Thursday, December 30, 2010

The anti jet lag diet, final results

Well, I’ve been here long enough that I think I can finally report on the results of the anti jet lag diet. And so, without further ado (after all, haven’t we all had more ado than we can stand), the results:

I have no idea if the anti jet lag diet worked or not!

The end.

OK, so, I didn’t feel as tired this time as I did the last time I came home. Unfortunately, I did get a little sick a few days after I got home, which threw things a bit out of whack. And when I was standing in the customs line, I was basically just draped over my pile of luggage, but hey, I had been jammed in a plane for 11 hours.

But I did feel like I was able to adjust to the different time a little bit easier. And, after the massive caffeine deprivation (hope that is the right word), coffee at the right time of day felt like paradise (really, who wants coffee only between the hours of 2pm and 5pm). And then, you know how on the plane you are basically supposed to drink twenty gallons of water per minute and none of the good stuff on the flight attendant’s beverage cart? Well, it was pure pleasure to get a cup of coffee about an hour before arrival in Dallas (I figured I was close enough that it wouldn’t matter). I just gulped that stuff down black. Yum.

Of course, I might have adjusted to the time difference more quickly because I knew a bit more of what to expect in the time change. The jet lag going from Japan to the US is different from the jet lag going from the US to Japan.  I also made it home faster this year! There was no overnight layover in Dallas (although I am very grateful for the good friends who gave me a place to stay last Christmas Eve).

But overall, I would have to say that the results of the anti jet lag diet were inconclusive. Would I do it again, you ask? Absolutely! Why? Whether or not it worked, I lost a couple random pounds! A very pleasant side benefit!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's Christmas Eve, and all's well!

I'm happy to be home with the family! Almost missed my flight from Dallas to Jackson - by the time we landed and I made it through passport control, gathering my luggage, customs, rechecking my luggage, and the next security check, my flight in a whole different terminal had already begun boarding, and I had about ten minutes before it was scheduled to leave. Let's just say that there was a whole lot of running and praying going on! I was actually on a tram between terminals at 10:27, and my flight was due to leave at 10:30...giant eeek!

But I made it and was so happy to get off in Jackson and in to see MY FAMILY! It is just so great to see them! This evening, we played archery, bowling, and jet skiing together on my brother's Wii after our delicious snack supper.

Today we went to the Christmas Eve service at church, and it was just fantastic. The most amazing thing to me was just being around such a mass of other believers all worshiping God together. Just incredible!

Well, I'm going to sleep now! Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Asa gohan

Enjoyed a Japanese breakfast before hitting the road! The umeboshi was delish!

Just waiting to go through security now! I'll be home in less than 20 hours! Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Here we go!

My whopping bags and I are waiting at the station to start the next phase of the journey!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The anti jet lag det, day 2

Today was a fun day on the antil jet lag diet. Day 2 is a feast day! Woot! Yesterday was a light eating day, so not bad, but not as fun. Today, I was supposed to have a high protein breakfast and lunch, and a high carbohydrate dinner. I ate dinner at Cafe Zazie with a friend and had a big plate of rice and noodles with a little meat and an egg on top. It was pretty tasty! But, tomorrow is another light day. And even though I have to be out of bed before 5am, no coffee in the morning. I'm glad that tomorrow is a light day though, as I'll be ferrying it up!

I am REALLY looking forward to seeing if this makes any difference. I really don't see how it is supposed to work...but what the hey! The feast days are fun!  Might have to indulge in a croissant in honor of the occassion...

Day after tomorrow, I'll be on my way!!!

I made eggnog!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The anti jet lag diet

5 days! Errr…I kind of have to live one of those days twice (so I’m actually completely confused), but it all works out in the end!

There are people who say things like, “Oh, jet lag doesn’t affect me.” Well, I say boo to that, sirs and ma’ams! Jet lag is a problem for me! I usually can’t sleep very much on airplanes and spend several days awake at the wrong times and sleepy at the wrong times.

Random-fact-I-picked-up-from-the-infallible-internet: Did you know that the time you are most likely to make mistakes when you are jet lagged is between 3 and 5 am in your home time zone? I just read that this week and thought it was pretty interesting. Unfortunately, for me, that will be noon to 2pm in Central Standard Time. Slightly inconvenient!

In the quest for a jet lag remedy, I came across some interesting things. I’m definitely not doing the melatonin thing, which is popular in some circles. Also, am I the only one who gets melanin and melatonin mixed up?

