from the disaster. There has been progress with clearing the tsunami-affected areas of debris, and there are rebuilding/replanting projects in the works. Life in Japan returned to normal just months after the earthquake. There is no reason for tourists to worry about traveling here, even to Miyagi.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!

Great weekend! Hung out with some friends, got dressed up as Neo, went to a party, good times. Maybe I'll post a couple pictures of my costume...

Word of the day: 仮装 「かそう」 "kasou", which means "costume."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Productive Day

Today was quite productive! Even though at work, I had no classes to teach, because it was test day. But I did give the Listening portion of the test; I hope my students did alright. I wrote the script myself (using the text book example as a base), but made it a little more difficult. Well, here's hoping! I also managed to work through most of my taxes. I should be able to submit it this week! And for those of you who think it's overdue, well, it isn't. For those of us who live abroad, we're given an automatic extension for the due date, and we can also file another form to extend it further (which is necessary in order to fulfill the strange "330 days present in foreign country" rule).

When I got home, I cleaned up my living room, put some things away on my book shelves, cleaned my yoga mat, sweeped the floor (actually, wiped it with a wet floor wipe), and worked out! Working out felt great (and terrible) since I hadn't done it in 2 weeks! And 8 weeks before that! I started P90X back in May, got to day 60, and had to drop it for a while 'cause of all my traveling. 75 days had passed before I had finally started it back up again (today). I started on day 61, where I left off, because I intend to finish this and move on to the 60 day Insanity Workout. It's unfortunate that I took such a long break from P90X, 'cause now all my results are messed up. The before/after shots won't make any sense. Really, I should probably start P90X over completely, but I really want to check out Insanity. Of course, I do have the option of just moving onto Insanity after I restart P90X from the beginning. Just a thought.

After working out, I did the laundry, bleached a towel and karate bag, and made myself a delicious Korean dish called bibimbap! Mmmmm, soooooo goooood. Just thinking about it makes me hungry again. Good thing I have leftovers. ;-) During dinner, I watched an episode of Breaking Bad. My brother was right; definitely a great series! After dinner, I washed the dishes, ripped open 25 milk and juice cartons for recycling, cleaned up some of my kitchen area, hung my laundry, brushed my teeth, and took a shower. And finally, after getting dressed, here I am writing a blog post!

Goodnight world!

Word of the day: 積極的 「せっきょくてき」 "sekkyokuteki," which means "proactive." It's a good word. :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TGS and Oktoberfest

So, I realized today after class, that it doesn't really make sense to write old posts first before updating people on what I've been up to more recently. 'Cause if I did that, then I would NEVER catch up, and I would ALWAYS just be updating! So, instead, I've decided to update the blog more regularly, with current news and recent events, while going back and finishing the other blog posts that I had started way back when. Especially the disaster stuff.

Just a week and a half ago, Tokyo Game Show was held in Chiba, Japan (not actually/technically Tokyo, but close enough). TGS is the largest video game convention in Japan. And as such, it is the place where a lot of game developers and publishers like to announce news and reveal new things about their products. The big hit for the weekend was the PlayStation Vita, Sony's new handheld, the successor of the PSP.

I was one of the lucky ones, along with my two college buddies with whom I attended TGS, to get my hands on a PSVita. It was a sleek device, showing off PS3 graphics on such a small and gorgeous machine. I was expecting the back touchpad to feel something like that found on a laptop, but it was actually smooth and glossy, not unlike the glass screen on a cell phone.

I played Michael Jackson: The Experience. Why? 'Cause we had played it earlier on the PS3 Move, and it was DAMN FUN. I was curious as to how a full-body dance game would transfer over to a touch-screen handheld experience. Taking a lesson from Osu! Tatakae Ouendan, there are a lot of finger swipes across the screen to the beat of the song, as well as other movements. Finger dancing, if you will.

