Thursday, June 30, 2011


Last night I got home at a decent hour so I took it upon myself to rearrange my room. I rotated the bed to be parallel to the window and moved the desk to be away from the window.
Now I can open the window and be at my desk without worrying about any possible freaks looking in at me. And the AC is now directed at the desk and my computer instead of almost uselessly at the foot of the bed. Yay.

As for the LOFT bag from yesterday, that would be the long red pillow on the bed. It was on sale and I couldn't resist. The black one next to it, I will introduce later. But here's a hint: his name is ChanSeba.
I'm really digging the red in the room. Next I want two small green rugs, the same size, but different shades of green. I could rearrange them and the apple heart rug at will. I already have my eye on two candidates at Loft but I want to check out a few other places first. Might find something better. Something befitting the name Cas... Apple. Ooh, even better: Ringo. Oooh! Ricchan! Perfect!

Okay, focus.!(b^ー°)

Life in shared living is fun when you're living with people you get along with. The girl across the way from me and I have spent the last two nights gabbing away until past midnight. Way dangerous. Especially when I have a 7am lesson and need to get up at 4:30.

But it's nice to have a long actual conversation after a day of monitored speaking practice disguised as conversation. I do enjoy work, but it is just that: work. It's paid conversation with a purpose. So when I come home it's awesome to talk with someone for hours for no reason at all.

Anyways, I'm on my way to my grandmother's with over an hour and 2 trains left so I'll stop here.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inquiring minds want to know

I'm carrying a rather big LOFT bag with me and am likely to become a rather big annoyance to other people on the train right...about...NOW (just got to Yaba-cho) and now for the transfer rush at Kamimaezu.

Now as for what is in my LOFT bag, you'll have to wait for tomorrow morning's post.

LOFT is so damn dangerous. Especially while I'm still settling into my place. So much fun stuff! And so much that fits the theme I gave my room: Apples.

I'm living in an all-women's dorm and the chairs and curtains in each room are a different color and pattern. My room has a red chair and apple trees on the curtains. Coupled with my current Castle obsession (Red) Apples (a la Flowers for Your Grave and The Mistress Always Spanks Twice) was the obvious choice.

Mmm Castle.


One more day

Typing in the title, Les Mis came to mind. One Day More, One More Day.

So I have a semi-full plate today, thanks to a glitch in my head when I turned in my schedule. Wednesdays I'm supposed to give myself a max 8 lessons, but I opened 12. I start at 7 and end at 7.

BUT! I have tomorrow off. And I'm looking forward to a number of lessons today. While the keyword today is Survival, I have a bit of relief.

I was foolish last night and chatted with one of the girls in the house until past midnight. It was good to talk with her, but Damn, did I need that sleep. At least I got my train.

My brain is not functioning. Saving the coffee until I get to work. I fear the crash that follows.

Yeah. Tonight is home, then sleep. Tomorrow may be my day off but I'm headed to my grandmother's.

Still waiting for my second train...but signing off.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ooh! Shiny!

Taken on the way to work. Since I was early, I got off the train before my usual stop and saw this clock as I walked through the station.

Especially since the main lights in the station were still off at 6:20, it had this awesome eery glow to it. I probably could have stared at it for an hour, but work was waiting for me.

Just as home awaits me now.


Getting into the groove

I'm finally starting to learn to not turn on my computer in the morning, saving me at least 10min.

This morning it wasn't really a choice. I woke up at 5 and had 40min to get out of the house so I couldn't bother. Not much changes in the few hours that I sleep, so it makes sense for me to reroute possible PC time to breakfast. Even if breakfast is only yogurt with black sesame and brown sugar.

Totally unrealated, a kid (and by that I mean early 20s) with a mullet just got on the train. He and the girls hardly look like early morning risers.

Alrighties,at work. Must prep.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Good morning.

So in contrast to yesterday, this morning I managed to wake up at 4:30, shower, eat breakfast, check my email, and even catch the 5:56 train.

Now that I'm sitting on the train, the urge to take a nap once I get to work is creeping up on me, but I'm on my way there so it's nothing a 100yen can of coffee can't fix.

In July I'll start my possibly insane early-morning-late-night schedule. It should give me a bit of freedom in the day for a siesta or studying or just getting chores and errands done. Like making lunch...though if I'm home, I won't need to bring lunch. Score.

On a completely different note, I need to think of a different phrase to end posts. At first I liked Signing off, but now it feels contrived. I need something I won't be tired of after a few days. I like ではでは and use it all the time in my texts and real life, but would the Japanese be appropriate? I suppose it would since at its core my brain is an uncontrolled mix of English and Japanese. A reminder of that. I have a Japanese blog and no intention of writing in Japanese on this blog since that would defeat the purpose.

Totally forgot to send this a few hours ago.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thoughts on an empty stomach

I seriously have no clue what day of the week it is.

Well, that isn't completely true. Regardless of not registering it's Sunday, I somehow knew I have a 7am tomorrow. So I know that tomorrow is a weekday. It's just "Sunday" that didn't click.

Oh, and I just realized that changing into jeans after work is a glorious way to switch gears and wind down on the way home rather than just crashing when I get home.

