Monday, July 31, 2006

Highschool Baseball in Japan... like highschool football in the states. BIG. I went to watch my school play in the Eastern Tokyo championships. It was a good day. First, I caught a ball. It actually bounced, but I got it. Actually, I didnt get it. In highschool and college games, you cant keep the balls. The batters arent very good, so it would cost a LOT of money if they had to keep buying new balls! The other cool thing is that we won. However, the coolest part makes me look bad. I am a slut. I said to my dad yesterday that I was sick of being looked at like an alien, but because I was a tall blond haired american wearing a Japanese school uniform, I got interviewed. Who interviewed me? Oh, you know, Asahi Shinbun. I will mostly likely be in tomorrows paper. they took pictures of me, I dont know if they will be in there, but if they are? cool beans


Saturday, July 29, 2006

Here you go.

Yukata Peter! How do you like the hair I cut myself? Well, technically, it is the hair I didnt cut, because the hair I did cut is in the trash somewhere.


Friday, July 28, 2006

I have a confession.

So, there is this rather famous and fancy shampoo in Japan. But, it is for women. How do we know this? Their slogan is could be translated as such: Japanese women are beautiful. What is the difference between men's and women's shampoos anyway? Well, living in a rather affluent Japanese family with a rather young (considering how old her kids are) mother, and a teenage daughter, they have this shampoo. When I first arrived, they told me to use what ever shampoo I wanted. In the beginning I used the stuff my brother uses, but I just tried the fancy women's one. Oh man. Or, if you take offense to that, oh women. That stuff is amazing. My hair (which I trimmed myself and looks rather nice) is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo soft and fluffy. That stuff rocks.

What is the difference anyway?


A good use of pen and paper.

Forget Halpern, I have started writing a book. It will be titled somewhere along the lines of "Translating Cultural Connotations." I know that titles should be underlined, but I dont know how to underline on the blogger format. One other minor snag. I dont really know how to translate cultural connotations, but those were some of the best words I could think of.
Here is a fun little translating story. Dispite claiming to hate foreigners, I still have a tendency to ask them if they need help when I see them standing around. I recently helped some people, and this is what happened: The asked me what something said, and I read it for them in Japanese. They asked, "What does that mean in English?" Well, does it reall mean anything in English? It isnt English, so it doesnt really mean anything in English. So, I said the closet English equivalent. Is the closest English equivalent really the meaning? No. If you look a word up in a Japanese (or anyother language for that matter) dictionary, the meaning is not a word in English, so it doesnt really mean anything in English, does it? There are words that relate to the same things, but those arent the meanings are they? How should I properly go about translating things like that. Is translating even the proper word? I have never really liked the word interpreter because it sounds like you interpretive dance. Taking actions and turning them into words. Is translating the right word for words to words?

oh well, Im off to write.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Just some random tidbits and such.

Fun fact one: I trimmed my hair by myself like, half an hour ago.
Fun fact two: I got nostalgic, and watched some movie trailers on because it was too hot.
movie point 1: is anyone else stoked for Spiderman 3? I am.
movie point 2: Fast and the Furious: Tokyo drift. they drive on the other side of the road in Japan. fools, get it right. from the trailer, at least half of it is on the wrong side of the road. and they dont speak english in Tokyo.

thats all I can remember.


ps. has anyone ever wondered where baby pokemon come from?

TIme to stop complaining and see the wonderful places.

One final complaint. It is damn hot here! Today, by 8:30 in the morning, according to, it was 85 feels like 94. Celcius. Just kidding! When I went to Horyuji, it was too hot to be humid! Horyuji was absolutely amazing, and I got a traffic safety charm for my bike. I will put it on as soon as I get home. A couple days ago, when I said I was going to go to Horyuji, we actually went to see some really old grave sites, which were very cool, but rather anticlimactic. I thought they would be this great big things, and they were just some small holes in the side of a hill. cool cave paintings though! It was really hot that day too, so we didnt get to do nearly as much as I wanted, but when you are with your little host brother, who is like 13, I suppose you can only do so much. Oh well. The next day, I went to Sanjusangendo with my brother and sister and two of my sisters friends. That was really cool, but you couldnt take pictures int he mail hall, which was a crock, because that place was absolutely amazing. It has got to do with selling the photos, because they sure have overpriced pictures in the giftshop! We then took a cab to Kiyomizudera, which was fabulous. There is this one really place where you take a picture from. Every picture of the place is the same. I didnt take that picture, I took all the other ones though. At kiyomizudera, there is a section that sells entirely love luck charms and such. The girls all went there, and my brother and I decided to follow. Its now looking to good for me. Thank god I dont believe in fortune telling. wait. that doesnt make anysense. I must have heat stroke. nightynight!


