Friday, June 30, 2006

Oh the wonders of technology.

We got out exams back today, which ment that most of the classes were about half as long as usual, as the teacher wouldnt teach, just hand back the exams, go over them, get bored, and then leave. That gave us a lot of freetime. At one point during this time, I looked over at two of my friends to see what they were doing. They had their bags on their laps and had their hands in the bag, which means that they were using their cellphones. You arent allowed to bring your phone to school, but everyone does, but hides them. I walked over to them to see what they were doing. And what were they doing? Watching porn on their cellphones! It was hilarious.

In other news, has anyone been keeping up with the Operation Puerto affair?

Basso, Mancebo, Ullrich, Sevilla out? This is phenomanal (sp?) and also really ridiculous. Anybody remember Festina back in 98? The age of Lance came from that, so lets see what happens with this, but lets hope those guy can get back in it, so that we can have an exciting tour.


ps. anyone know where I can watch the tour in Japan?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

World Cup fever!

I, like most of the country, am in soccer mode right now. Even though Japan (and American, but nobody really likes them anyway) lost, I still try to watch about the first half or so of the match when it is on TV at night. I play (or try to) soccer at lunch sometimes with some kids who are really really good. I dont do much, they just make me look dumb. Ever gotten beat by some kids like 3 years younger than you? It hurts! But, I am big, so if I can get towards the guy with the ball, I can occaisonally get it from him. I went to a soccer store today to see about getting some shoes, but my feet are too big. Speciality shop my ass! Anyway, I am leaving in about 30 minutes to go help coach young kids, which ought to be fun, until I find out that they are better than me. At least I get to wear my Atletico jersey!

For those who care, I am predicting Argentina beats Brazil in the final 2-1, with no overtime.


ps, if anyone wants a Japanese soccer jersey, let me know, and I might be able to hook you up.

Saiaku! 最悪

I hate exams. I hate exams. I hate exams. Especially when you can't read them. I had to sit through an hour of math exams (complex vector stuff, couldn't do very well), biology (no idea what it was about, didn't understand anything), and then geography, where I was just told to write about Japanese classes. In my essay I hinted fairly heavily that I don't like being in the math and science course, because I am completely sick of numbers. I want to switch into the international course, where I have something to talk about with all of the other kids, because they were all exchange students. Speaking of exchange students, another girl came back today, she was in, of all places, Mollala, Oregon. Needless to say she was pretty shocked when I told her that I was from Portland. She then commented on my Japanese, which is rather interesting. I know that my Japanese has gotten better, but I feel as if it has gotten worse because I am using a dictionary more. However, the works I look up are much more complex. I used the dictionary quite alot when I was trying to explain to my host mother why she needed to stop treating me like her 13 year old son, and starting trusting me like that adult that I am (for starters, how about getting rid of the ridiculous 7:30 curfew.)
I never really realized how many people notice me at school, but now that I cut my hair (see a post further down), everyone is walking by me in the hall and saying, whether in Japanese, English, or both, "Oh, hair cut!" I wish they had taken a little bit more off the top, but I like it, but whether any cute girls like it or not is more important.

oh yeah, Saiaku. The charaters mean extreme bad. Sai (pronounced sci, as in science) means extreme (that is the first charater), and the second charater aku (pronounced like something I dont really know how to explain) means evil, or bad. The way it is usually said makes it sound like Sciyaku. Or something like that.


Monday, June 26, 2006


I just got a phone call from my counselor. He said that I had been accepted by a family living in the Kansai area for a three week homestay. I will leave Tokyo on the 9th of July, and return on the 30th. Hot shit! The family lives in Uji, and that is all that I know about them. I dont have to go to school for 3 weeks!!! Thank god! School is failry restricting, and it doesnt help that the Japanese have stupid ridiculously early curfews, so I have very little time to play at all, which totally blows, but this rocks!

cool beans!


ps. I finally got my new bank card and activated it! money galore!


A real fast photo of my new hair, taken about 10 seconds before I put it on the internet. So, that is how short my hair is. I havent decided if I like it yet, but I bought some wax today, and will play with it some.

oh well,


Sunday, June 25, 2006

I feel comfortable talking about my crotch on the internet.

You know you are riding well when you ride for 86 kilometers and you can still feel your balls. I woke up this morning and felt great. I ate a small breakfast (as usual), went to the conbini, and then went for a ride. I rode almost the entire length of the bike path along the Arakawa river all the way to Tokyo Disneyland. Then I came home, and really hauled ass, as I was running late for my appointment at the hair salon. My hair is now super short, and I will post pictures tomorrow when I go to an internet cafe, because we get out early tomorrow due to exams. First, I get in there, and am helped by person 1 at the counter. Then, person 2 seats me. Person 3 asks what I want to be done, and then she put on the whole little body cover thing. Then, she told me to go over to a different place in the salon, where person 4 washed my hair. Then I went back to my seat, where person 4 blow dried my hair. Person 3 then began to cut. After cutting, Person 4 washed my hair with water, and then dried it. Person 3 then did the final touches, and asked me how I liked it. I said it was fine. Then I paid person 1, and persons 3 and 4 bowed to me at the door. All for under 30 bucks! How come we dont get service like that in the states?
my card came. Now all I have to do is activate it.


now that I have gone to school and understood some of the classes and gotten a hair cut, all I have left to do is get a girlfriend. I hope this hair helps.