The highlight of TGS for me was getting to play Street Fighter X Tekken months before its official release! Incredibly fun; and a completely different game from Street Fighter, Tekken, or any of the Versus games. Aesthetically, it looks quite similar to Street Fighter IV, but plays more like, say, Marvel VS Capcom 3 without super jumps. But with a SF4 button layout. Anyway, for a fan of both series, a matchup like this is like a dream come true.

At TGS, there were also a lot of cosplayers. Some really EXCELLENT ones! I'll try to post an album at some point. My friend and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the cosplay show in the evening, where some of the best cosplay I had EVER seen went on stage to act out a skit and/or pose. Pretty damn awesome. I wish I had a better camera.

The remainder of my Tokyo trip consisted of hanging out with my friends in the evenings, eating some good food and drinking some good beer. We actually hit up a Hooters to see how different it was to those in the States. Gotta say, as happy as we were to enjoy some wings (it had been too long!) and Philly Cheesesteak (also been too long!), we were kind of disappointed about the servers. Not that they weren't attractive ("maa maa" as some would say), but just that they were surprisingly cold and unfriendly. Well, afterwards, we went to karaoke and even busted out some free-style between lyrics (or sometimes replacing lyrics entirely, haha).

Speaking of drinking, last week, Oktoberfest was celebrated in Sendai! Having been super busy and completely forgetting about it until the last day (Sunday), I finally managed to make my way out there. There were many food booths serving things like German sausage, potatoes, and even sauerkraut! Now THAT took me back to my days in eastern Pennsylvania. And there was even a Hofbrau booth! I bought their Oktoberfest beer and even bought a glass beer mug! A mug with "HB" written on it. Feels like it was made just for me. ;-)

Word of the day: 久しぶり 「ひさしぶり」 "hisashiburi." I have used this word at least twice already, in previous posts, even titling one of my posts with it! This word basically means "It's been a while," often in the phrase "Ohisashiburi desu ne!" which means the same thing but is more polite.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The second First Day

It's the first day of the second year. And what a tiring, fun, awesome day. The first day of Tokyo Orientation for the newbies, and an incredible experience. I remember the first day of orientation for me, one year ago. It was like a dream. And at the same time, it didn't feel like Japan. But this time, I was on the "other side," being a senior member and guiding the way for all the younglings. Funny to call them that, as some of them are certainly older than me, and some with prior experiences in Japan.

Orientation was tiring. We had shifts at odd hours; early morning, late at night. But it was damn fun, even when we just wanted to sleep! In fact, those times might have been the most fun, 'cause we were tired and everything was amusing to us. The "shifts" I refer to are times that we are stationed to the Information Desk or Hospitality Center. The Hosp Center was arguably more amusing, as we were allowed to doodle on the portraits of all of the Orientation Assistants and Coordinators. I put my art skills to use and turned one of my friends into Kakashi from Naruto, and another friend into Super Saiyan Goku! Hilarity ensued.

There were a surprising amount of Filipinos there (as Assistants/Coordinators). Five and a half, I think. And perhaps some of the best parts about the orientation were meal times: free all-you-can-eat breakfasts in the hotel (Western breakfast, how I've missed you so!), and some sweet eateries around Shinjuku. Some meals worth mentioning: Burger King Whopper, it had been too long; kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi), always fun; ten-don (no, not tendons, the connective tissue between muscle and bone), but literally "heaven ricebowl," or rather, " shrimp tempura ricebowl." Sooooooo good.

Here's to more adventures!

Word of the day: 天丼 「てんどん」 "ten-don," explained above.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The last day of the first year

Holy crap. I can't believe 12 months went by already. So quickly. And so much has happened in that time. Numerous trips to Kyoto to see my girlfriend, parties in Sendai and around Miyagi, going to Hokkaido, Tokyo, Disney, Osaka, Kobe, Universal Studios, and evacuating from Miyagi due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. I also managed to buy the car of my dreams, and just last week I managed to earn my Japanese Driver's License!

I have made tons of new friends here, foreigners and Japanese people, (college) students and working adults, English teachers and government employees. I've eaten the best foods Japan has to offer, from Hokkaido ramen to Hiroshima okonomiyaki. Osaka takoyaki to Matsushima sushi. Even Kobe beef. What a great time.