ps. nan, great to hear from you, yeah , I could have had some more liberal parents, but I will try to bend some to their ways. I already bend quite a bit, and its hurting my back. dang these houses are short! To the person(s?) who anonymously posted comments to the last post: As much as I would like to know who you are, if I found out that advice as valuable as that came from someone like my mom, I could never take it seriously, so please, at least for now, keep it a secret. thanks to all.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Unjoys of Youth.

I'm not sure which I like less. Being treated like a child, or paying adult prices at museums. This is of course ridiculous, and I would much rather have to pay the extra money to be treated like an adult, then pay very little, but be treated like a small child. Reading Donald Keene's essays( ) I realize another unjoy of youth. Being in this program, I simply don't have the freedom to be an adult. I long to travel, I long to study foreign languages, but I have this program hanging over me. I think of my older brother, who studied in France without an exchange program (though it might have caused him great problems getting into college, I don't especially care to go to college, I'd much rather travel.) He had the freedom to do what he wanted. My family is Japan is rather strict, and I don't have the guts to just sorta get up and leave. I would love to hang out late at night like the adult that I should be treated like, but my family gets, well, upset, if I come home late.

People always talk about the "joys of youth". What the hell are those?


Zenmai Zamurai

My favorite show on Japanese television is called Zenmai Zamurai. It is a short (about 10 minutes) kids show on NHK. Zenmai Zamurai means literaly, "Wind-up Samurai." I had always wondered why he was a windup samurai, and on today's show, it explained. Many years ago (in the show) the character snuck into a dango shop. Dango are these traditional Japanese mochi balls that are then skewered, and a number of various things can then be done to them. I really like them. He eats a couple of the dango, and then picks up what he thinks to be a dango. It turns out to be a mouse, and he gets really scared and runs away. He trips on something, and falls down the well. When he awakes, there is someweird Yellow thing, which I assume to be related to the moon, as you will see why later. They chat for a little bit, and then the samurai finds out that he has died falling down the well! He says he doesn't want to die, and has so many more things he wants to do in life. So, they make a deal, he can come back to life, if he becomes zenmai. What this means is that he is now wind-up powered. Because when he died he was doing bad things (sneaking into dango stores and stealing the dango), to make amends for it, he can only do good things from now on. If he does bad things, the spring will unwind, but if he does good things, the spring will be rewound. In each of the little shows, Zenmai Zamurai does something good, and at the end, a beam comes from the moon (I guess the big yellow thing he made a deal with) and winds him up.

Thats pretty harsh for a kids show!


ps. His secret technique is called "dango-ken" His Katana is a dango skewer, and what he does is this cute little dance and then dango shoot out of his sword and into his opponents mouth, and the taste is so great that the stop their evil ways. The characters associated with this technique are pronounced hisshou (必笑) and mean 'required smile'.

What kind of piss is this?

I just opened a bag of M&M's, and...there weren't any green ones! Instead of green ones they had this color that I can't really describe, but it matches my shirt. I don't really know what color my shirt is. I am wearing the same shirt in the picture a couple posts down when we went to Shirakawagou.


I miss green ones. At least they taste roughly the same.


I dont really know what else to say than we drove for a really long time, but it was totally worth it. This beast is fucking sweet!


Saturday, July 22, 2006

My awesome schedule for this week.