Friday, June 23, 2006


I left school late today. I left about 6, but I had a good reason. I finally joined a club! Shodo-bu (Calligraphy club) meets every friday after school. It was really hard today. We did these large characters, which is much more difficult than the little ones that I had been starting to get used to, but it was totally a blast and one of my middle school friends is in it. She is nuts. She and two of her friends didn't know my name, so they started called me BlueEyes San, and they began Megane (eyeglasses) 1, Megane 2, and Mask. The middle schoolers are usually much more interesting, which seems rather counter intuitive, because you would think that high schoolers would know more, but the high schoolers dont usually talk very much.
However, three more exchange students came back over the last two days, and they are all very cool. A guy went to Kentucky, a guy went to some place in Scotland, and a girl went to someplace outside of London. The exchange students are lots of fun to talk to, and if I can't say everything in Japanese, their English is really good. I feel that my Japanese is pretty good, and it will get better since I rejoined the two Japanese classes (old japanese, and a modern something class) it should start getting alot better. I hope. I had a fun experience in the the old Japanese class. The teacher made a really bad pun, in Japanese, and I understood it!

Hot Shit!


should I get the PSP? really?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Some of the Japan I was looking for.

I went riding today. It hurt. I had been way too long since I had gone for a long ride like that, but it felt great none the less. I rode along the Ara river, which is usually translated as the Arakawa river, but kawa means river, so It would be the Ara river river. Anyway, that is the place that you see in a lot of manga, which has the big grassy knolls with the path at the top that looks onto the river from one side, and the river and the other. Lots of people running, riding bikes, people just sitting, it was really pretty, except for all of the grey because the weather wasnt especially great. And, as usual when I ride, I forgot my camera. But at least I know where to go, and it is very close to my house. It felt amazing, but, I hurt. I dont know what I am doing for the next while, but I hope riding is there. Calligraphy club tomorrow.


ps. I think I will get a hair cut on saturday. First, afterschool, cut it myself, and then, if it looks terrible, go to a hairsalon. good idea?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I am rich.

I would upload a picture of the 600 US dollars that I had, but I think this old computer would break. I got the money exchanged today, which is nice, because now I have some money to waste. And by waste, I mean I can't decide whether I should get a PSP or a DS. In other news, I think I will join the Calligraphy club, which meets on fridays. I want to join the Shogi club, but dont know when it meets.
One kinda fun thing. I met Dash and his parents and we hung for a little bit, and then we split up, and Dash and I went and did some fun things. At the station, I saw a guy who I took Japanese with at PSU. We exchanged emails, and then we got off the train. He is an exchange student at Waseda. He is the 4th person who I have run into on the streets that I have known. First, I saw a classmate of mine at the zoo, then I saw my old host brother at Ikebukuro, I later saw a kid who was a former exchange student through WYS and he was also a Teikyo student. He was the kid who showed me how to get to school from my old house. And now this guy from my Japanese class in the states. Not all of those were on the same day of course, but considering that the metro area has about 30 million people, that I have run into anyway is pretty amazing.

all for now.


ps, which should I get, the PSP or the DS lite?

Monday, June 19, 2006

This and that.

Today was the last day of the exchange students. We had a fun little goodbye party, and thenI left. I will meet my friend Dash from Portland soon, that will be fun. I had fun with the exchange students translating, because it shows that my Japanese is pretty good. I finished a manga today, and understood most of it, which is also pretty cool. Not much else to tell, it is hot.


Sanford, sorry about the phone thing, great talking to you anyway.

Friday, June 16, 2006

My feet hurt!

Why is this? It probably has something to do with really cheap tickets and the Yomiuri Giants. I was invited by one of my classmates to go to a baseball game with him after school. Unfortunately, I forgot my shoes, so I was wearing shorts, a giants jersey, and black leather loafers. I watched the Rakuten Eagles beat the Yomiuri Giants 7 to 3 at the Tokyo Dome, which was totally a blast. So my feet. For 500 yen (about 5 bucks) I got a student ticket. Standing room only. So I stood for 3 and a half hours but totally had a blast, lost part of my voice, and got a free Giants towel. A homerun ball hit two rows in front of us, which is pretty amazing, because we were way at the back. I took some pictures, but they didnt turn out very well, as well as my host families computer is old and frail, and I am afraid of breaking it by loading pictures.
Other sports: I havent gotten out on a long ride in a long time, but I found a great path that according to my friend Tomity will take me 35 kilometers to Tokyo Disneyland. I watch the first half of every World Cup match and then go to sleep, because they are on late. Bummer about Japan, but I just like sports, I usually dont care who wins.

