Mar 8, 2014

Level UP!

JLPT N2= Pass!
日本語能力試験N2級合格!
*cue Final Fantasy victory music*

Feb 4, 2014

So How 'Bout Them Seahawks, Eh?

There's really not much left to say about the Super Bowl.  I've never been a fan of football; to be honest I couldn't care less about it.  Don't understand it a bit.  I'm definitely more content with my basketball-, baseball-, and soccer-type sports.

However, I won't lie and say that I wasn't caught up in all of this 12th-Man Fever.  Being here during such a pivotal moment in Seattle sports history has been pretty exciting, if for no other reason than the atmosphere.

Didn't get to watch the game, as I worked the whole time, but I definitely knew it when we won.  And I definitely made sure to get wound up in the aftermath.  ;)


The horns, the screaming, the blocked traffic and rerouted buses, the mayhem and the chaos...
The naked people.

Oohhhh, the naked people.

You'll always have a special place in my heart, Seattle!

Jan 30, 2014

Snowboarding Part Deux

Just some pictures and stuff from my snowboarding adventure last Saturday.  I was worried I'd be just as terrible as my first time, as I hadn't been in the two years since then.  But surprisingly I did fairly well, for only my second time (third, if you count the second day of my first time)!  Ash had gone a few times before, since we planned to go together and she wanted to get some practice in so we could actually enjoy some boarding, instead of just falling.  It was SW's first time though, but luckily Ash's friend is a patient teacher and helped her along.  She got the hang of it fairly quickly and was able to enjoy the last couple times down the bunny slope with us. :)


 




 

 
 


Jan 24, 2014

Translation Practice: News Article

As part of my study routine, I try every week to read an article in Japanese and write down all the kanji and words I don't know.  This week ended up being a fairly short article so I decided to translate it as well.

For those who don't know, Yasukuni is the controversial shrine dedicated to those who have served the Emperor of Japan in wars up through World War II, including some war criminals.
I have my own thoughts and opinions, but am interested to hear what others think too.

"There Are No Heroes at Yasukuni"  PM Abe Explains to Foreign Press

Asahi Shimbun Digital  January 23rd (Thurs)  Posted 5:13

At the World Economic Forum  annual meeting on the 22nd (session in Davos), Japanese Prime Minister Shinzou Abe spoke at an assembly to the media leaders of participating countries about his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine at the end of last year.  "It's not to praise the so-called class-A war criminals.  There are no war heroes there, just the spirits of those fallen in the war.  There's no feeling of hatred or hostility, I wasn't trying to disgrace anyone," he stated.     

When asked by the Chinese media, "Do you think the war criminals are heroes?", the Prime Minister explained further: "I just want to comfort the spirits of the dead.  I want to show my appreciation to those people.  Wanting to pay respects to those who fought for their country is an attitude shared by all world leaders."
"I want to create a world where people don't have to suffer the ravages of war again," he also added.     

When asked about the dangers of military conflict with China over the Senkaku Islands, Abe remarked: "The current military tension is damage caused by both countries.  It is very important to avoid any accidental conflict, and am thus suggesting making a sort of 'communication channel.'"

Asahi Shimbun Co.

(Original article here
(Original text below) 


「靖国にヒーローはいない」 安倍首相、海外記者に説明

 朝日新聞デジタル 1月23日(木)5時13分配信

 安倍晋三首相は22日、世界経済フォーラム年次総会(ダボス会議)に参加している各国メディア幹部らとの会合で、昨年末に靖国神社に参拝した理由につい て「いわゆるA級戦犯を称揚するためではない。そこには(戦争の)ヒーローがいるのではなく、戦争に倒れた人々の魂があるだけ。憎しみもないし敵意もない し、人を辱めようというつもりはない」と述べた。

 中国メディアが「戦争犯罪者を英雄だと思っているのか」と質問したのに答えた。首相はさらに「ただ魂を慰霊したい。その人たちに感謝したいという思いが あるだけ。国のために戦った人に手をあわせるのは、世界のリーダーの共通の姿勢だ」と説明。「二度と再び戦争の戦禍で人々が苦しむことがない世界をつくり たいという思いだ」とも述べた。