23rd: Himeji castle.
24th: sleep, and buy some souvenirs, because I havent gotten any yet. not that I like shopping for souvenirs, but.
25th: Nara and Horyuji.
26th: Kiyomizudera and Sanjusangendo.
27th: see the 23rd.
28th: hanging (I dont know where) with the girl who I went to Nara last week. You know, the good looking one who wants to ride her bike around Japan?
29th: probably the same as the 27th.
30th: go home. not so fun.



You know what I miss most about Portland? Bikes. Veloshop. Well, that is two things, but they are very closely related. I miss seeing 18 rides show up and rock the Short Track CX races out at PIR, I miss seeing my teammates crush out at Alpenrose, and god damn do I miss Alpenrose. I long so badly to ride the track. I have ridden once out at Tachikawa, and I can go twice more, and I will try to go both times. I am going to see my friend Tomity race at Seibu Keirin when I get back. I am going to the Tokyo CycloMessanger Championships too. That ought to be fun. I bikes, but in particular, the awesome bike community of Portland.

congrats to all my Veloshop buddies!


ps. I was joking around with one of the other junior races on the internet. He was like "Are you gonna come back and race in Portland" And I was like "Pssh, I race the domestic circuit anymore."

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I met my little brother's friends mom at some station. Then we drove to some house, and picked up two sisters, I dont know their relation to the mom, but they were friendly, ages 18 and probably about 14. Then we drove to a different station and picked up the son, who I had met before. To put it nicely, he is strange, but very nice. Then we went to some big ruins, which was very cool. Pity I dont remember what it was called. We wandered around there, so the reconstructions, then we ate lunch, and went to central Nara. There, we walked around in Nara Koen, where all the deer are, and I corrected the English on the Unesco World Heritage plaque designating Todaiji as a world monument. We walked around Todaiji, saw some really cool architechture, then we went and saw the worlds largest bronze buddha. Cool beans. We walked around the park somemore, went to one other shrine, and the adjacent treasure house (unfortunetaly, not Shosoin) and saw some very cool things there. They had some very cool old armor and robes, as well as the most expensive drums ever made. These things were HUGE! No pictures in the treasure house, and I would bet you that it is so you cant sell them. If they say you cant use cameras because of the flash, then why do they have all of the lights on? Then they dropped me off at the station and I went home. I was supposed to meet my sister about 1 today and go to Kiyomizudera and Sanjusangendo, but it is pouring, and so she mailed me and said that we go someother day. Maybe I will go to the bike shop. Speaking of bikes, the older of the sisters and I talked about bikes. In Japanese. I said that I wanted to ride my bike around the world, and she said that if she had been born a boy, she would ride around Japan. I said that she could still do it now, but maybe she would get married first and then it might be safer. I wasnt really hinting that she should marry me, and we could do it together, but I wouldnt mind that.


Boonen dropped out! Rasmussen takes the Pookie (how the hell do you spell that?) dots, McEwen will finish in the Green, and my bet is Cunego snags the white. The yellow? who cares.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I did it!

I did! I found some of the legandary vending machines! Well, they didnt have any panties, but how often do you seen porn movie vending machines in the states? how often do you see any kind of movie vending machine. And just for the record, I only found them and took a picture, not used them.

In other news, I got a cellmail from my Keirin racer friend how told me some cool bike places to go in Kyoto. I want to go to this used parts store, but it is kinda far. I will go in the next couple of days. I also went to the office of a messenger company called "Kaze" and chatted with the dispatcher for a while. He didnt comment on my Japanese, which I thought I would like as I am kinda sick of that, but then I bummed me out, because I thought my speaking was rather fluid. I understood everything he said and answered as promptly as I knew the answer. Oh well. And I went to one other shop, which was kinda cool.


Molly Cameron may own a Ganwell Pro, but I have been to the shop where they are made!

