Nar3: Japan

Posted on Saturday, January 24th, 2004 at 9:19am by Brett.
(Saturday, January 24th, 2004 at 11:19pm Japanese Standard Time)

This site is exactly the kind of site I was talking about!

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Lord of the Rings
Posted on Monday, January 26th, 2004 at 12:21pm by Brett.
(Tuesday, January 27th, 2004 at 2:21am Japanese Standard Time)

I've never really gotten into LotR. I fell asleep while watching the first movie, and actually just watched it completely about a week ago. I'm working on the second movie right now. It just doesn't hold my attention.

Many of you have probably heard the The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins as sung by none other than Leonard Nimoy. I've heard that this song was used for some animated mini series or something. This song follows with a very unfortunate idea that Star Trek actors should start singing...orginally dreamed up by William Shatner with his infamous "hits" like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (often considered to be the worse peice of recorded music to date) and Mr Tambourine Man.

Though the Ballad doesn't inflict that absolute pain that either of good old Bill's songs do, I recently discovered that there is, in fact, a music video that Mr Spock himself starred ...(More)

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The solo
Posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2004 at 8:31am by Brett.
(Tuesday, January 27th, 2004 at 10:31pm Japanese Standard Time)

If you've been living under a rock for the last couple weeks, you may not be aware that I joined a band here at Tsukuba. Current feelings about the amount of time it consumes aside, and the fact that I'll get no credit for it when I return to OSU, and the fact that I never understand exactly what's going on, it's been a very...hrm...interesting experience.

I had been purposefully (or "on purposefully"...one of my favorite Japanese-English expressions) putting myself in the last or penultimate chair as to not chance the other saxophones mistakeningly thinking I would want to play anything along the lines of a solo. My chair has always been a cosy one....nice and safe.

We're getting ready for a concert that, for those of you who are counting (read: me...counting like the DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS BABY!) there are 18 days left until our concert, which just happens to coincide with the day I'll run screaming from the band room screaming "I'm free! I'm free!!!" never to return. I really don't know what they're thinking, but they're still adding music. We just reveived two new songs ...(More)

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Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2004 at 8:20am by Brett.
(Thursday, January 29th, 2004 at 10:20pm Japanese Standard Time)

Tragic! My life is tragic!

This evening, as usual, I had band practice. Thursdays are usually fun because instead of the full band, it's ensemble practice. The members of the ensemble I joined have christened our ensemble "Brett, the Ensemble (In hiragana)", and we'll be playing in the concert next month.

Everything went really well during practice. All the technical parts of the song are pretty much under our fingers, so we were only working on making it sound more musical. We played until about 8:45, and then started getting ready to go, because we had to be out of the building by 9:00.

We were having some small talk, and I asked how much the concert is going to cost, because some of my friends are wanting to see how my namesake performs. Turns out the concert is free for them, but costs 1800 yen for me...grr...whatever, I guess.

I started asking which of the other songs we're going to play, and the guy gives me a funny look.

"<Other songs? This is an ensemble concert...>"

I got a panicked feeling. "<Oh...We aren't playing all these songs? Well..when do we play them?>"

"<They're for the spring concert.>"

"<Spring..>" It ...(More)

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Jack of all trades
Posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 at 6:33am by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 at 8:33pm Japanese Standard Time)

This past weekend, I had the chance to take a class where we went to a traditional Japanese ceramic making place. We got to make our own pottery. All in all, it was pretty fun.

I was amazingly horrible. People were making like, 5 bowls and cups and plates and vases. On my first 4 tries, the people that were teaching us would come over, tell me to try again, and then get rid of the ruined clay. Even though I was sucking, it was a lot of fun.

I managed to make a very ambiguous bowl, a cup that looks suspiciously like another bowl, and a plate with an identify crisis. They told us after a month, they would return the finished products to us. It should be interesting...

During my 6th or 7th attempt to make something, I said to myself in a sort of hushed whisper "I am REALLY bad at this...I can't do it all..." My friend sitting next to me said, jokingly, "Hah, you sound like this is the first time that's happened." And I turned around to him and said "It is!"

I wasn't being conceited, but it's true. I'm what you call a jack of all trades. Most people don't realize that there is more to it than that. The original phrase goes something like "A Jack of all ...(More)

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Posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2004 at 8:25pm by Brett.
(Thursday, February 5th, 2004 at 10:25am Japanese Standard Time)

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear me!
Happy birthday to me!