So I'm here in Tokyo right now as an orientation assistant. It's incredibly invigorating to meet the new JETs and help out with showing them the ropes. There is a lot of wisdom I can share with them, and there is still a lot more to learn. Time for another run through a year in the JET Program! Round 2, FIGHT!

Word of the day: つづく「続く」 "tsudzuku," which means, "to continue" and is often at the end of a television serious to indicate the continuation of a story. Analogous to the phrase, "To be continued."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quick Update

I finally published an old post that I started ages ago. There are actually MANY posts that I started, but didn't finish. I will be finishing them up like this, and updating this specific post accordingly, posting links as the posts get finished. Enjoy!

Month of Goodness (February)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I'm alive and well.

As I'm sure all of you heard by now, Japan has been dealing with many issues as of late: a nuclear reactor that can't seem to stabilize, a tsunami that wiped out towns on the east coast, and the largest earthquake in Japanese history, which started all of the problems. All that aside, I'm actually doing quite well.

As I write this, I am in a hostel in Kyoto, on the early morning of April Fool's Day, after having just gotten back from Osaka. At the moment I am on special leave from work, as things are getting back to normal in my town. My supervisor told me today that utilities and food supplies are all back to normal, but gasoline stations still have many long lines. He expects that even that will be normal by next week, when I'm scheduled to return.

I have many unpublished posts which I've started over the past couple months but haven't yet finished. I really must publish my post regarding my "adventures" in March, as it has certainly been the most dramatic, filled with fear, grief, sadness, relief, and even joy. So as I publish posts over the next few weeks, I'll make sure to include a link to the post, as it'll have a date in the past because of when I started the post. But anyway, for now it's time to sleep.


Word of the day: 安心 「あんしん」 "anshin" which means "relief."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A month of goodness

I am a terrible, terrible person. Not only have I not updated my blog in forever, but I have also not been to karate class since my last blog post! I tried going last night actually, but it seems class was canceled. The lights were out, and no one showed up for the 20 minutes that I waited there, besides a parent and his two kids who were also waiting. I hope it wasn't just that class started late. :-/

Okay, so, many, many things happened over this past month! My friend Oreo came to visit (I don't actually call him that; though it's possible that I called him that 10 years ago). Anyway, he is an old friend whom I hadn't seen since last summer (or earlier?) I think. We traveled quite a bit of places in Miyagi.

I met up with him on a Thursday. I was in Sendai that day for a work-related conference. Unfortunately, the last bus leaves pretty early, so we decided to save our Sendai festivities for later. On the following day, we went skiing! It was my first time, but Oreo is an expert, so he was showing me the ropes. For those who know anything about skiing: I spent most of my time in pizza. It was quite fun, but since I'm not any good, I was just stuck practicing the basics. I really need to learn how to properly stop (the turn-sideways version, not the falling over version).

Then on Saturday, we drove over to the local onsen and took a dip. There, we were talking with a couple naked old guys. Apparently, the hot spring that the water comes from is one kilometer down! Pretty awesome. After the onsen, I took us to a local steakhouse. They have amazing beef curry there, so we ordered that. Afterward, we hit up Sendai to check out their night life. Unfortunately, because of the season (read: effing cold), it was pretty dead. But we still walked around a bit and found a quaint little restaurant/bar place. The hosts were amusingly nice to us. We kept asking for their recommendations so they gladly said, "Leave it to us!" Though there was a point when they were trying to figure out what my background was. I overheard them say "Chinese [person]." But then they also said something like, "his Japanese is good!" Haha

On Sunday, I drove us up to Naruko Onsen, where we once again took a dip in the natural hot springs (fresh smell of sulfur and other minerals, yay!) and also saw some of the beautiful scenery. The mountains in that area had gotten hit with a lot of snow, so that in itself was pretty nice to see. Pretty slippery though. We also bought a bunch of small little omiyage for people. I got a set of chop sticks made out of cherry blossom wood!