Another nixed idea is taking sleeping medicine once aboard the plane. Although my seatmates would probably be in favor of this plan, it has mixed reviews online. Why would my seatmates be in favor of this plan? Well, I get to sit here for my long-haul flight:

00   000e0   00

(I’m the e.)

In my searches, I did find a remedy that I want to attempt this year. I have a willing human subject (me) and I’m ready to go. This year, I am going to try the slightly-kooky-yet-generally-harmless anti jet lag diet.

Well, I say harmless. But it requires caffeine deprivation for all but a few random hours each day. This makes me a little sad.

The diet alternates days of light eating with days of plenty. I am looking forward to the days of plenty. Things kick off tomorrow with a light day, unfortunately. A light food day AND no caffeine.

But I am really interested to see if it will work! And if it doesn’t, it’s not like I’ll be any worse off than I would have been had I not tried it.

Also, one is supposed to drink something like eight ounces of water for every hour aboard the plane. That is a lot of water. Ergh!

And if you look at this posting date, you may see it listed as December 19th. But I haven’t been to bed on the 18th yet, so I think it belongs to the 18th. It’s possible that I had a little too much caffeine today in anticipation of the deprivation.

And going back to mixed-up words, how about deprivation and depravation? Very different!!

Good night, friends!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Uh...

One of my students has a pencil case that says something to the effect of, "He got married, furnished a house, bought a writing desk and stationery, and found he had nothing to write."

Sometimes when I try to blog every day, I feel kinship with the man represented on that pencil case. Well, at least with the last part. Oh, and the other side had the same sentiment, but written in French.

But high school students here do have the cutest school supplies.

We have had a HUGE snowfall this week. While I love to watch snowflakes gently drift down from the sky, I don't particularly enjoy being battered round the head with attack snowflakes! Yesterday, I started to wonder if we were just going to get the entire year's worth of snow in one week. But today was a little better. Still ridiculously heavy snow, but no wind, which makes a world of difference. There was also a little filtered sunshine this afternoon, which made me happy. Things do look especially pretty all covered in snow. And I love the feel of soft snow against my boots. But I really don't like the feeling of soft snow coming over the top of said boots and down inside! Brrr!

On Wednesday, I learned something new. Someone in my Skype Bible study said that her mother told her to be sure not to keep her hands in her pockets during the winter. I kind of thought that was the whole reason we had pockets! Since learning this, I've been trying to reform, which has meant wearing mismatched gloves twice. Oh, well.

5 days from right now, I'll be checking into my hotel 5 hours away and getting ready to take off! Hurray!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Random

By the way, the thing in the mug yesterday was the teapot lid. It made a mighty splash!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oops!

I hadn't exactly planned for this to happen to my cup of tea!

One week from right now I will be on my way to Sapporo and starting my voyage home for Christmas! Woohoo! I need to pack...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Go tell it on the mountain...

Only 9 days till I head hooooooome!

Yay! I think my shopping is close to finished! And I'm practicing my carols in more than one language (I have a very handy book)! Can't wait to see you, my dear family and friends!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Yum again!

I hadn't eaten at Subway in a really long time, so it was fun to partake two days in a row!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dolce far niente

The last several weeks have been pretty busy. I wanted to have a little time to relax before my zillion hour trip home, so I decided to hang around Sapporo this weekend. It has been lovely to just put Dolce far Niente into practice this afternoon (sweet idleness).

I did hang out with a good friend earlier today. Yay!

You really don’t have to watch this video – I just added it because of the title. Or, perhaps you can hit play and give yourself six minutes and eight seconds of Dolce far Niente, because I’m sure you could use some as well!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It came upon a midnight clear...

...that Futon blog of old...

Here we are, coming up fast on midnight, and I'm just now working on this blog!

Not much going on today, but tomorrow I'm headed to a conference and will be back on Sunday. I'll try to blog from the road, if I can.

Well, I'm going to go pack and go to sleep! Good night, friends!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'll be home for Christmas

I'm taking a little bitty ol' trip in about two weeks and two days. Betcha didn't know that! ;-) Well, I'm a little excited about it. I'm working on a long and complicated blog post, but since I'm trying to post as close as possible to every day this month (or at least until I leave for home), I'm just going to share this with you!

Hallelujah!