Back post 3: Shirakawagou

A couple days ago, my whole family woke up early, piled into the car, drove to Kyoto station to pick my little brothers girlfriend ("Shes not my girlfriend!" he protests) and then we started driving. And we didnt really stop. Well, thats not true, we stopped for lunch at this really cool restaurant that I cant really describe, except that I had the softest meat I have ever eaten there. It was fucking delicious! Then we kept driving. We left the station about 8:30 and we arrived at out final destination about 1:30 or so. Our final destination was a world heritage site called Shirakawagou. Seen here in the pictures are the houses which make the place so famous. Being up in the mountains, the food is much different than the food in Kyoto. They have all the same things, but it tastes much better in Shirakawagou. We walked around there for a while, then piled back in the car and drove back. My little brothers notgirlfriend is adorable. She is going to do a 10 day homestay in Australia in like a week or so (at like 13?) and so mom told me before we met that she was really eager to practice her English. but whenever I spoke to her in English, she just sorta blushed and didnt say anything. ?. My little brother brought back home from school a letter from the girl/girls parents and in it they thanked everyone very much, and had a little something for my parents, and then the little girl had included a little piece of strap(the things you hang off your cellphone) for me. what did her boyfriend get? Yeah, nothing.

I want my own girlfriend, not my little brothers!


ps. If anyone wants more details/pictures of any of my adventures, just ask, and I will post them up. I am looking into getting an account on some site like Flickr of Photobucket to post my pictures, but Im not sure there are any sites that want to upload like 5 gig(!) of my photos.

Back post 2: Gion Matsuri

Can you believe I forgot to take a picture of me in my yukata!? Oh well, I didnt have many pictures left and there were cooler things to take pictures of. I will! take a picture and send it off sometime. Speaking of sending things off, I have 4! cds each with about 160 photos to send back soon. I am off to Nara today with the mother of one of my little brothers friends(?) and will take lots more there too. back to the Festival. We just walked up and down the street for a couple hours in crowds of other people wearing yukatas and nonyukatas. I was standing on a street corner, and some little (middle school) girls ran up next to me and their friends started taking pictures. They said I looked like a doll. I want royalties. We were going to go to the really big part of the festival, but it rained like crazy, and my mom didnt want us getting sick. It is raining like a mile and hour here, and thats not the speed. In one hour, we get about a mile of rain fall!


Back post 1: Eigamura

Sorry it has been awhile, I have been pretty busy.
Eigamura can be translated into English as movie village. The place in Kyoto called Eigamura is a small called enclosure that looks like a village inside (hence the name) and was, and occasionally still it, the set for Chambara movies, hence the rest of the name. For those of you who dont know what Chambara means, that is the name of the style of cheesy samurai flicks! This entire outdoor village, is a set. There was a museum in a big building next to it, which had all sorts of other movie stuff, mostly Power Rangeresquethings, KamenRider, there was a little about anime. Cool beans. At the gift shop, they had all sorts of props (not the real thing) and other gift type things. I bought a magazine. Aren't you proud of me? I bought a magazine that wasnt bikes or porn! The magazine is called Jidai Gekijou magazine. That can be roughly translated as "Period Drama magazine". How cool is that!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Run! It's Giant Japanese High School Girl!

I was at first hesistant to post this because it is pretty cheesy, but it is funny. And it shows what good taste in women I have. When I was at the top of Daimoji Yama, so this was several days ago, I was sitting at the top staring out at the view. I decided to do something really corny. I pulled out my cellphone and mailed the girl that I like back in Tokyo.
me: I am currently at the top of Kyoto Daimojiyama. I view is really beautiful, so, of course, I am thinking of you.
her reply: am I really that good looking?
me: well, the view from teh mountain is a lot larger, but if the two of you became the same size, they would be about that same.
her reply: you say the funniest things! so, if I turn into Godzilla...

thats good enough.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Big 89!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!! Today, (well, today here, I dont know it is the 15th of july in that states), my dear grandfather, who is the reason I am in Japan (he probably got me hooked on Japan, he was an interpreter during the war) turns 89!

Wishing you all the best from here in the east, hope to see you soon



Friday, July 14, 2006


I bought some Japanese bike magazines today. I really like reading them, or at least trying. Anyway, there was a web address for this one shop that I have been meaning to go to for a while now. I went there, and searched around, and found the blog. Now, I doubt many, if any of you can read the blog, but the most recent post is about the owners trip to the US, and in particular, Portland. The shop is super hip shop, and has a lot of track stuff, as most messangers here ride track bikes (and not your Bianchi Pista either, keirin and all) and it is flat, so you dont really need anything else. In this post, the person said that they went to a number of bike shops and was impressed. I couldnt resist. I posted a comment in Japanese! I asked if they had gone to a shop called veloshop, the people there being some of best friends. I checked back just a second ago, and there was a reply! The person met Molly, liked the shop very much, and was quite impressed. Hot shit!