On Monday, we went to Matsushima. But instead of walking along the long red bridge to one of the islands, we hopped on a boat and got a chance to see a bunch of the islands! It was a really fun ride. Of course I played, "I'm on a Boat!" by The Lonely Island. There were seagulls following the ship, and it was really amusing seeing them dive into the water as people threw shrimp chips/fries at them. I got some sweet video of that. Ah, and before we boarded the ship, we also visited some temple grounds and also ate some fresh Matsushima sushi! We had oysters, fatty tuna (YUM), and Sendai beef! Yes, that's right, BEEF SUSHI. It was surprisingly delicious.

The following day, I took Oreo to work with me, at the Elementary School, where he sat in on class and even answered a few questions. At night, we went out to karaoke with some friends, which was incredibly fun, but I wasn't able to hold my liquor very well. Hah, I'm so weak! On Wednesday, I took him to the Jr High in the morning, and he was quite a hit! He did a great job interacting with the students and forcing them to speak English to him without them being able to fall back on Japanese (like they do with me, because I am able to understand most of what they say). In the afternoon, he came with me to the other elementary school and even helped me teach class! It was really fun. On Thursday night, we went to a friend's house where she hosted a hot pot party. The people who came were all either English speakers or people who wanted to learn/improve their English, so it was good for Oreo to be there.


Okay so the big car story takes place on that same Thursday. Oreo had intended to drive to the same mountain we went to in order to go skiing again. The route is very simple, so he knew how to get there, and I had let him practice in my car a few times so he was used to driving in Japan. Well, he drove to the mountain, and as he approached the top, the engine was dying, so he pulled into the first ski lodge (he wanted to go to the second one). When he finally parked, the engine had died.

He gave me a call and told me that there were three employees trying to help him with the car, but none of them could speak English and he can't speak Japanese so they were using hand drawn pictures to communicate. Eventually, after some discussion with me, my coworkers and those employees, Oreo decided to drive back to town. The car was able to start, but it just sounded weak, he said. Luckily, he made it back okay with no problems.

After school, one of my JTE's called his car man to come and take a look at my car. He arrived in a tow truck and took it away! The next day (Friday), he took apart my engine and tried to see what was wrong with it. He said that whatever problem it was was only fixable by replacing the entire engine. Knowing that it wasn't worth it, I said that I'll look for another car. He put the engine back together, and the car runs, but it feels weak. There is definitely less power than before, and the car will probably die in the near future. I can still drive it places, but I am trying my best to get my "poor man's dream car" (Toyota Celica GT-Four) as soon as possible. I need to find out how to get rid of this car, too.

It was a wonderful time, and all of the seemingly bad things are actually pieces of good fortune in disguise.

Word of the Day: 旅行 「りょこう」 "ryokou" which means "trip" or "travel."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Words of Wisdom

I learned a very interesting new phrase. 吾唯足知。「われただたるをしる。」 "Ware tada taru (wo) shiru." Its meaning is very similar to the phrase, "Be happy with what you have." (Literally, it says, "I know just enough.") Another way to put it is, "What I have is all I need." The most interesting thing about this phrase is that it can be written with just one 口 in the middle of the four other radicals, so that it looks something like this, found at Ryoanji (Temple), in Kyoto.

I had Karate practice last night. My body is so sore! Anyway, this time, there were more students, so we actually had a more formal class. Interestingly enough, the other students were in 2nd, 4th, and 5th grades, and all at least Brown Belts. Hah! Wonderful. :-) At the end of class, we recited the Dojo-Kun, which is basically the school's motto or rules. Well, it's actually more like a "code of honor." There are five things, and each is numbered "1." because each is just as important as the other.

一。 人格感性に努むること。
一。 誠の道を守ること。
一。 努力の精神を養うこと。
一。 礼儀を重んずること。
一。 血気の勇を戒むること。

Next time, I will explain them all. :-) But for now, I must take care of quite a few things, as tomorrow is the mid-year conference, a friend from the US is visiting this Thursday, I have to submit my test on (by?) Thursday, and I also have to submit my contract renewal yes/no sheet. So much to do, so little time!

