I ate so much sushi that I'm a bit out of breath and my heart is pounding. But it's not such a bad feeling. Actually, it was probably the car ride home after that made me hurt! I think I ate 15 pieces? And I mean the real piece of fish ones, not your wimpy tiny maki ones or American style rolls.
I also did three (3!) tea ceremonies today, although only one was in a Japanese style room. The first two were in chairs. During the Japanese style room one, my legs were crying because I had to kneel. Why do we say that our legs fall asleep? It doesn't feel like they're asleep; it feels like they are screaming to move. After awhile, my legs shut up and I lost all feeling in them. When it was finally over and I could stand up, I felt really dizzy and saw black. Probably because I hadn't eaten yet.
Yesterday, we went to a moon viewing festival. The Japanese had set up a pathway lit by lanterns through the rice fields. Luckily these rice fields didn't have manure in them, as most do. I was so worried that it was going to rain, but it didn't! We heard the most hauntingly beautiful flute music, played by a lady in a lovely kimono as the bamboo shoots swayed in the wind behind her. I also ate pumpkin bread with anko inside and wild boar meat on a stick. Yum! We also got to see the Japanese version of Halloween, where kids go around to houses and "rob" them of their manjuu- red bean sweets. Apparently, hardly anyone does this anymore so it's a good thing I live in such a rural place!
So all in all, I had a weekend full of Japanese traditions!
My parents came to visit me and we went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima. Kyoto was so utterly amazing. I want to go again, but I'm not sure when. Hiroshima and Nara were great too. I petted tigers and elephants in Thailand and I finally have gotten to pet deer. They are very forward and will attack you for deer crackers.
They also came up to where I live and visited two of my schools. My students were so cute! They were all lining up to shake hands and introduce themselves. My parents shook hands with at least half of all the students. It really only took one outgoing kid to break the ice and then a flood of introductions usually followed, lol.
My band competed in this city-wide contest with a bunch of music groups and we won!! So we're going to the prefecture-wide contest (a prefecture is like a state) in August but I can't go because I'm going to New York. Maybe we'll make it into the Northern region competition too? That way I can play!
Geez, I forgot to pay my internet bill for five measly months and the company totally overreacted and shut down my account ;)
It's annoying to pay, though. You get the bill in the mail and then take it to a convenience store and pay in cash at the register. I had a little pile that I meant to get around to paying. Oh well, my internet is back now :)
The cutest, most heartwarming thing happened today! We were playing four corners in my 2nd grade class. Basically, the kids run to one of the room's four corners that corresponds to a new vocabulary word. Then, if I call out the name of their corner, the kids who picked it have to sit down. The winner is the last one standing. Anyway, the smallest, most shy boy in the 2nd grade class won and he could scarcely believe it when the Japanese teacher and I announced it. His eyes went wide. "Who, me?" Then the entire class started clapping and cheering wildly for him and he was still dumbfounded but a grin was beginning to form on his face. Then the teacher told him to come up and take his pick from her treasure trove of awesome sparkling stickers and by then he was just as happy as he could be. I mean, when you were a kid you probably had a happy dream that ended like this, right? Adulation from your peers and teachers and big prizes, hehe. Kids are so cute!
I swear, whoever wrote the simplified lyrics for my schools' version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is a genius and I want to shake his/her hand. It starts out the same: "We wish you a merry Christmas x3. And a happy new year." But then: "Lets all do a little clapping. Lets all do a little clapping. Lets all do a little clapping. And spread Christmas cheer."
You know how Japanese people can't say L and say R instead?
Yeah, I've been literally on the floor laughing during every lesson. Especially because the kids see me laughing and want to make me laugh more, so they usually start screaming "Rets all do a rittre crapping!" at the top of their little lungs. Ahahah XD
I'm going to Mississippi in 10 days! And then I go to New York on the 28th! I'm am SO SO excited. There are so many things I need. Pants that fit! Decent painkillers! Shaving cream that doesn't cost $5 for a small bottle! But most importantly, deodorant. I just ran out today. Luckily, I have some mega-duty, hardcore anti-perspirant but you're only supposed to put that on twice a week and I'm worried it might not be enough. They one kind of stick deodorant in the store but it was $12 for a small stick and I didn't recognize the brand. I'm not that stinky. (Yet?)