Molly, they went around the 12th or so June, so if you remember a Japanese person who came in about that time (if your memory is that good, that is one more thing I am in awe of).

I will go to that shop when I get back to Tokyo.


oh went to a sushi place with my family. same belt style as you see in the US, but much cheaper, tastier, and cooler!

pps. they also liked the thai restaurant nextdoor!

Wait, a what!

Could someone please explain to me what a bloodtype is? Also, if I have one, what is it? And, why are the Japanese so obsessed with them? I have been asked several times by people what my blood type is, and I told them I didnt know, and they all looked at me funny! The festival we were going to go to got rained out. So my sister and went to famous tea place and got tea ice cream somethings. I cant really describe what it was, except for tasty.


Some minor corrections

I apologize, I didnt know. The distance from the station to Nijo castle is more like 3 miles than 3 kilos, and all of the other distances are the same proportions. The top of Daimojiyama is not 300 or so meters, but 466, which means I climbed a hellof a lot. And I have been climbing some big hills on my chari. I'll bet you that Denis Menchov trains on one. If my knees last riding on of those, when I come back, Ill crush anyone of those climbs. And damn is going down fun! I am off to some big festival later with my family and such. And I almost finished another memory stick!


Thursday, July 13, 2006


I chilled in Uji today, because I didnt feel like going very far. Also very nice because I dont think I saw anyother foreigners. Since I didnt have to ride the train, I got to sleep in a little because most of the places open about 8:30 or so. I went to Byodoin, which is a Unesco world heritage site, and I complete see why. Absolutely gorgeous, took bunchs of pictures, and payed the extra couple bucks to get to go into the main hall, which is about 1000 years old, so that I could see the Amida Nyorai there, even if was partially underconstruction (see the previous post). I then walked around that area, which is right along the Uji river, and thus very pretty. I rode across the river and too a couple smaller temples but still very pretty. I rode my 50 pound mamachari (short for mothers chariot, with baskets and step through design, and less than 2:1 gearing) to the top of a very big hill where there was a gorgeous temple. down was pretty fun too. went to Uji Gamijinjya, which is another world heritage site, and home of one of the very few "7 wells of Uji" Uji is very famous for its tea, and this spring is one of the sites where water for the tea was gotten. some emperor along time ago had alot of tea grown in that area, so the tea is very famous, and tasty too. Then I went to the Genji Monogatari museum, which was 100 percent in Japanese, so I understood less than usually. I keep getting completements on my Japanese at all of the places where I buy tickets in Japanese. I then went to a little tea museum, which was more than 100 percent in Japanese, but the pictures were nice! then it was too hot, so I went home. I read for a while, chatted with my sister who had a halfday, and then took a nap. I woke up about 20 minutes ago!

insert whatever you want to hear here



It is hella hot here, so I went home midday. I might go out again later, and will post tonight with all that I did today, but right now, it something odd. I dont really know how I feel about the restoration of historical monuments. It might just be that because of "The Great Heisei Restortation" that is going on right now that I am a bit pissed about not getting to see some cool things, but if you have 'restored' something lots of times, and very recently, how accurate is it to say that the object is really 1000 years old. you can call anything you want a national treasure, but what do these restorations really do? Also, occaisonally things can be rather misleading when in big letters it says "from the year 1200, and it small letters it says was destroyed 9 times since then, this one is from 1967", or something like that.

any ideas? I have taken a stance on restorations yet, and would like some input.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A word to the wise.