Phrase of the day: 吾唯足知。

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Karate Practice

I just got back from my first Karate practice here in Japan. And after over a decade of training in so many different styles, I couldn't help but think of a line from that mediocre movie starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li, The Forbidden Kingdom: "How can you fill your cup, if it's already full? Empty your cup." [Note: according to my friend Clint, who studies Kung Fu and Chinese Culture/History, the saying is actually quite old, so I need not worry. :-) Thanks, buddy!]

In that scene, the protagonist, whom I shall refer to as "Idiot," was discussing Kung Fu with Jackie. But every time Jackie would mention something, Idiot would say, "Oh yeah, yeah! I know that!" and proceed to annoy Jackie. Jackie told Idiot to fill his cup, which was clearly full. Idiot said, "I can't." To which Jackie replied with the above quote.

In order for Idiot to properly learn from Jackie and Jet, he must forget everything he thought he knew. I felt a little bit like Idiot during the practice. After years of practicing a martial art in a certain stance, it's difficult to train in a stance that is only similar to that stance, but not the same. To learn the nuances of a new style, one must (I must) unlearn habits acquired from previous training. Many martial artists would agree that it's actually more difficult learning a brand new style of martial art after building years of experience versus someone starting a martial art for the first time with no prior experience.

To break it down, what happened tonight was that my years of experience practicing American Kenpo Karate made it difficult for me to properly perform the Japanese Karate Kyokai Shotokan versions of techniques. I kept reverting back to the Kenpo style that has been ingrained into my body's muscle memory. It happened when I was practicing basic punches and kicks in basic stances, and it even occurred when I performed kata. At my home dojo in the US, my master adjusted the traditional Japanese kata to better fit the form of our style, and it works very well for its purpose. But it makes it difficult to learn the original versions. The good thing, though, is that it provides a good foundation, as I already know the basic movements; I must merely learn the differences between the details. But that might end up being harder anyway, haha.

In case you were curious, let me mention some of the differences that I experienced tonight. The forward stance. In Kenpo, it's more shallow. But in Shotokan, not only is it deeper; it changes depending on whether you're blocking or striking. At least, for the downward block and reverse punch. Whereas, in Kenpo, you merely have to change your arm placement and maintain the same stance. For things like middle inward block or rising block, as well, there were slight differences in the trajectory of the hands and movement of the arms. Slight, but enough to be incorrect.

So anyway, it was still a good time. I enjoyed it. I forgot to mention that another thing that made practice difficult was the language barrier. I simply never had the opportunity to learn any specific martial arts jargon in class, nor any words that would be used in the description of techniques. I'll describe more about Karate in a later post and about the history of this style versus the "other" Shotokan style. And I'm not talking about the one featured in Street Fighter.

Word of the Day: 空手道 「からてどう」 "karatedou", or "The way of the empty hand."

Coming of Age Day

Happy Coming of Age Day! Not really sure how to say that in Japanese, or if there even is a way to say it. (Much like we don't say Happy Labor Day! in the US.) But Coming of Age Day is called 成人の日 「せいじんのひ」 "Seijin no Hi" in Japanese. Anyway, on this day, everyone who became a legal adult (age 20, in Japan) since last year's Coming of Age Day is allowed to get all dressed up and celebrate! This usually entails dressing up in a kimono (or suit and tie for the guys) and going to a shrine to bow, pray, and do the usual. I didn't go out today, seeing as how my Coming of Age was over half a decade ago (damn, I feel old saying that!).

Two days ago was the "cutting of the New Year's rice cake," or the 鏡開き 「かがみびらき」 "Kagami Biraki." This literally means "Opening the Mirror." It's because the mochi (rice cake) resembles the shape of a mirror. Or so I've been told. This ceremony was held in the 桜花館 「おうかかん」 "Oukakan", also known as the 武道館 「ぶどうかん」 "Budoukan": the Martial Arts Hall. (FYI, the Budoukan in town is named the Oukakan.) At the event were some traditional blessings and prayers, the first martial arts practices for the three major clubs, and eating of mochi! Yay!

