Nar3: Japan

Computer woes...and happy news!
Posted on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2003 at 9:55pm by Brett.
(Thursday, December 4th, 2003 at 11:55am Japanese Standard Time)

My computer is still dead. I'm pretty sure I'm going insane without it. It's like I've lost an appendage or something. My TV was on my computer...all of my music was on my computer. Classes haven't started back up yet, so I just sit in my quiet room bored. I have rediscovered the joys of shoutcast streaming audio. My little handheld computer can keep up well enough, and I bought some $5 speakers so I can have some music going....It's only mildly maddening.

BUT! For some good news! One of my oldest and best friends ever is now officially engaged! Bri and Jeff are going to get married next year! She's being kind enough to wait until I get back from Japan, so the wedding will probably be in September. Congrats!

For everyone who has emailed me...It's way too annoying to type out an email through my PDA. As soon as I get my replacement power converter for my laptop, I'll answer the emails. The manufacturer wouldn't ship overseas with a credit card, so I had to send it to my parents' house and then have them send it to me. According to UPS's tracking, it's in Columbus right now, so should be to Jackson by tomorrow, one would ...(More)

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The Ishi Maru adventure
Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2003 at 9:02pm by Brett.
(Tuesday, November 25th, 2003 at 11:02am Japanese Standard Time)

Yesterday, I woke up and my computer was off. I turned it back on, and it made the low battery sound. I looked at the power supply, and was in for a bit of a surprise...either the radiator heater had leaked all over the power supply, or it had started producing its own green goo. Either way, it's dead...

So I called a friend to see if she wanted to go to a nearby electronics shop called Ishi Maru. She was at the market with another friend who wanted to come, so I told them to give me a ring and we'd all go when they got back. Ishi Maru is about a 15 minute bike ride away.

So Liz, Kate and I went biking along toward the shop. It looked a bit like rain, so Liz had her umbrella. We were all in a line cycling. We were nearly halfway there when I heard a scream. I turned around just in time to see Liz flying over the top of her handle bars, and then landing directly on her face. Kate and I ran over to her, and she's banged up really bad.

Her umbrella had somehow gotten caught between the spokes of her front tire, causing it to obviously stop. It also made the mudrail wrap all the way around it...it's pretty impressive looking...

Kate stayed there with her while ...(More)

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Site updates!
Posted on Saturday, November 15th, 2003 at 1:12am by Brett.
(Saturday, November 15th, 2003 at 3:12pm Japanese Standard Time)

The site has been updated! COMMENTS WORK! Comment away people!

To comment, you have to sign up for an account. Why? Because I said so, that's why. If you don't have an account, check out the "Why Register?" link to the left. The basic part of the comments are done, but they're displaying ugly, and replying to a comment (commenting on a comment, if you will) doesn't work yet, but I'll get it soon.

Along with comments, the search...sorta...kinda doesn't work less than it used to. (Catch the double negative? No? hrm...) It will search, but it's ugly about it. None of the advanced options work...

You'll also notice a Popular Posts box on the left. It..well..lists the most popular posts currently. It lists by how many times a post has been read, not commented on...that may change..

Enjoy the new features!

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Big Earthquake in East Japan
Posted on Friday, November 14th, 2003 at 8:33pm by Brett.
(Saturday, November 15th, 2003 at 10:33am Japanese Standard Time)

There was a fairly big earthquake in east Japan this morning around 3:45am. It measured to a 5.3 on the Richter scale, and its epicenter was in my prefecture...Ibaraki. It wasn't as big as the one in Hokkaido a couple months ago, but it was still the biggest one I've felt.

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Dinner at Tohru's
Posted on Friday, November 7th, 2003 at 8:19am by Brett.
(Friday, November 7th, 2003 at 10:19pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've been tutoring this man called Tohru in English for about a month. He invited me to his house for dinner tonight, and it was the most fun I've had in a long time.

He has two little children, a boy (7) and a girl (9). I get there, and his wife is picking up their daughter from her swimming lessons. She gets there, and introductions are done all around. The wife doesn't speak much English, and the children speak next to none.

They start setting up the table for the food, and the boy asks me to play with him, so I go into their tatami room where I see a SNES. Mmm. I am in my element. The boy pops in Mario All Stars and we start playing the original mario. For a little 7 year old boy, he was really good. The girl was really really shy and just watched TV, but the boy was anything but.

By the time the dinner was ready, he was sitting on my lap having me play his levels for him. Then dinner.

Oh the dinner.

Tohru didn't tell me that his wife is in culinary school. She had made SOOOO much food. I'm not going to have to eat for nearly a week. It was a traditional Japanese meal. I found nothing that I couldn't eat. There was only one thing that I wasn't ...(More)

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2 Months???
Posted on Thursday, November 6th, 2003 at 11:11pm by Brett.
(Friday, November 7th, 2003 at 1:11pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've been here over two months already! Things have gotten pretty much settled in. My room feels more like home than it did...uh...than it did when it wasn't, I suppose. Having the internet in my room helped a lot. Home is where the harddrive is. ...And the high speed internet connetion...