Adidas low top canvas shoes are NOT meant to be climbed mountains in. My feet hurt really badly. I woke up this morning, left about 5 minutes after everyone else (about 8), and took the train once again to Kyoto. Really long walk number 1: Kyoto station to Nijo castle. About 3 kilometers which is like 2 miles. Spent a long time walking throught the cool castle, and almost finished up memory card. Really long walk number 2: Nijo castle to Heian Shrine. about the same. In the middle of this walk through the middle of the city, I saw a bike messenger. He rolled up on his really sweet track bike, leaned his bike up against a bush, and walked into the building. no lock. I waited to see what would happen. I couple minutes later, he came back with his package, and as he was mounting his bike, I asked him why he didnt use a lock. "Oh, we dont really need them" Crazy! I want that kind of safety. If you leave your bike unlocked in Portland for like 5 minutes it will be long gone. Then I kept walking to the Shrine. On the way, I found a camera store, got the CDs made, and ate lunch. I spent a long time walking through the Shrine, which was fun, and took a bunch of pictures. Long walk number 3: Heian Shrine to Ginkakuji, via the philosophers walk. A little less than the other ones, but with some hills. Walked alond most of the fairly famous (though not especially pretty) philosophers walk, went to a couple temples along the way, and took some more pictures. Went to Ginkakuji, which is sometimes called the Silver pavillion by people who cant pronounce Japanese. And boy, is it ever not silver! It was no color. Well, old wood. Really long walk number 4: Ginkakuji to the top of the Kyoto Daimoji mountain. I dont really know how far this is, but is really really steep, and rough, and not meant to be done in tennis shoes. It is probably about 150 to 200 meters up. I got to the daimonji (big character, as in a kana or kanji) and nearly shat myself. The view was fucking unbelieveable. You could see an incredible long way, and it looks over a greater portion of the city. I took shit loads of photos. then I climbed to the very top of that mountain, where there was another very beautiful view, this time looking a little more to the south, took a bunch more pictures, and rested a little while my feet cried. Then I looked at my watch and saw that I was later than I wanted to be. Really long walk number 5: The top of the Kyoto Daimoji mountain to Ginkakuji. If tennis shoes arent meant to go up the mountain, then they sure as hell arent meant to be used running at high speeds down the mountain! At the bottom, my feet were super crying and hurt like hell. I hoped a bus to the station, and fell asleep on the way. Got to the station, got on a train, and went home.
fun day.


ps. post 100, if that means anything, and Boonen is losing. balls.

Day 2?

I slept in the living room again, which was nice and cool. I woke up with everyone nice and early, and took the bus with my mom to her work, at Ritsumeikan university. There, she pointed in a general direction, said "go that way, and be back in time for lunch" or something along those lines, and went off to work. So, I went to Kinkakuji, which is sometimes called the golden pavillion by those who cant pronounce Japanese, and boy, is it indeed gold. Took a bunch of pictures. Then I wandered around for a while, went to the Kyoto World Peace museum, and then went to Ritsumeikan. There, I inquired about foreigners entering Japanese universities, got some info, and met my mom for lunch. After lunch, she gave me a bus ticket, and I met my little brother and some of his friends who were done with school early. We went to a bunch of different temples, and waded through the really humid Kyoto weather. We came across a vintage bicycle shop. Can you say wooden rims?! Can you say really really expensive?! They sure can!