I met the Karate Master. He came up right to me as soon as the ceremonial stuff was over (and before training) and we talked martial arts. It was strange though; one of the first things he did was to ask me which martial arts group I wanted to join. He seemed very eager to take me in as one of his students. And it seemed as though he had already heard of me and already knew of my desire to enroll in a local martial arts academy. After some discussion, I found out that the first practice of the year (after the Kagami Biraki) is tonight. At 7 PM. So, in less than an hour, I'll be out there! Oh boy. Wish me luck!

Oh, yeah, after the practice, we ate mochi soup! It was delicious! But they made me get seconds, and they filled the second bowl completely (and with a ton of mochi). I sat next to the Karate Master and he looked over at me, laughing when I looked like I was struggling finishing it all. After I was done, he said, "You must be tired!" (お疲れ様でした。 It's said at the end of a work day. Haha.)

Word of the day: 頑張ります! 「がんばります!」 "Ganbarimasu!" It means, "I'll do my best!"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Word of the Year

I learned today, at that the "Word of the Year" for 2010 was "epic."

What an utter disappointment. Well, at least it wasn't a surprise. I've heard this word used so often this past year or two that it's even become a part of my normal lexicon. It's annoying when words aren't used properly, but even I'm guilty of such crimes ("awesome"). But to hear that "epic" is the new "awesome" is...I don't know...a tad bit annoying. Perhaps because it's used primarily by the younger generation; like they're trying too hard to be cool or something. Anyway, I try to look at it the same way I look at Time Magazine's Person of the Year: the winner was chosen as a result of a combination of things, from popularity (person), usage (word), or otherwise something of a representation of a major event or occurrence that year. In Mark Zuckerberg's case, he was simply the biggest douche of 2010. Well, more like 2004. "Epic" was something like that. Just not nearly as bad.

On a related note, the kanji 暑 was chosen as the "Kanji of the Year" for 2010 here in Japan. It means "hot/heat," and describes the ridic heat in 2010. I personally would have chosen 高, as it means "high/tall," and can be used to describe both the weather and the high value of the Yen.

Kanji of the day: 帰 from 帰る 「かえる」 "kaeru," which means "to return (home)." 'Cause that's what I'm about to do! Peace out!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Long Time Gone

So, it's been almost two months since I've published a legitimate blog post. For this, I sincerely apologize. I can come up with many explanations for why I haven't posted anything in a while, but it would best be said with these words: 申し訳ございません。 It is pronounced "moushiwake gozaimasen," and it means "I have no excuses," both literally and figuratively. Well, more literally, it means "there are no excuses," and the speech pattern is very humble. [My linguistic side just never seems to shut up.]

Anyway, I actually started a few blog posts in the past and never published them. I've taken hundreds of pictures in just these past couple months alone, and I want to show them to you. All of them! But I can't. So I wanted to show you a select few. And I will; I just have to pick them out. Ideally, I would intersperse the blog posts I wrote with various pictures relevant to the text. But I may instead just publish a post with a bunch of pictures. Or upload some to an online photo album (why can't any of them be user friendly?).

Anyway, when I publish the older posts, you'll probably have to scroll down to that month (November, December) to read them. I'll make a new post each time I publish and old one just to inform you of the update.

Time to write!

UPDATE: November 23rd's post!

UPDATE: Thanksgiving post!

UPDATE: The December Issue!

UPDATE: Happy New Year!

Word of the day: 合いたかった 「あいたかった」 "aitakatta," which means, "I miss you." Literally, "I wanted to see/meet you."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!


Phrase of the day: 明けましておめでとうございます!「あけましておめでとうございます!」 "Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!" You can guess what it means. :-) Literally, it means "Congratulations for opening!" or something along those lines.