So! If you are free between December 28th and January 6th, tell me! Also, I have no plans for New Year's Eve yet!
When I get a free moment, I'm going to start a new, more censored blog that'll talk about my time in Japan. I'll allow anyone to read it and comment without being on my friends list but please add me. I'll post the link soon :)
I just saw Passing Strange and it blew me away. The ending made me tear up and I had to hug my mom, which made her happy as a clam but embarrassed the hell out of me, lol. You'll understand why if you see it. We waited outside to get our programs signed and Colman Domingo hugged me when I told him how much I liked the show and that it touched me since I'm leaving for Japan and that it made me appreciate my mom. Then he kissed my mom's hand. Hehe XD He was incredible in it, as was the entire cast.
Go see it NOW because it's closing on Sunday. I can't understand why because it was so amazing. It really should have won more awards. But apparently Spike Lee loved it so much that he's going to film it so that's really good. I think he was in the audience tonight but I didn't see him.
I still haven't sent in my papers for Jet. They're due on Friday, eep! Plus I just noticed that there's a typo in my passport for my birthday. It hasn't been a problem and I've gone to Spain, Japan, Ireland, and France using it. I actually vaguely remember somebody at the Japanese airport quizzing me about what was on my passport and getting the birthday "wrong" but I guess I forgot about it. But it will be a big problem when I apply for a Japanese visa so I guess that's another thing I have to do. I also need to get fingerprinted at the police station and get an FBI background check.
I'm reeeeally worried about where I'll be placed. I mean, I guess there are a few thousand Jets and only so many small islands, so statistically I have a low chance of being on one. That's reassuring. But I'm also really nervous about being put in a rural place. And I'm not just being a stupid city girl when I say this. Click the lj cut for the reason. It's terrifying.
Just got back from my Jet interview. I think it went well... too well. They were really, really nice and we were laughing and joking through the whole interview. But I'd stayed up all night reading up on Japanese and US politics and practicing Japanese and then they didn't ask me any trivia questions or to speak in Japanese! It's either a bad sign or I just got really nice interviewers. The hardest part was when they asked me to sing so I started singing the theme from New York, New York, promptly forgot the lyrics and skipped to "If I can make it there, I'm gonna make it anywhere- LIKE JAPAN!" They liked that. It kinda ended on a downer when they asked about my depression but I had a pretty good answer for that.
I had two bad omens before the interview. I snapped my glasses in two and had to duct tape them back together like Harry Potter and my computer power cord is acting funny. Oh no!
Does anyone want to see Sweeney Todd? I also kinda want to see a musical before I leave. Max Brenners would be nice too.
I was in Barnes and Noble today and I saw Mel Brooks doing a CD signing. He was far away though. I would've gotten the CD for him to sign but I haven't seen Young Frankenstein yet and I've heard it wasn't that good anyway. I still want to see it, though. He was there for hours and seemed to sign every last person's cd. Aww. I love him.
Edit: Shit! Rent is going to close? I haven't seen it yet.
I am itch itch itching to see The Golden Compass. Arggghhh.
I've been acting like a hermit lately. I say it's because I have tons of work (and I do) butttt it's not like I'm doing that work when I hole myself up in my room. So I might as well go out and enjoy myself right?
10/25- Thursday- Religion paper (how long???) 10/26-Friday- History paper (1500 words) 10/27- Saturday- Brandeis concert- bus leaves at 8:15 10/29- Monday- Blog on Transformative Processes (3-5 pages) 10/31- Weds by 5 PM- Comments on 3 blogs (min 150 words each)
My baby broke today. I was emptying the spit from the main tuning slide and apparently the tuning slide is made of two pieces. One piece came out but the other piece is stuck in the horn with only half an inch poking out. I don't want to force it out. I can still play if the main tuning slide is pushed all the way in so the pieces connect but it'll be really sharp. And rehearsal is tomorrow :(