Monday, July 10, 2006


I arrived yesterday. I took the Shinkansen, which was fun, but it was really gray outside, so I couldnt see very well. I had a couple seats to my self, which was also really nice. Then I arrived in Kyoto, and met my family, and they are also really nice. Kyoto is hella hot and humid which isnt really nice. There is a dad and mom and a girl a year younger than me and a boy Ethans age, which I think is like 14. The son is super cool, we hang out a lot. After I arrived, we drove to a place not easily accesible by buses or trains (thats why we drove) to a cool temple. We drove back home to Uji, which is a little ways south of Kyoto, where we picked up their daughter, and went to dinner. We came home, and I dont really remember what we did to kill time, but about midnight the brother asked me if I wanted him to wake me up about 3:30 so that we could watch the world cup. Instead of sleeping in my room (that is to say, the room that was vacated by my brother for me), I brought my futon into the living room, and we slept there. Then, at 3:30, we woke up and watched the World Cup final. That was hella exciting. Pity about the result, but I had fun. Then, we slept a little bit more, and woke up very very tired. Today, my mom and I left the house last, and she got me acquinted with the trains. I take a several minute bike ride on a small Japanese bike to Uji station, and ride into Kyoto. There, she got me briefly acquinted with the buses. After that, we went to Higashi and Nishi Honganji, which were both fabulous, but both also under construction, so we couldnt see all of it. The construction started 8 years ago, and finishes in 2 or 3. After that, we met up with my brother who was done with school (exams), ate lunch, and then went shopping. It is currently a really big festival week in Kyoto, so my mom thought it would be good if we had yukata so that we would look nice. We went to Isetan, which is a fancy departmant store, and both my brother and I tried on yukata. Designer yukata? Anyway, my mom decided that she wanted to buy me a yukata, which was very nice of her, because it came out to about 31000 yen, which is almost 300 dollars! She thought it would be best it I got the cheater obi, which has velcro, so that I dont have to tie it my self, which is really really difficult. Then we were going to meet up with my sister, but Im not really sure why we didnt, but we just came straight home. I bought some cycling manga, and we read them on the train. Tomorrow we go to Kinkakuji, pity my camera is almost out of memory! better get that sorted out really fast.
Oh, lousy news! I can't go to the Kyoto Imperial Palace, Senso Palace, Katsura-Rikkyu, or the one other fance Imperial villa, because...Im not old enough! You have to be 18 to enter, and I could certainly pass for it (the guy at the ticket place thought I was at least 20), but you have to bring your passport of alien reg. card, both of which say I am 17. Suck!


mom and dad, I will send my current address as soon as I know it, could you please send I rather nice (but not extravegent) Minnesota thing for my family?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Smooth, like chunky peanut butter.

Just so you know, ice cream is for lovers. I will get to that in a second. Today was my last full day in Tokyo for 3 weeks! It was also my last day at school until September, which has pretty sad, and I won't see a number of kids probably ever again, as they leave on their exchange programs in two weeks. I wished my class good luck in Canada (school trip), wished good luck to some of the kids going overseas, and left. Wait, no I didn't. So, I hate leaving. Especially when the girl that you like was taking a test. So I waited. And waited. And finally I caught up with her, with this really unsmooth technique. So, I got her email a couple of days a go, and 2 days ago, we mailed a whole bunch. At one point, I asked her what she was doing, and she said she was eating ice cream, and at the bottom of the message, there was an attachment. She had attached a picture of her Haagendaz (sp?) vanilla ice cream. What? I replied saying it looked really good, and that now I wanted to eat ice cream too. She said I should go and buy some, but she would have eaten hers ahead of mine. I didnt really know what that meant, so I asked, and she said she was making fun of me. According to her, people like good relations in Japan often make fun of each other. Then, the next day, after school I ate some ice cream and mailed her and said that I was sorry that I had eaten ice cream ahead of her. So, here is my peanut butter. Today, I said because yesterday and the day before had been at different times, if today, she wanted to eat ice cream with me. Smooth, like, well, ice cream? We stopped on the way to the station and each got melon shakes at McDonalds, which was pretty terrible, but her friend was with us, so we wont really count that. Then, we took the train to Shibuya, which is where she lives, and walked around. We went to a big everything store and she bought a game, then we went to a book store and she bought some manga. We stopped briefly infront of the Tour de France display and I talked to her a little about bikes. Then we just sorta walked. There werent any ice cream specialty stores near buy, so we were forced to get some ice cream from the conbini, which wasnt terrible, but not what I had really wanted. Then we walked some more, all in Shibuya, but into the residential area, which is very neat, because not at all what people think about when they think of Shibuya. We walked and talked for a bit, and then all of a sudden, she stopped. "Ok, I'm home." I had walked her home, which has weird, because I didnt know it. I said something along the lines about hanging out over summer, but it was rather vague, and then we parted. Bummer. I walked somemore and ended up in Yoyogi koen, which is a very large park with lots of cool things to do, and came across an Earth day esque festival. It reminded me of Saturday Market, but it was a bunch of Japanese pot smoking hippies, which was kinda fun. I met two nice highschool girls there, how I met them had to do with looking for the trash can, and I one of them tapped me on the shoulder, but I didnt see her, so I swung around and almost hit her, and we started talking from there. They wanted to take their picture with me, and I happily obliged. I got there emails too, but Id rather talk to the girl from my school. I went home after that, and as sorta of a goodbye party, though it was also good bye for my brother because he goes to Canada on the 10th, and we went to a yakiniku place, which if I translated directly it would come out along the lines of fried meat, but iot was one of those places where raw meat and vegis come, and you fry them yourselves on a little griddle in the middle of the table. Tasty!