It's the Christmas season, and people (including Mom) have been posting the video of people singing the Hallelujah Chorus at a mall food court. It's pretty cool, so just in case you haven't seen it, here it is:
\

Now, this reminded me of how amazing the whole Messiah is. I wonder what it was like when Handel got to heaven. Here is another piece for your viewing pleasure:



Unfortunately, I also found this one while I was looking around. Makes me glad I'm not an organist.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

All’s well that ends well

Sometimes the days that don’t start off well end quite nicely.

101_6406The first half of today was a bit rough. I took care of some things that I needed to do, but it was a bit exhausting. There were a lot of minor annoyances, like my computer not working properly, that turned slightly difficult tasks into big frustrations.

I needed to leave the house at 2:30 in order to get my full workout in before dinner this evening. I didn’t make it out of the house until a little after 3. I made it to the bus stop, and stood there for quite some time in the cold wind, feeling sorry for myself. Too sorry for myself to check to see when the next bus was coming (the schedule was also hanging upside down, I think it broke in the wind). Finally, I read the sign and realized that I still had six minutes to wait. Plus, the bus usually arrives at my stop a few minutes after the scheduled time.

Since the bus stop is right in front of the post office, I decided to run in to make a deposit into my savings account and get out some grocery money. They were tasks I needed to do anyway, and they hardly take any time. Imagine my surprise when I came back out and saw that the bus was already disappearing into the distance. I looked at the clock on my iPod and saw that it was only one minute past the scheduled arrival time. Of all days for the bus to actually be on time!

Well, as you can imagine, by this time I was really feeling sorry for myself.  So, I hailed a cab to go across town to the gym (yes, I know that riding to the gym in a cab sounds bizarre). I actually took the cab to the station and walked to the gym from there.

At the gym, I had a nice workout that was only slightly abbreviated (the cab really made up some time, I think). It was good to get those endorphins going. After my workout, the teacher who had invited me to dinner (hereafter, Mr. Science)was waiting with his adorable six year old daughter. She was so cute and wanted to practice English. Then, we met up with the other teacher (hereafter, Ms. English) who was also going to dinner, and went back to the apartment where Mrs. Science had prepared a delicious spread of food.

Everyone was so friendly, and we all had a good time eating and chatting. Thankfully, Ms. English was able to help with some interpretation (although we all got pretty stuck at tribal languages). My Japanese is getting to the point where I can recognize a lot of words. Unfortunately, I usually miss the key words or can’t figure out how the sentence goes together. Argh.

The youngest Science daughter (the one who is six), was just hilarious. She has picked up many English words. She also showed us her pets, her origami, and she even did a short magic show for us. It was absolutely adorable. She is also very interested in insects. So, I pretended to be interested when she showed me her bug books. She also showed me a map, and she knew the Japanese flag, the American flag, the Chinese flag, and the Korean flag. Se had a hard time finding Japan on the map, though. Her sister asked her where it was, and she thought for a while, and then pointed to Kazakhstan. She was delighted when her sister pointed at Japan and she read the kanji.

All is all, it was a lovely evening, and I’m so glad that Mr. Science and his family had us over!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A December song

This is the song about December that I either mentioned or thought about mentioning previously. It's by one of my favorite artists. My brother gave me a CD with this song last Christmas. Because I listened to it quite a bit while I was home, it got some good home memories tagged onto it. When I returned to Japan, I often listened to the album while traveling. This song brought back good memories and also totally synched with my longing for December.


And now, it is December again! Yay!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Why taking aerobics in a foreign country is a good idea

Number 1: It’s better for your health than hanging out in a cafe eating cakes and drinking cafe au lait. Not that I am diametrically opposed to eating cakes and drinking cafe au lait! Let it never be said! However, too much of this indulgence can lead to some unpleasant consequences. Let’s move on, shall we?

Number 2: It’s sort of helpful for language skills. Sometimes, it’s hard to hear anything at all, but other times I can catch words I know. When that happens, I feel so smart. But sometimes the word is basically the same as it is in English. But I still feel smart.

Number 3: The engagement of the brain is helpful. I spend a lot of time lost in my own thoughts, lost in my NaNoWriMo project, lost in a book, lost in a TV show… well, you get the idea. In aerobics, you get lost for a minute, and all of the sudden you are hipping when everyone else is hopping or shuffling when everyone else is stomping. Or you are blindly following the instructor into her instructional moves, like putting up one hand for a count while everyone stretches. Not that I would know anyone that has happened to, of course.

Number 4: It’s a really great way to meet random groups of people! Somehow, I think all the people who speak a little English in town have been hiding out at the gym. I have been very surprised!