(That's the Japanese version. They throw in a couple extra "Happy birthdays" for some reason...)

Anyway, I'm 22 today, or tomorrow for you westerners.

Tonight, around midnight, Katie, Liz, and I will be boarding a ferry to go to Sapporo, in Hokkaido, which is in northern Japan. We're going to the snow festival there. It should be loads of fun. I'll have lots of pictures when I get back next Tuesday!

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Yuki Matsuri
Posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 at 5:47am by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 at 7:47pm Japanese Standard Time)

Well, I just got back from a nice 5 day vacation to Hokkaido in northern Japan. Liz, Katie, and I went to the Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo. It was loads of fun. Check out the pictures of it. Notice the new gallery, too. Oooh...ahhh...

To get there, we had to take a Ferry from Oarai, near Tokyo...kinda...to somewhere in Hokkaido. The ferry ride was 20 hours, but it was a blast. We got bumped to first class because they were out of the super cheap tickets, so our room as pretty nice. Liz and I spent a lot of the trip on the way there playing Bomber Man in the game room, while Katie impressed the old Japanese men with her skills at the quasi gambling machines.

Speaking of the game room, it was a bit odd. There was your normal arcade games like Bomber Man, Space Invaders...stuff like that, then right next to them you had your Strip Poker, Girl-on-girl action game, and other assorted porn-based video entertainment. To play the Jurassic Park shooting game, Liz and I had to walk around the dirty old man playing the Nude Girl Goh game. It was odd...

Anyway, we got to Sapporo, and met up with two friends ...(More)

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Posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2004 at 9:21am by Brett.
(Thursday, February 12th, 2004 at 11:21pm Japanese Standard Time)

I did it! I told the band guy that I'm quitting after this Sunday's concert! I have but mere days until the band hell is over! Yay for having my evenings back! Yay for passing classes! Yay for sanity regained!!!!

It was odd, because going to tell this guy was a lot like going to tell your parents or teacher that you've done something wrong. Having just written a paper on the topic, I realize now that while I was talking with the guy, I not only code switched to Japanese, but also used the desu/-masu form of Japanese...both of which created distance...interesting thing, linguistics...

Anyway, I tell him that I'm going to quit after Sunday, and he gives me a very smug "Sou ka.." No matter, it's a good day.

Yesterday, I helped one of my friends move to a new dorm. While I was on the trip to Hokkaido, she had an unexpected visitor. Around 4am, she heard a noise and woke up. She looked up and saw a Japanese guy standing with his head inside her door talking to her in Japanese. Unfortunately, her door lock had broken just that day, but luckily she had chained it, so he couldn't get all the way in. She was, obviously, a little freaked out, and called one of our ...(More)

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It's over!
Posted on Sunday, February 15th, 2004 at 6:50am by Brett.
(Sunday, February 15th, 2004 at 8:50pm Japanese Standard Time)

It's over! It's over! Halleluja it's over!!

No more band! I survived through the world's longest concert today and am finished!!!!!

This concert, which I like to call "The Beast's Last Go At My Soul", started at 1:00pm. Because every single member of the band is a right mentalist, call was at 8:00am. For the same reason, this concert lasted until 10:00, with tear down scheduled to go until midnight.

Why so long? Because the these people take a decent thing like band, and try to stuff as much of it into a day as possible. It was an ensemble concert, and there were about 50 different ensembles performing. Brett, the ensemble (in hiragana) didn't perform until 2:00, and the Sailor Moon *kanji kanji* ensemble, the other ensemble I was tricked into joining, wasn't until 8:15. Luckily, for them, we were allowed to leave for lunch and dinner.

I had borrowed bits of clothes from different people until I had managed to assemble what was remarkably similar to a suit. You'd be amazed how hard it is to find "normal" sized clothes here. One guy was trying to get me to wear size 27 pants....wasn't working. Nothing I borrowed fit me quit right...the pants were too short, ...(More)

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Morning sucks.
Posted on Monday, February 16th, 2004 at 7:49pm by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 at 9:49am Japanese Standard Time)

The mattress is at setting sun
A burden there to stay.
At sun's return, there, it seems
I'd rather spend my day.

( Read More | 70 views | 1 Comment )

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