This month should be a lot of fun. I start playing with the orchestra on Monday, so that should be at least exciting. I'll be the only foreigner. Yikes.

Toward the end of the month I'll be going on a trip to Kyoto. It's during our break, so I'm not missing any classes. Hopefully it'll be as much fun as everyone says!

Tonight I'm going to go to one of my student's houses. I tutor a couple people in English, and one of them has invited me for dinner at his house. I'm hoping I'll be able to remember all the Japanese etiquette and ritualistic language.

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Weekend weirdness
Posted on Sunday, November 2nd, 2003 at 1:28am by Brett.
(Sunday, November 2nd, 2003 at 3:28pm Japanese Standard Time)

I just finished up one of the best classes I have ever taken. It was an Intensive course that met only this Saturday and Sunday for about 7 hours each day. It was based around the psychology and sociology of Japan, but it was really more like a huge group therapy session. There were only 7 of us in the class...all American, and we all knew each other. We all know each other much better now. It was a REALLY good class.

On the way back, though, we had to stop by a professor's office to give him a list of our email addresses. We were stopped by possibly the GREASIEST looking Japanese guy ever. He had a video camera and wanted to talk to us for a bit...so we let him.

Then, about 3 minutes into it, he said "WAIT! I'm not being recorded!" and handed the video camera over to one of us to record him. He continued to talk about himself for around 20 minutes. It was really, REALLY odd.

On a completely unrelated issues, I think I found a band to join! Some of us are going to check it out tomorrow. They're having a big concert and it should be fun. By chance, I met a Japanese guy in the Ryuugakusei center who played tenor sax, so I was all "I PLAY ALTO!!!!!" and he ...(More)

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Posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2003 at 7:47am by Brett.
(Thursday, October 30th, 2003 at 9:47pm Japanese Standard Time)

Everyone deals with homesickness differently. Some people cry; some people shop; some people party every night; some people eat; some people stop eating.

I get grouchy.

We're all going through bits of homesickness now. The initial excitment and general business (busy + ness, not shops) has gone away, and life has sunk in. We're definitely in Japan.

I'm coming out of the obligatory week or so of pouting and feeling sorry for myself that is apparently inherent to studying abroad...much to my friends' pleasure.

They would call me asking to go out and the conversation would go as follows:

*ring ring*
Me: "Hello."
Kate: "Hey...whacha doing?"
Me: "Sleeping."
Kate: "It's 6:00..."
Me: "What do you want?"
Kate: "Just wondering if you'd fancy coming out?"
Me: "No. I'm sleeping"
Kate: "Brett...it's only 6..."

It was really dreadful, and I'm very glad to have gotten out of it.

I miss very odd things. I miss my dog. And...my ...(More)

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Laundry Weirdness.
Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2003 at 9:18pm by Brett.
(Tuesday, October 21st, 2003 at 10:18am Japanese Standard Time)

A very odd thing happened to me this morning.

It actually starts last night, when I was doing laundry. There were no half naked guys this time, but something much stranger. I threw in a random assortment of shirts, socks, and underwear and was on my way to shower. I got back from the shower and moved the clothes into the drier where they stayed the rest of the night (because it takes that long!).

I woke up this morning and went to get my dried clothes. I get to the laundry room, and expected to see them sitting on top of a washer or something because someone needed the drier they were in. They weren't there, so I looked in the drier.

There they were. Folded. All of my clothes had been folded. It wasn't just one or two shirts that COULD have been by accident, but all of them. The underwear was even folded. The socks weren't paired up, though. That'd just be too weird...

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Still Small Voice
Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2003 at 7:11am by Brett.
(Monday, October 20th, 2003 at 8:11pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've been on this mission once, and I'm going again.

I desperately want to find the rest of this song. I don't know who sings it, and I can't find the lyrics online anywhere. The title is most probably "Still Small Voice" and it was inaccurately said to be by "Lifehouse" when I downloaded it. (Mr RIAA, It's completely legal. I have the CD. No really. Promise.)

Download it to help me out. (Mr RIAA, everyone who downloads this has the CD. I'm sure!) If you know who sings this, Email me!

Here's what I have for the lyrics as I hear them:

I will be quiet,
You do the talking.
You say the words
You're wanting to say.

I long to hear
Your sweet words of life,
So speak and don't let me
Stand in the way.

For I long to hear
Your still small voice.
You just speak to me
In words so loving.

I choose to sit,
And I make the choice.
So waitful and silent,
To wait for your still small voice.

I will be patient,
And you'll come running.
Leaping and skipping
Over the hills.

Longing to know me,
Longing to show me.
Just how much you love me.
Oh, what a thrill.

Then ...(More)

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