 出席者から尖閣諸島をめぐる中国との軍事衝突の危険性への認識を問われると、首相は「軍事的衝突は日中両国にとってダメージだ」とした上で、「偶発的な衝突が起こらないようにすることが重要だ。コミュニケーションチャンネルを作ろうと申し入れている」と述べた。

朝日新聞社

Jan 6, 2014

Resolutions 2014

It's that time of year again.  I'm rather late with this, and couldn't remember most of my resolutions from last year until I looked them up, which is probably very telling on how I did.  On to the breakdown: 
1.  Keep up with the studying, drinking tea, regular sleep schedule, and regular haircuts.
Hmmmm, I did okay with the studying, but that kinda went down the crapper the past few  months after I moved back to Seattle.  Same with the tea-drinking, regular sleep schedule, and haircuts.  The haircut thing is forgiven because I was trying to grow it out.  Still got it cut at least twice though.
2.  Go running at least once a week.  (Once the Other Job ends I should hopefully be able to do it more than once a week)
Haha!  Nope.
3.  Budget and spend money more wisely, and build up my savings.
 I did decently enough.  Didn't save as much as I had hoped but save I did.
4.  Read at least one book in Japanese.

Haha!  Nope again.

5.  Travel to at least one new place.

YES!!  Went to Mt. Fuji (and climbed it!) and to Kagoshima/Yakushima with Roomie and Yuu.

6.  ?????????????????????????  (I will reveal what this is later on.. For now I'm keeping this to myself, because I feel like I'm more likely to succeed with my plans when no one else knows about them.  Strange, I know, but still..)
 I believe initially this was to enter into a Japanese language school, but financially and logistically (due to visa laws/ school policies/ etc..) it just wasn't feasible, so it changed to be "save enough money for and apply to a Japanese language school", which I definitely did! 

So, three out of six.  Fifty-percent.  Eh, coulda been worse...
Now, on to resolutions for 2014!  A lot of which will be the same resolutions I had for 2012.

1.  Drastically cut back on my sugar intake.
2.  Eat better in general and plan out my meals for each week.
3.  Limit my playtime on the internet and do more productive things.
4.  Stick to a regular study schedule.
5.  Pay off my credit card.
6.  Go running at least once a week.
7.  Read at least one book in Japanese.
8.  ???????????????????

I'm giving myself some leeway and allowing myself to start at the end of January.  The sugar thing (and junk food in general) has been spoiled by the copious amounts I received over the holidays.  I have even tried to give a lot of it away, but still have a ton which I have been consuming at a disgusting rate.  :P  
And the internet playtime?  Really need to work on that.  I do believe it is an addiction, and I hate hate HATE feeling addicted to things..
Ohhhh, and another mystery resolution?  You'll have to wait until 2015 to find out what that one is.  Dun-dun duunnnnnn!

What are your resolutions if you made any??

Jan 2, 2014

2013 In Review

*Celebrated the New Year in Phoenix with my friends and family.
*Drove for the first time in Japan!  Helping S move from Ibaraki to the Tokyo area.
*Lost my Grandma R... no more grandmas left in my family.  :(
*Went to Coworker C's beautiful wedding.
*Finished my dreaded "Other Job".
*Roomie and I celebrated our birthdays with some friends at Fuji-Q (until we were rained and snowed out..)
*A visit from my mum, finally!
*Scaled Mt. Fuji with Ash, Roomie, and Yuu!
*hide MUSEUM and Sumidagawa fireworks apocalypse.
*Yuu and I started dating.  <3
*Finished my two years at the daycare.  :(
*Trip to Kyoto with Yuu, then met up with Roomie in Kagoshima to see the sights and meet Yuu's family.
*Came back to Seattle, got a job at Uwajimaya, and made some pretty wonderful friends here.
*Got a much-needed visit from Yuu.
*Took the JLPT level N2 (again)
*Spent a nice Christmas with Roomie and her family.
*Rang in 2014 at the Space Needle with some of my wonderful friends.



♪One of these things is not like the others♪


The boys


Happy 2014!
Wishing you all another great year!





