Nar3: Japan

Site updates
Posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 at 5:37am by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 at 7:37pm Japanese Standard Time)

Few site updates...

Editing comments work now.
Viewing comments in full mode now shows edit and delete for your own comments.

Have fun.

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Weaving and *sigh* band
Posted on Saturday, February 21st, 2004 at 7:10am by Brett.
(Saturday, February 21st, 2004 at 9:10pm Japanese Standard Time)

Today was the second class in a two-class intensive course I'm taking. The first class involved the pottery making disaster. In today's class, we made a coaster.

It was a lot easier than the pottery because it required about no skill. It was just using looms, basically. Easy stuff. I sucessfully made two 11cm coasters. Ohhhh....ahhhh.....

It was...fun, I guess. I broke my loom 3 times. On the third time, one of the ladies teaching us smacked me...

After that, we went to some museum about...uh...something. I'm not exactly sure, honestly. I have to write a two page report on it.

On the band front, don't be alarmed, I'm still out of it, but I had to go back to return a suit that I had borrowed for the concert.

It was weird. When I entered the building where we had practice, it was like the happiness was sucked out of me. I could feel myself getting depressed and all I could think was "I need to leave...Must go home...Can't stay!" It's like...the band as a collective is a huge Dementor...sucking the happiness right out of me...*shudder*

Anyway, I found The Guy and returned the suit I ...(More)

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Posted on Tuesday, February 24th, 2004 at 3:24am by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 24th, 2004 at 5:24pm Japanese Standard Time)

Old!!! I'm so old!!!!

I was trying to go to sleep last night, and aftering counting sheep, counting backwards from 100, counting the powers of 2, and counting in multiples of 17, I still couldn't fall asleep. I started reciting every poem I could remember to myself. After a couple, I started:

"It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee,
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love, and be love by, me."

I got through the first verse and then realized that I learned that poem over 8 years ago. *8* years ago!!!!! I'm so old!!!!!

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Ruddy changes
Posted on Wednesday, February 25th, 2004 at 6:24am by Brett.
(Wednesday, February 25th, 2004 at 8:24pm Japanese Standard Time)

Grawr. They've decided to change the Japanese language classes here. While it's good that they've finally realized that the classes go too quickly, cover too many topics (thus not giving any enough attention), and are filled with too broad a skill level, the changes they have made will be a major set back for the students caught in the transitions.

It would have been much nicer if either these changes would have been in place before I got here, or if they were going into effect after I leave. Because the changes to the system are so drastic, it will basically mean that I'm going to have to retake part of the class I'm currently in next trimester, which means I will not be taught any new topics. As an added bonus, they are cutting down the amount of credits given, so it will end up looking on my trascript as though I failed my Japanese class, then took a different, less credited version of the same class, and only covered half the topics.

This new system basically cuts the current classes into two or three different levels each, which is something that was desperately needed. But because they are cutting up the classes so much, and making the pace so much slower, they've ...(More)

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Image Galleries
Posted on Friday, February 27th, 2004 at 9:56pm by Brett.
(Saturday, February 28th, 2004 at 11:56am Japanese Standard Time)

Image galleries are offline. All of them. It's not my fault, but I'm yelling at the people who did it.


Couldn't have that, now could we...

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Posted on Sunday, February 29th, 2004 at 8:08am by Brett.
(Sunday, February 29th, 2004 at 10:08pm Japanese Standard Time)

Have you ever done something stupid? Not something bad...just...something stupid that made your life a little more complicated than it really needed to be...

It's finals week. I have 2 essays, 1 presentation, and 3 exams standing between me and a wonderful month-long holiday.

I somehow managed to finish the first essay (A Brief History of Japanese Weaving and Textile: From The Tokugawa Period to Today) and had started on my second one (The Use of Puns in Japanese). I really gave up with this whole "school" thing about 3 weeks ago, so it's been like...hrm like what...like pulling hen's teeth to get my brain to do something other than nothing. I had typed about a page of my pun report, and I got dangerously bored with the topic.

