Friday, April 29, 2005

No more pencils, no more books... more giving ankle biters dirty looks!

Well, for the next 10 days in anycase. Yup, had my last classes today, and Golden Week is o-ficially here! Woohoo!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Big Day In Sapps & Night Out w/ the BOE

As sort of expected, M wasn't among the land of the living by 10AM, so I took the train into Sapporo by myself. 4,000 yen ($40) for round-trip tix...OUCH!

Got to the D.O.T. type place without a hitch and man was it alot easier than I thought it'd be. Just filled out a few forms, paid my 350 yen, waited less than 5 minutes, and boom, I was outta there.

Since I was in town, I gave my buddy Ed a call (he's a graduate student at the University of Hokkaido), and we hooked up for lunch. It was a gorgeous day today, so we ate out on the grass in front of the library on campus. Thank God spring is actually finally here. We ended up going in on a camping guide to Hokkaido for our big trip around the island next week. More on that later.

Afterwards, made the usual stop at Yodobashi Camera. Couldn't help myself and splurged on a new game for my PSP: Wipeout Pure. Hopefully I can eventually get the browser hack to work and turn the PSP into my new mobile e-mail checker.

After a look around Kinokuniya (see post below), had to start back home, but before catching the 4PM train home, got my grease fix @ McDonald's. 500 yen for a double cheeseburger, fries & a Coke to can ya beat that? Some old lady on the train gave me dirty looks for eating on public transport, but minded her own friggin business once I shot her the same look back.

Fell asleep on the train, but managed to wake up before we hit Takikawa at 10 till 5. Rushed home, dropped my stuff, and Misa ran me over to Bellco, this big ceremony hall where the Takikawa Board of Education was having it's welcome party for new staff at 6. A bit pricey at 2,000 yen for such a skimpy little bit o' food, but at least the booze was pouring fast and furious. Boring as usual, but like I least it was all you can drink. ;)

Now off to bed (I'm shot), as I've got classes again tomorrow and still have to come up with a lesson plan for two classes of way too energetic kids before I leave the house in the morning. On thie other hand, it is kinda nice though, as the school I'll be at tomorrow, Ebeotsu Elementary, has some of the best kids of any school in Takikawa, and they treat me like a total super star there.

Ah...I'm so abused *grin*

Sapporo's New Kinokuniya Bookstore

Ok, I've officially become Japanese...I'm taking pictures of buildings for pete's sake...

Anyhoo, this is the new Kinokuniya next to Sapporo Station. Pretty swank place that really reminds me of Barnes & Noble or Borders, but Maruzen near Mitsukoshi further downtown has a helluva better English book selection. Figured while I was there I should at least pick something up, so since they didn't have any of the Left Behind books (so sue me...I wanna see what all the hubbub is about), I settled for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Big Stars Coming To Takikawa!

Absolutely no idea who these people are, but saw the sign on the way in to Sapporo this morning and thought it was a cool sign, being hand painted and all. Lots of Japanese movie posters are still hand painted like this too.

My Drugs

These're the drugs that I got from going to the hospital the other day. 8 different types three times a day. Oh's only a 4-day prescription. I guess with this many different kinds 4 days does the trick...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Off to Sapporo in the morning

Can't seem to find the safety inspection papers for my truck, so I'm taking the day off tomorrow and going into Sapps with M to get another set. Hopefully 1) it won't be too much of a pain in the ass and 2) it'll be nice weather so we can have lunch in Odori Park...defo one of the primo things to do in Sapporo once the tundra melts.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Not the most pleasant of experiences

As expected, school starts and I come down with something again. Felt like absolute shit on Thursday aftertoon, and even though I made it to school on Friday morning, was running a fever and promptly told to go to the hospital.

So I head off to the Takikawa City Hospital as the place I normally go to (Bunya) doesn't open till sometime after 9. I get to the hospital around 8:30, make my appointment and begin to wait. Sometime between 9 and 9:30 I finally get in to see the doctor and he tells me that they need to do a flu test. "No biggy" I'm thinking, imagining some kinda blood test. Oh boy how wrong I was.

They take me into this room and proceed to pull out this daddy-sized q-tip lookin' thing and the nurse tells me it's gonna be a little uncomfortable as she jams it up my left nostril. Gonna be a little uncomfortable my ass. Nope...left nostril's too stuffed up, we we've gotta try the right one. She rams it up there so hard that my nose explodes in blood as she's wriggling it around trying to get a good sample. At the same time, I'm flailing around like crazy, she's trying to hold my head still, my eyes're watering like there's no tomorrow, and there's this fountain of blood streaming down my face. After it's all said & done, what does she give me to clean my self up? A couple of kleenex, of course, then she tells me to go wait in the lobby. "How long is this gonna take?" "Just go wait," she tells me. Yes, Nurse Wratchet.

Half an hour later, I'm still waiting and realize I need to go to the post office, so I find Nurse Wratchet and ask if I have time. She tells me that the test results take half an hour, and I'm like, huh? but take off for the p.o. anyway.

Long story short, I get back and wait some more...and some more...and some more...and finally ask how much longer this is gonna take. "Oh, I'm sorry...we forgot about you" Ahhh...Japanese medicine at it's finest. Thankfully, turns out I don't have the flu, but instead have some kinda bacterial infection or virus (doctor wasn't sure which). Yea!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


And am probably coming down w/ a cold...or hayfever. Probably a nice little viral present from the ankle biters at school. OL at the BOE today told me only nice people get colds. Maybe I should be more of an asshole.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Email test post

Let's see if this really works...

"The improbable we can handle...the impossible just takes a little more time."

My Dad

Americans need to understand the difference between patriotism and nationalism. A patriot loves his land and his people. A nationalist loves his government. The patriot voluntarily does what is necessary to protect his land and his people. A nationalist blindly obeys his government.

Charley Reese

Long day

Long day today. First day of classes back at Dai San elementary - one of the 7 elementary schools I teach at. The school year, just like about every other type of fiscal year here runs from April 1st through March 31st, so lots of new kids & classes. 5 periods of very genki 3rd & 4th graders. Most of the kids were great, but there's a few I can tell are gonna be little shits. Such is life I guess.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

First post

Well, in an attempt at better keeping in touch with with family & friends, as well as sharing pics of life here in the great white north o' Japan, I've set up my first blog. Hopefully lots more to come...