I saw a really great shirt on a little boy the other day and wanted to take a picture, but it is really akward to ask a parent "Hi, can I take a picture of your 3 year old sons shirt?" It had a picture of a robot holding a soccer ball and the robot had the traditional manga sweat dropesque thing on his head, and it said "What is 'hand'?" Sweet.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

General news update.

Portugal lost, which made me sad, because Figo is amazing, and old as the hills, though Zidane is actually older, Figo has been playing for longer. I think. I got an email from my older brother, which made me happy. Boonen lost the sprint, which made me sad, but kept the yellow, which made me happy, and I chatted a bunch with this girl that I like, which made me even happier. I am going to Uji on the 9th, my Shinkansen leaves Tokyo station at 11:33 am and arrives in Kyoto at 13:53 which is cool. I am stoked to be getting out of school, and getting a vacation, but there is a drawback. When I comeback from Kansai, it will be summer vacation, and I wont see any of my friends, which is really boring. I have to spend friday and saturday getting contact info for friends so that we can hang during the summer. What should I say to this girl? Anything special?

I think that is all for now,


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The fourth of what?

I missed the fourth of july for I think the 4th year out of the last 5, or something like that. Rough. Well, that isnt especially rough, but this is: Valverde crashed and broken his collarbone! All of my top 3 choices are out of the Tour! hidoi (severe, used like shitty)!
I am just sitting around the house all wet, it is crazy raining over here, and I trapsed (sp?) all over town today, and bought some cool cloths. I also road the train a bit out of my way just to stand and chat with this girl that I like from school. I got her cell number and mail!



ps, Valverde: if you are reading this, get well soon.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

World Cup Redux

Grrrr. You know you aren't doing very well when your top two choice for the Tour get DQ'ed, and your first two choices for the World Cup both lose. Argentina lost to Germany, and Brazil lost to France, but I will admit that Thiery Henry's goal was absolutely gorgeous. And the Portugese keeper stopping 3 of Englands PKs? that was sweet.
I went with some classmates to Asakusa today so that they could by souvenirs to give to their host families when they get to Canada. I bought a fortune at Senso-ji, which was kinda fun, all I did was shake a can, and take the number, then open the box with the corresponding number and took out the paper in the box. "It is a good time to start a trip" it says, which is nice, because I leave for Kansai in a week. Among other things, it also said now is a good time for marriage. I hope this could be applied to getting a girlfriend too, but oh well.
I bought some cool pants and a cool shirt.

"I often goes cycling for recreation, lets go for a walk!"
and a drawing of a bike.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tour Redux.

Now that my first and second are out, Valverde is going to win. Im not sure Vino has the team, most of them being kicked out, and Americans? Landis won too many races early on, I think he will be pretty pooped. No podium, but Chris Horner will have a good tour. Boonen takes the green, unless he drops out, AGAIN.

Had a great day. After school, I went and met Dash, and we hung out the whole day. Wondered some, ate some, for dinner we went to this amazing 300 year old Tofu restaurant. Tofu wine? I wish I could buy alcohol. I probably could, I think I am looking kinda old. I dunno. Not that I drink, but come on, tofu wine? Got to stay out late, came home before my curfew, which made my parents happy, finally found a book I was looking for (Endo Shusaku's Foreign Studies, but in Japanese) and also got a facing page (Englihs and Japanese) translation of bushido. Cool beans.

Dash gave me a Ritter Sport bar that he had brought from the US, had schlepped it all over Japan, and it was awesome. I started eating it waiting for the train coming home, and by the time I arrived, it was gone. shucks

love to all