All for now, I need to sleep.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

American Exchange students

There are a number of students from Florida here for a week, just to visit, but I have been asked to help them when I have time. I talk with them from time to time, I helped them in Calligraphy today, which was kind of fun translating, but I didnt get to do any of my own which was kind of a bummer. We toured clubs afterschool. I still havent decided which I want to join. We will go to a tea ceremony tomorrow. Not a whole lot more to tell, I am feeling kind of bored at school, and tired a lot. I wish I had more to eat, but right now I dont really have any money. I feel that my reading has gotten a lot better. I read a lot of manga, and I feel as if I am understanding more and more. Another exchange student in my program told me he has had nothing but fun, and doesnt know if he has learned anything. I am the opposite. I wonder if there is a relationship between learning and having fun.

thats about all I can think of


Friday, June 09, 2006

Japanese boys.

Japanese boys are, well, I dont really know how to describe them. Of course you cant describe all of them at the same time, but they are absolutely nuts. I will only talk about a couple odd occurances here. First, I was standing in the cafeteria (called the canteen (sp?)) at school, and was eating my ice cream, when these two middle school third years (the equivalent to a freshman in highschool) come up to me. I have talked with these particular two several times before, and from looking at them, I would have called them pretty cool, not at all like little kids. Whoops. One of them walks up to me, and without saying anything, starts to play with my hair. He pets it, floofs it, runs his fingers through it, and just usually hair things. Meanwhile, I stand there, with a straight face, eating my ice cream, for about a minute, and then I burst out laughing. He doesnt say anything, he just walks off.
Just a quick comment on the 'cool' thing. One of the other American exchange students, Chris, told me about a kid at his school, who is really popular, handsome, a super break dancer, and has a Stitch stuffed animal on his cellphone. The Japanese have some odd fetish with Stitch. What ever happened to Lilo? Doesnt her name come first in the movie title?
Two, I was coming home on the train last night, and there were these two highschools, with somewhat spiked hair, sagging, loose ties, and just sorta 'chillin' on the train. One of them sees me, laughs, whispers something to his friend, and waves at me. They were standing about 15 feet away from me, and they just waved. They didnt say anything, they just made silly gestures. Then, when the train was nearing my stop, I stood up straight, and they just stared. One of them starting making hand signals meaning that I was really tall. I passed them as I walked off the train, and said in Japanese that I was 190 cm tall. They looked really really shocked.
Thats all I can think of right now, but I will post more when I think of them.

I exchanged my emergency American today, which means I am sort of in the clear, I have about 8000 yen, but I dont know if it will last me until my new card arrives.


ps. Chris, can you think of any other funny Japanese teenage boy stories
Chris S., was that really a joke from Halp?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Exchange this and exchange that.

The first word that has exchange after it that I will use is student. Exchange student. 3 of the members in the international course at school came back from their year long exchange, so I now have three more people to talk to, as well as all of them can relate to what I am experiencing. The others will come back in the next month or so.
The second word is program. Exchange program. I went and met with my counselor today, we talked of this and that. He is trying to find a 2 week homestay for me in the Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara) area while my class is on their trip to Canada, so that I can see all the cool things there. While I was there, I met a girl who I had met at my first orientation, and she will be going abroad shortly. She is half Japanese and half Korean, and I didnt know this until I saw that she had Korean written on her hand. When I saw this, I said the only word I know in Korean (hello) and then I quadrupled my Korean vocabulary! She is very friendly, and we exchange cellphone email addresses, so that we can meet up sometime, and so a little English/Korean teaching. She lives and goes to school rather close to me, so that should be pretty easy. While I was talking with my counselor, we talked about one other exchange word.
Exchanging money. I found my emergency American cash, and will try to get it exchanged into yen as soon as possible, which will give me some 7000 yen or so. I have about 70 bucks US, but with exchange fees and such.

This and that. I got a call the otherday from a kid who is an exchange student in Japan. He went to Lincoln. He is the cousin of a friend of mine from MLC. We are going to try and meet up sometime soon.


Oh yeah, I corrected the head of international course's english. That was a blast.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Somethings odd, and others unfortunate.