Looking around for something to distract me, I noticed two little nobs at the top of my laptop's keyboard that I had never seen before. Immediately I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a screw driver and pushed the nobs in. With a gentle *click* my keyboard popped up out of the laptop. If you know me, you know that this is basically standard "Brett" behavior. I pretty much go around looking for things that can come apart, wondering why ...(More)

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Only 3 more days....
Posted on Monday, March 1st, 2004 at 8:55am by Brett.
(Monday, March 1st, 2004 at 10:55pm Japanese Standard Time)

One exam and *surprise!* two essays down, I am now one step closer to a month of no classes.

Today was our grammar exam. I'm pretty sure I did quite dreadfully on it, but there were many factors working against me. The "Puns" essay that I thought was due Tuesday was, apparently, due today at noon. I have class from 10:10-11:35, then lunch until 12:15, and another class after that. Unfortunately, the first period was the period in which we were to have the final exam. When I got to the class room for the first final and found out that the paper was due at noon, a quick...slightly insane...count of the hours revealed that I didn't have enough time.

I plowed through the grammar test as fast as I could. I finished it in just under 35 minutes. They gave us about an hour to do it...The results will not be pretty. After the test, I jumped on my bike and cycled the half a kilometer ride back to my dorm to finish typing the essay. It would be another 1k to go back to the library to print out the thing. I had exactly an hour.

I typed like I have never typed before. I started making ridiculous claims..."The Japanese are a society infatuated with cuteness"..."Kami-sama and ...(More)

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The Barber Party
Posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004 at 8:18am by Brett.
(Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004 at 10:18pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've mentioned Tohru before. He's a guy that I'm tutoring in English. A couple months ago, he said that his friend, who happened to be a barber, wanted to meet me. It turned out to be a good deal for me because I got a free haircut from it.

About a week after the haircut, Tohru told me that his barber friend wanted to have a party for me and my gaijin friends...He said that they could all have free haircuts, as long as they didn't mind be models. I didn't quite understand that, but told my friends, and Shannon knew that being a "model" was a lot closer to being a guinea pig for student barbers. Needless to say, my friends weren't thrilled with the idea...

I told Tohru that my friends didn't need hair cuts, and he said that his barber friend still wanted to have a party to "make sure we're enjoying our time in Japan." This was during my time in hel^H^H^Hband so it was kind of hard to find a decent night to have this party. He would ask me about it every week, and I, in turn, would ask my friends. It become known as "The Barber Party."

When I had my hair cut, The Barber took a picture of me on ...(More)

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End of term and vicious lies
Posted on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004 at 5:54am by Brett.
(Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004 at 7:54pm Japanese Standard Time)

Done...DONE FOR A MONTH! No classes, no pointless meetings, no essays, no assignments...no band!!!! This is great. It's like summer vacation, but in spring...

I'm going to address a vicious rumor that has been floating around about me. No doubt, you've heard this lie, and probably even spread it around a bit yourself...you know how you are...

People have been saying that I'm going to be in Japan "forever". This is a nasty lie that I would like to put an end to right now. Forever's much longer than most people realize, and my time in Japan will be a little short of it.

As of this post, I have almost exactly 4 months left. 4 months really isn't that long...certainly not forever. If you think about it, it's hardly any time at all.

Think of it like this: 4 months. 1/3 of a year...about 16 weeks. So that's 112 days, 2688 hours, 161280 minutes, or 9676800 seconds. Numbers don't work for you? Ok then...

My study abroad will be done in about:

Stupid superuser...
Posted on Saturday, March 6th, 2004 at 2:35am by Brett.
(Saturday, March 6th, 2004 at 4:35pm Japanese Standard Time)

Superuser.net sucks. We have been hosted on their servers for nearly 4 years, and their quality of service has been, shall we say, less than decent.

We were often unable to contact anyone from superuser for months at a time. Many services magically stopped working with out notice, and very rarely did we receive replies to our emails. But we tolerated it. Why? Because it was cheap. No other place we could find would offer the features we had for the cost.

Recently, however, it became obvious a change of hosts was in order.

Around the middle of February the image galleries stopped working completely. I sent an email to superuser's support, which was promptly ignored. I waited 5 days, and send another.

If you care to read these emails--and I suggest you do--they can be found here.

Read them? Jerk, isn't he?

There is an additional email that was never sent. It wasn't sent for a couple reasons. First, Jason stole my thunder. Dang him for living in the same time zone as our host...DANG HIM, I say!!! Secondly, "Derek" (for whom I now have a sort of...pet name, if you will) still has control of the content of our ...(More)

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