Dec 19, 2013

And Life Goes On

Life back State-side has been quite boring.  I'm trying not to let this blog go to the wayside, yet I'm finding that I just don't really have anything too exciting to post about.

Got a job at a local Japanese/Asian food supermarket.  Was told it was a part-time job (i.e. less than 30 hours), but have actually been working at least 30 hours a week.  Which is fine, it's not like I have anything else to do really, and I do need the money.

Was going to Kaiwa Table (student group for Japanese and American students/non-students to go and make friends and conversation partners) just for the social aspect and to get some Japanese practice in.  One Wednesday in November I went, met a couple peeps, and we've pretty much been hanging out every day since then.  We just really clicked, and have gotten to be pretty close.  They're good kids, and as luck would have it they're from Kyoto and will be going back around the same time as me, so that'll be nice that we won't have to say any sad farewells.  

What else....  Yuu came for a short visit the last weekend of November, which was really much-needed for the both of us.  It was a short three days, especially because I had to work, but it was still nice to get to see each other.  Granted Tokyo and Kyoto are far, but it's not like there's and entire ocean and a 12-hour 1000-dollar flight separating us, so I'm really looking forward to being back in Japan.

December 1st was the JLPT.  I hadn't initially planned to take it this year, but decided to apply last-minute to try again for N2.  Didn't feel like it was really any easier than last year, but at least this year there was a clock in the room so I was able to time myself properly and actually finish the test.  Since I failed by such a small margin last year, I feel like at least this year I have a little better chance.  We'll see come February.

Other than that, life is pretty much just work and hanging out with my little buddies.  In between that I've been taking some trips to Pike Place Market when I can, because while it's so cliche I just really enjoy the atmosphere of that place.  

So now I leave you with some pictures from the past couple months.


My bed buddy at my dad's
Voodoo Donuts, Portland
Gas Works Park
Reuniting with friend SW
Beautiful Seattle sunset
Autumn colors
Spontaneous trip to Leavenworth
King Street Station
Hidden sign in alleyway
Alleyway in Pioneer Square
The Dinosaurs
The infamous Gum Wall
Amazing sunset over the Market
<3

Rainy night at the Market
Cool Akira sticker on a punched-in newspaper vending machine at my bus stop
Rare winter view of Mt. Rainier

Oct 18, 2013

Reverse Culture-Shock

Been back in the States for a few weeks now.  First visited my dad down in Vancouver (Washington, not Canada), and my little sister had come up for the week too.

Now I'm settled in my room that I'm renting in a large shared house.  My room is nice and big and quiet, but the shared kitchen is kinda grody so I'm glad I brought my own cookware and dishes.  And I also have my own little counter and sink in my room so I can wash my dishes in my own clean sink with my own clean sponge. 

Lots of job applications but no solid offers yet.  Hoping that either of the interviews on Sunday or Tuesday leads to something.  I kinda miss working and having steady income...
Nothing else to report really, except that it's really weird being back and I'm looking forward to heading back to Japan.  Maybe I'll make a list of things that I miss about Japan (or really, a list of things that annoy me about being here, haha).

Oh, I did get my videos up of my, Roomie's, and Yuu's trip to Kyoto and Kagoshima.  Any new video I post shows up in the sidebar, but I'll post them here too.





Sep 30, 2013

hisashiburi ni BESTIES!

We had a grand reunion the weekend before- J came up to visit from Osaka, and the three of us (S, J, and I) were reunited for the first time in about a year and a half.  (We were pretty much inseparable during our university days)
He took the night bus, and we met him at my station at 7am Saturday morning.  We decided to go somewhere for breakfast and decided on Denny's.
If you're in Japan don't ever opt for breakfast at Denny's- you'll be extremely disappointed.  To me, Denny's always equated breakfast foods, but not here.  After 10 minutes of trying to decide what we would settle for, we finally decided to leave and go to the McDonald's next door.  They at least had pancakes, sausages, and hash browns.  And orange juice..