I went to the movie Little Birds will the entire high school. It was highly awkward. It was made by a Japanese man, who we met after the film, and is about children in the Iraq War. There is a fair bit of antiamericanism in the movie, which made me feel very very awkward.
I finally got an email from my independent study English teacher with an assignment concerning the book Kokoro, byt Natsume Soseki, a very famous Japanese author. The assignment goes like this: Deconstruct the following passage: " Abandon your affections, the love is not mutual." Wait, where I have I heard that before? Here is a bit of old news which I didnt post on the blog. Remember that cute girl who I walked to the station with and who one of my friends was trying to hook us up? Well I told her I liked her, and what did she say? Just about the exact damn thing. "Those feelings that you have towards me, abandon them." Pretty rough!
Another rough thing. I just found out that my bank card expired at the end of May. I hadn't used it yet in June, and when I went today to get some money, the card was rejected. "Well, I guess I will just hold out until my parents send me the new card," I say as I reach into my wallet to see how much I have. That one falls into the unfortunate category.

not much else new


oh yeah, 677 yen.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I like guys who dress like girls.

I get to school today, and one of the teachers in the International course asks me if I brought the the money. I asked him what he meant. He goes, "You know, for the play." I completely forgot! Luckily, I did have the 1300 yen on me, and at 1 oclock in the afternoon, I left school with the Inter classes and we went to Kabuki. Kabuki actors are only allowed to be male, and so if the play calls for a female part, it has to be played by a man. They are only played by people who specialize in the role of playing women. Well, we say the play which, in English, is called "The Battles of Coxinga", or something like that, by the Japanese Shakespeare, Chikamatsu Monzaemon. It is a fairly famous play, and was very interesting, despite not being able to understand anything. The teacher bought me the English earphone guide, which told you what the people were saying in a very condensed formed, which was nice, as the English was short so that I could hear the Japanese. I didnt understand anything, it is basically a different language. After that I hung out with Adam for a little bit, and that was kinda fun.

Man, I want some of those sweet Kabuki costumes.


ps. has anyone seen the movie "Little Birds"? my class is going to see it tomorrow at some charity movie event.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Japanese are decended from Mammoths?

My new host family gave me some of their old manga. The ones they gave me are all Doraemon, who is the famous blue time-travelling cat. Except, they arent your standard manga. I have one where Doraemon teaches you about Haiku, one where he teaches you about Kanji stroke order, some other various things, and my favorite: a two volume set of Japanese history. When Doraemon is explaining why they found fossils of mammoths in Japan, his friend thinks that the Japanese descended from them. Japanese little kids make me laugh. Take for example, where my new host family is. Right outside, there is a sort of park. It is actually just a big patch of gravel that would be a great place for fireworks/picnics in the summer, and there are always little kids playing ball there. I have since made friends with all of them by getting their ball out of the tree one day. That is about all the general news I can think of. Tomorrow is my big modelling day, not that I actually know what is going to happen, but itis fun to say that I am an international model.
Oh, really funny thing happened today. I told the native English teachers that if they ever needed a TA during one of my free periods, teaching would be much more enjoyable than sleeping on the couch in the English lounge (the couch isnt very comfy.) So, today, I helped one of them out in his class. It is just a small class that takes place in the lounge, and has 6 seniors in it. The exchange student and I always make fun of this teacher because we think that he is only in Japan for girls. So, today in class, he was asking "yes, no, or, information questions" Yes and no are fairly self explanatory. 'Or' questions are things like "would you rather do this or this" and Information questions are who/what/when/where/why/how questions. He chose one kid and asked him what he wanted to do. The kid said, unfortunately, "I want to sleep". The kids spent the next ten minutes or so asking things like, "Where do you want to sleep, why do you want to sleep, when do you want to sleep", and of course, because Jonathan (the teacher) just had to write in on the board, "who do you want to sleep with." I laughed pretty hard.
Sanford, good to hear from you, nice to hear you read the blog, any questions you would like to have answered? Amy, congrats on both graduating and the award, and I can't believe Keith didn't get the award as well.
All for now folks


Thursday, June 01, 2006

just a quick post

Today was a half day at school because of some reason that I didnt hear. I think it was something like parent conferences because I saw a lot of adults at school. I was wandering the halls during my free period and one of the native English speakers saw me, and invited me into his class, and so I helped teach English to middle schoolers. About a minute before class ended, the teacher told the class that they could ask me any questions that they wanted. They only had time for two. First, did I have a girlfriend, second, how all am I. After school, I came home, ate lunch, and found out that I had a nose bleed. My dad the doc says it had to do with the heat. Oh yeah, it is about 30 C here, which is like 80 or so, so it is hot. After that, I rode the trains back to my old house, and rode my bike across town in the hot, busy Tokyo rodes. I had a blast. I rode about 25 kilometers, and loved every second of it. A quick note to all my cycling friends: NEVER EVER mix Gatorade and tea. It tastes really good for all of about 1 second. In the hopefully immortal words of my older brother, "it was good, but now it is inside me"


no, and 190 centimeters