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    Week 1:   1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   6th   7th  
    Week 2:   8th   9th   10th   11th   12th   13th   14th  
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    Week 4:   23rd   24th   25th   26th   27th   28th   29th   30th   31st  
Image Jump:
  • Melissa's Corner October
  • Big Bug in Bathtub
  • Nursery School Nut Picking
  • Cemetery Plots
  • Bunkasai! (School Festival)
  • The School Gym Transformed
  • The Jack-o-Lantern I Carved
  • The 9th Graders Dance
  • Halloween Costumes on Japanese Kids
  • Kagura, Kagura, Kagura!
  • Pornograffiti
  • Week 1

    Wednesday, Oct 1, 2003

    Thursday, Oct 2, 2003

      IN A NUTSHELL: I Am One With the World Again

      An Appointment With NTT Somehow, I got permission to miss a class this morning so NTT could come over and install ISDN for me. (Yay!) I wanted to take more advantage of it and sleep in, but it was garbage day and I had no idea how early the garbagemen came, so I carried all my garbage over early. Anyway, the NTT guys came right on schedule and I immediately called Jicho-san as he requested (isn't that nice of him). It was all quite simple. I think I already had the wiring, so they just gave me a box (glad I did not try to buy one cheap in Hiroshima) and plugged me in and gave me software. The software was acting weird at first, but Jicho-san and I figured it out (we had to let the computer decide how to install it instead of installing direct from the CD). Then...

      I Got Internet At My House! My homepage came up then to be sure, I went to yahoo.co.jp and there it appeared. Woo hoo! I am one with the world again! It's too bad I feel even sicker today than I did yesterday. Me and my tissue box were good friends during the half-hour installation process.

      Nothing Like Cowboy Songs on a Koto I had a koto lesson today and found out I had been practicing wrong! I had the "tsume" (the koto picks) facing the wrong way. Since "tsume" means fingernail, I assumed they kind of extended out past my fingernail. Nope. The pick goes on the other side (which makes it MUCH easier to play.) Anyway, she had me play Sakura, Sakura a couple times (which I had memorized at this point) then played the duet part with me which was quite pretty. Then she takes out new music and begins playing it. Wait! I know this tune! It's Camptown Races! Woah, weird. Koto notes are haunting and melodic and just don't go with the song, but somehow it worked. She gives me the music (quite complex actually) and I gave it a go. I asked her why she chose this music (and can't believe someone transcribed an old American folk song into kanji for the koto) and she said it is easier to learn when I know the tune. This is true. Anyway, toward the end of the lesson, she went through the rest of her book. I admit, I only vaguely knew the two songs she played next, but I knew the final one: 'Oh Susanna!'

    Friday, Oct 3, 2003

    Saturday, Oct 4, 2003

      IN A NUTSHELL: Quality Time As a Couch Potato

      Spent All Morning Online Yep, found my Instant Messenger program and made good use of it. I chatted with my friends, whom I had missed, and my brother (after my parents had called then gone to bed.) It's amazing how fast four hours goes by when one is online. I did eventually get dressed and do my shopping, though it took awhile. I discovered that West Wing is on at 11pm, but they call it "The White House" here. I suppose that makes more sense. Just to be annoying it was a cliff-hanger finale. Argh! Now I must watch next Saturday!

    Sunday, Oct 5, 2003

      IN A NUTSHELL: Pringles and fluoride

      Gave Into Temptation Yes, I rented Two Towers. Could not handle the elf-withdrawal any longer. I also rented the first three episodes of "24" which has just been released on video and DVD. Because I rented "24", I got a free gift with my rental: a mini-tube of Pringles. Apparently potato chips and suspense TV shows go together that well. (Perhaps Pringles is trying to convert Japan to Pringle consumption, one Kiefer Sutherland fan at a time.)

      Commerical Breaks I admit, though, I was actually disappointed with 24; not with the show, which is fairly clever, but that they did not add in the 'commercial minutes.' In a show where the clincher is the fact that everything is happening in "real time" and every episode is exactly one hour, they have to skip two or three minutes every so often for commericals, but I was kind of hoping they would add those minutes of footage back in for the DVD. Maybe that would be far too confusing for them... and the giant, pounding ticks of the big digital clock add to the drama, I suppose.

      I'm Confused! Because I now have the internet, I'm doing research on those things I was wondering about. Tonight's topic was, "Why doesn't Japanese toothpaste have fluoride?" All I found out during my extensive searching was that fluoride might be a big hoax. I could not find a single site that defended fluoride. Several sites gave statistics on the lack of an effect, saying that fluoride does nothing good for teeth and is especially harmful if swallowed. This does not follow with my experience. Last time I was in Japan and used Japanese toothpaste (not knowing about the lack of fluoride), my teeth got kind of icky and yellowy despite my flossing and brushing. Now that I'm back on fluoride toothpaste, my teeth are nice and white again. They said that whitening is a symptom of tooth mottling, which fluoride causes. I'm really confused now. This is as bad as that time I was convinced that Shakespeare was not Shakespeare by a respected, published book. Then I found a site on the internet defending Shakespeare as Shakespeare. Sigh. Maybe ignorance is bliss.

      What Was Scarier... was that THIS site came up on Google when I did a search of "flouride [sp] Japanese toothpaste." Probably because I'm the only one who did not realize my misspelling until now. Still, Oh my God, when did Google find me?? I now feel a sudden obligation to be interesting. Oh, screw it, why start now?

    Monday, Oct 6, 2003

      IN A NUTSHELL: Maybe Recess Shouldn't Be For Adults

      The Zoo First and second graders love to pretend they are animals! I swear, they did not need the slightest extra prompting to go running all over the place acting like a bear, bird, lion, or monkey. Although I managed to yell loud enough to get their attention every 30 seconds to change animals, my voice was about gone after that.

      Stuff I learned About My Twenty-something Body Although I managed to spin myself two times around on a bar like my old gymnastics days, I am still sore where the bar was in contact with my stomach. I shouldn't take dares from mischievously cute third-graders.

      Let's Find the Power Ranger The 5th and 6th graders liked my game! Happy, happy, me. I'm not sure why my supervisor is so worried about me using English that is too hard. These kids are smart! They used the five phrases I taught them (Turn Left, Turn Right, Go Straight, Stop, and Turn Around) perfect to guide their friends to find the Power Ranger which I had someone in class hide. EVERYONE wanted to be chosen as the pair to look (though they were less excited if I paired them up with someone of the opposite sex) and EVERYONE wanted to be the one to hide the ranger. They could have played all day. It was awesome! Side note: I chose these two scrawny sixth-grade boys as a pair and realized when they walked up, that they looked exactly the same. They're twins!

      Japanese DVD Menus I did finally watch Two Towers tonight which I really should have waited to do because, being exhausted, I nearly fell asleep somewhere in the third hour. Trying to navigate the menu, which was written in a fancy kanji font, was also not fun while tired especially when there was not a single extra feature (I was hoping at least for a Return of the King trailer).

    Tuesday, Oct 7, 2003

      IN A NUTSHELL: A Memory Test

      Amazing What My Brain Forgets It took me the entire time driving to my Japanese class and the entire time driving back home to remember the names of the people I worked with for the nine months before I came to Japan. I did it sort of as a memory test for myself and think it is amazing how many names the brain discards when it is busy filling up with new names.

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