Later on we played some home-made Scattergories before going to have lunch at my favorite omu-raisu (rice omelet) place, then getting ready for the going-away party.
Quite a few people ended up showing up throughout the night.  There were more drinks and food than we knew what to do with.  We played Jenga and a few rounds of very inappropriate Mad Libs.  I was surprised with a DVD of good bye/good luck videos from some of my friends, and also a stuffed Doraemon which everyone who showed up signed for me.  I know such awesome people!  *sniff*

Sunday we ventured out to Kamakura for a beach picnic.  We brought lots of onigiri, leftover chips and drinks from the party, apples, kimchi cucumbers, green bean and carrot salad, and kushi dango for dessert.  I think we had initially only intended to play in the water up to our waists, but it wasn't cold at all, and we were just having so much fun we ended up diving head-first into waves, body surfing, and just generally being little kids at the beach on a Sunday afternoon.  :D  It had been years since I'd been to the beach, and it was just as fun as I'd remembered.
S had to leave after that to go meet her boy for their anniversary celebrations, but the rest of us went to see the Daibutsu/Big Buddha of Kamakura, then stopped in Yokohama's Chinatown on the way home for some delicious Chinese foods and more sweets.


Big Buddha in Kamakura

Monday we went to Asakusa so J could see Kaminarimon and the Sensoji temple, but the Kaminarimon lantern was unfortunately taken somewhere for refurbishing (?) and we just got to look at a giant sign with a picture of it instead.  Poor J was disappointed, as it seems it is his luck that whenever he goes to see some famous landmark it is under construction.  We did have fun looking at all the gift shops around Sensoji and eating ningyo-yaki and age-manju... sooo good!

A picture I took of Kaminari-mon a couple years ago
 
S met up with us a little later and we had some lunch, wandered around, and took purikura together before J had to catch a shinkansen back to Osaka, and Roomie and I had to make it back for a good-bye dinner with some work people.  The dinner was at the Korean restaurant owned by the father of one of the little girls at the daycare.  Her mom showed up with her in tow, and they gifted me with a cute little drawstring bag with my first initial on it, and a bejeweled eye mask for the airplane.  M-sensei, my lady boss, gave me a huge bag of gifts- a ton of socks (she always gave me a hard time about wearing thread-bare sock and socks with holes in them), a nice pass case for my train pass, and a photo album she put together herself with pictures of all of my babies, and a picture of each of my coworkers and a little message from them.  Brought a little tear to my eye it did, and I'm so glad now that I have pictures of each of my kiddos so I can show everyone just how cute they are.

(Sorry, not pictures of my babies..)
Our lovely purikura
"It looks good on me"

Sep 20, 2013

August Catch-up

Just got back the other day from a nice little trip through Kyoto (京都) and Kagoshima (鹿児島), but more on that later as I just wanna do a quick little update for August.

Though I've forgotten most of what happened last month already!

Well, luckily Roomie writes down a lot of what we do on her calender, so if I can just decode it...

Ah, looks like a fireworks festival the first Saturday of the month- the Ichikawa Fireworks Festival (市川花火大会).  Roomie, Ash, Yuu, and a couple old friends (we'll call them Aya and HS) from UW all went.  Wore our yukata/jinbei, brought lots of snacks and drinks, enjoyed the not-too-hot evening by the river, then came back home to play with sparklers and stuff on our balcony.

Look, got my hurr all did up and everything!

The sunset, and the crowds waiting

video

The following weekend was a surprise party for HS.  Lots of food and drinks and fun again.  And some crazy dancing.

Sunday the 25th Roomie and I met up with Gaki-chan, Ma-chan, and S for some delicious Korean foods and crazy mango creme-filled taiyaki in Kichijoji (吉祥寺; the restaurant is 韓味楽, decent priced and soooo good, definitely recommend going during lunch time), followed by the big festival in Azabu-juban (麻布十番祭り).








Other than that, August was mostly just work, a couple other random outings with Roomie, a few dates here and there with the Boy..
Mmhm.  You know, same-old same-old.

And now I'm at the final countdown- only a week or so before I leave and it still really hasn't hit me.  And I still have so much left to do.  Why am I sitting here writing silly blog posts??
Oh that's right.  Yes, I don't mean to brag but I happen to be an expert procrastinator.
I'll get this post up so I can go procrastinate some more.  :D
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...