I'm not worried about the wear and tear, sweat, or rain. Or being an English teacher. I'm just a girl who lives in her own little world and keeps time according to a clock that has a mind of its own.

When I'm me, I'm myself. I don't have to explain myself. There is no right answer. I can just see the world the way I see it. Freedom.

We all have our crosses to bear. I'm lucky; I get to choose mine. When you draw that line yourself, you only have yourself to blame. I have the feeling that when you accept that and understand where that line is in respect to all the other lines out there, you have the potential to reach a state of awesomeness.

And it looks like late night blogging on an empty stomach makes for some interesting? content.

Alrighties getting some stuff for breakfast and heading home to bed.

Until tomorrow.


As I was with papers in college, it seems my gift for finding something to do with my spare time is a curse if I give myself extra time.

In other words, my time management skills suck.

And not only am I on a train 10min later than I'd like, I foolishy calculated enough time to change after getting to the office. That would be the 10min lost on the commute. At least I prepped for my first three last night so my only concerns are sweat and clothes.

I'm like that oni who wanted to be human and one of the gods said he would grant that wish if the oni built 1000 stone steps towards the sky in a single night. Exicited, the oni built the stairs as fast as he could. At midnight he was almost finished, so he decided to take a nap; he was tired and had hours before dawn. When he opended his eyes, the horizon was growing light. In a panic he worked to finish, but just as he began the thousandth step, sunlight struck the oni, marking his failure. No matter how much he begged, the god would not let him try again.

I should know better. Extra time gives me a false sense of security. I work best under pressure but not panicked pressure. Panic tends to lead to a flurry of flailing about, and while some find that entertaing, it's hardly productive.

Balance. I need to find a balance that works for me.

3 hours later: Well I made it to work. Barely. And without time to grab food. Sleepy, hungry and tired. But not late.

Signing off.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's getting hot in here...

Apartments facing south usually have higher rent in Japan because they're generally nicer in the winter with the extra sun. I chose a room facing North because I prefered the view and I save 5000yen in the process. There are ways to deal with the cold and being on the second floor will probably help too.

But I'll worry about that when winter comes. Now? Now it's summer. And it's hot. And a Northern window being cooler doesn't keep my room from heating up like mad.

If it was just me, I wouldn't put too much thought into it, but I don't want to torture my laptop like that. I put it away every morning in a drawer with anti-humidity packs and yesterday I finally had enough of a gap in my schedule to drop by Loft and get some sun-blocking curtains. As you can see in the pic, they work pretty well. Less light=less heat. I have my hopes up. Though I still put my laptop in the drawer.

Off to another long day. Signing off.

Friday, June 24, 2011

ONE PIECE, One World

Heading home at 11pm isn't so bad when you have the satisfaction of experiencing first hand how ONE PIECE can unite the world.

Of course it helps that I'm obsessed and can outtalk most people when it comes to ONE PIECE and Odacchi (though I don't stand a chance against true fanatics). This means I can expand beyond the classic, Whose your favorite character? and venture into debates like Who is the strongest and should Devil Fruit powers be taken into consideration? and What do you think is the Will of D and do you think that links to the Blank Century from 800 years ago?

ONE PIECE is as deep as it is hilarious and entertaining. You get invested in the characters and their dreams become your dreams. You want them to succeed and you know they will, but you still want to see their journey through to the end. No matter what you think will happen, Odacchi's vision and his ability to deliver that vision will surpass your expectations.

That is the awesomeness that is ONE PIECE.

And yes, this is what happens when I get off work at 11pm. Might be worse than drunk posting... Get ready for it. I have about 15 nights next month when I end at 11.

Getting close to my station. Signing off.

Trying something new

Wearing rather casual clothes to work with my jacket and slacks in my backpack.

On Tuesday, following some pouring rain at 3am, Summer arrived. I'm not entirely against summer except when I'm going to work in work clothes. Especially with a job that is so focused on appearance.

I need to get some more slacks but I have no spare cash thanks to Japanese pension and only having a third of a month to work my first month.

Next month I work early mornings and late nights so hopefully carrying my clothes to work won't be neccessary.

Alrighties. Let my week begin. Signing off.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Spent the night at my grandmother's.

It feels so good to get away from Nagoya. I like the city, but I need to get away and go home. And by home I mean my grandmother's. It's always been my second home, but like when I started on JET, it has become a place for me to be me and not what is expected of me.

A place for me to breathe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I woke up at 5 this morning and I'm going to be a bit late. Not to mention I'm praying that my hair stays decent since I didn't quite get the chance to do anything with it.

5am. I'm sure my friends from high school wouldn't believe it. I was a night owl. Zero period orchestra was always a nightmare. I was there early enough to set up chairs and such, but being there physically never guranteed my mental capacity. I remember once when I fell asleep while playing a piece.

Today is a short day and I've taught everyone before so it's less stressful than a day full of new faces.

Not much to write today. Well, publicly anyways. If I think of something, I'll write it on my way home.

Signing off.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Headed home

One thing I love about my job is the flexibility.

I had three lessons in the morning and one scheduled in the afternoon. I closed my noon sessions since I was meeting a friend for lunch. After teaching two lovely lessons in the morning, I gave away my afternoon lesson since the student didn't specifically request me and closed my afternoon lessons, subsequently ending my day at 11am.

Meet my friend for a delicious lunch and heard all about her Bali trip (she flew into Centrair and dropped by Nagoya on her way home). We had sweets after and then I saw her off.

Since I was in Meieki, I decided to check Tokyu Hands for fun stuffs, you know, like coffee pots and umbrellas and shoe coverings and alarm clocks and messenger bags and coffee grinders and stuff like that. I ended up spending most of the contents of my wallet on a fan.

And now I'm walking home in the blazing sun. While living on the top of a hill is great exercise, I don't care much for the sweat. LooKs like I got my fan just in time.

Signing off.

Good (or not-so-good) morning

I'm still learning how my body reacts to various conditions. Today I recognize I need waaay more sleep for this job than my previous jobs. The necessary level of flexibility is much greater so the psychological toll is heavier and takes longer for me to recover. Not an excuse, but I do need to take better care of myself, not just for my health but my lesson evals. Last thing I need is a negative eval because I was sleepy.

Anyways, here comes my second train. Signing off with all hopes riding on coffee on an empty stomach.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Strawberry yogurt drink, breakfast of champions

I miraculously woke up at 5am even though my phone was on manner mode and I didn't hear the 4:30 alarm. Why so early? I'm terrible with mornings and it takes me that long to get ready. Though I was able to take a 10min nap after my shower.

This kind of schedule is going to take a bit getting used to but the relatively empty train is nice.
Hrm...want to sleep

Meh, Signing off

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Office Party

Against my better judgement, I stayed until the end of a party even though I have work at 7am tomorrow.

But I'm glad I went. Made a few new friends caught up w/ some others. Life isn't too bad. It's just that I think I'm sprinting and sprinting so fast that I don't feel the pain. I just keep running. Perhaps in fear of the inevitable pain to come.

If I can just make it to Wednesday afternoon...
And then I'm back to my grandmother's for Thursday with a relatively slow Friday. Or at least that's how I remember it. I could be totally wrong about my schedule. I do know my weekend is packed.

As long as I can make it to July. In July, I can sleep.

Speaking of sleep or lack thereof, my station is next.

Signing off.

Sunday morning commute

On the train again. It's Sunday so it's not as early as weekdays. Tomorrow I'll be trying to catch a 5:45 train. And that's after taking out the trash.

It's all for the sake of money. If I can establish myself as a peak hours person, if I rank-up, I'll get more pay. Or rather, I get the same pay for less hours.

Castle said that money gave him the freedom to do what he wants, write and be with Alexis. Such an ideal life. And until I can find what is to me that mystery novels are to Castle, I'm just going to have to work. Pay the bills and, more depressing, the taxes.

Next month, I'll get some of that time that I'm paying for this month. A month that is two-thirds over. Though according to my schedule, I've only taught half my lessons for the month. Scary.

Alrighties, one more station until my stop. Signing off.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not too shabby

I've been having my ups and downs since coming to Nagoya, more downs than ups to tell the truth, but today was a decent day. All I did was go to work, but that's what June is about for me. Come July, I work AND play, especially when that paycheck comes in. Museums, libraries, the aquarium, the zoo, cafes, tea shops, stationery stores, gardens, photo walks, just think of the possibilities!

Anyways, back to today, I'm not sure how my evals are going to come back, but out of 10 clients today, three looked at the notes I gave them (filled w/ corrections, pronunciation hints, sentences created by combining shorter sentences said by the client), smiled and called at least one of my sentences "beautiful" and that has got to count for something.

There's a level of language ability where you'll know it when you see it, but can't quite get it yourself and as long as pride doesn't get in the way, you can experience a happiness and relief when someone gives it to you because it means it *is* possible for your thoughts to manifest in that language.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


So I know I owe you an update about life in Japan and it's coming. No, really. It is. But in my usual way, I've found something completely random to post about first and my priorities just work like that.

Back when I was in Boston, I was part of an online community called Postcrossing, that was about sending and receiving postcards from around the world because snail mail, sending and receiving real physical mail, is still awesome. I used to take blank postcards and create something inspired by the receiver's profile. Some where well received and others, not so much. I stopped Postcrossing after my first semester for whatever reason and when I moved back to California, I decided I didn't want to use my parents' address, so I made my account inactive.

But now that I'm in Japan and at my own address again, I've made my account active again. Though the difference is that this time, since I'm in Japan, land of glorious stationery, I've decided to take the person's profile and browse the postcard sections of my favorite stores, namely LOFT and Tokyu Hands, and look for the perfect postcard that represents both what the recipient wants but still represents me and Japan. In some ways, it's kind of like what I do for work. Except more fun since this involves long periods of time looking at postcards and actually buying them.

With my current work schedule it took me longer than I'd like for me to get to the store to pick out the cards, but I think I made some fine choices, if I do say so myself.

What choices, you ask? You'll have to wait for that. It's 11pm and I need to go to bed because I have a morningu date with an old Hama friend. What is "morningu" you ask? You'll have to wait for that one too.