So, should you happen to move to a faraway land where you don’t speak the language, I highly recommend joining the gym!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A December celebration

Here it is! Post 200! Toot too too toooooo!

In honor of the fact that it is December 1, here are some things I love about December:

1. Three weeks from right now, I will be headed to my hotel the night before I GO HOME!!! Yay! I am a little excited.

2. Snow is here! Whether or not it is here to stay, I don’t know. But it is pretty (and a little slippery – don’t ask me how I know)

3. Christmas is coming! Guess what? I’m GOING HOME for Christmas!

4. There is a song that I like that is all about wishing for December. I might try to post it sometime this month if I remember.

5. Mom’s birthday is this month! Happy Birthday!

6. I’m taking a little trip HOME!

7. NaNoWriMo is over. It is a fun thing to do, but I am ever so glad it is finished.

Now, I’ve stayed up too late again and need to go to sleep. However, I will leave you with this not December picture I found while going through my cell phone pics today. I have a December pic, but I haven’t uploaded it yet.

100725_1551~01

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hurray!

Yay! I am finished with another year of NaNoWriMo! But I actually liked this story, so I might try to finish it. Or, at the very least, get all the scenes in the right order!

But I am very tired, so I need to go to bed now. I have to take the 7:14 train every day this week - eek!

By the way, I noticed that this post is my 199th post! So, it is kind of like a special post in more ways than one.

And I apologize that everything is centered. I am too tired to try to fix it!

Good night, dear friends!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

NaNoTraMo…and an update

NaNoing on trains is also fun!

101112_1406~01

Last weekend, my friend and I went to another city in Hokkaido to just have a fun weekend and do some Christmas shopping. Some of you will have presents, if they don’t get smooshed on the international flight.

Here is our city getup:

CIMG1861

The masks were added later. We also ate amazing food like this:

CIMG1858I could have eaten about twelve plates of the stuff. It was mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, tomatoes, and olive oil. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

This week, we have a random national holiday on Tuesday. so I am going to celebrate Thanksgiving about an hour or so south with several families. I hope there will be pumpkin pie. I have a serious pumpkin pie deficiency, and it needs to be remedied. Yes.

Well, I need to do some writing (I’m a bit behind) and then head to the gym to pump some iron or something. And I ask, why is there an ice cream vending machine in the gym. Is that really necessary?

Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let the procrastinating begin!

One fun thing about NaNoWriMo is not writing. Some of the excuses I can come up with to avoid writing are kind of fun. For some reason, I remembered a random survey that went around ages ago and thought it would be fun to find it and try it out again.

All you do is set your music to shuffle and answer each question by hitting skip and filling in whatever comes up...heeheehee!

So, without further ado, the results of my music shuffle survey:

Which song describes the mood you are in right now?: Glamorous
Which song describes the mood you are usually in?: Wait
Which song describes one of your favorites things to do?: Track 01...second try Broken
Which song describes something else you like to do?: Lovesick
Which song explains the way you think about love?: It is Well With My Soul - HAHAHAHA - sweet
What would you sing to your soulmate right now?: Hymn
Which song best represents you?: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
How about your wife or husband?: Mountain of God
Which song would be played at your wedding?: Don't Take Me Far from Home
Which song would be played at your wedding reception?: From My Heart To Yours
Which song describes yourself in the future?: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours
Which song describes yourself in the past?: Another White Dash
Which song would best describe your fashion sense?: Above Ground
Which song best describes your parents?: In a Sentimental Mood
Which song best describes your family in general?: Heartbreak Warfare (I promise this is not true!!)
Which song best describes your friends?: St. Elsewhere (sounds sad! they are only physically elsewhere)
Which song best describes your public personality?: Testimony (I wish!)
Which song best describes your private personality?: Snakes and Ladders (huh??)
 
Perhaps now that I have enjoyed some procrastinating, I will go write. Oh, look! It's time for bed!
 
Disclaimer: I did actually write 3,982 words today! And I went to the gym to work out (but perhaps that was just another form of procrastination...is it possible for procrastination to be good for you??!).
 
Disclaimer 2: And you KNOW I can't leave my daily total that close to 4,000

Friday, October 29, 2010

Five things…

So, it's another Feel Good Friday, and this week, I decided to use this prompt:

“Just make a list. List 5 things that made you really happy this week. No matter how bad or boring you think your week was,
I bet you can find 5 things.”

CIMG1536

1. First snow! As you know from my last post, we had our first snow this week. It was really lovely. I was actually super surprised at how much we got and how long it stuck – I’ve already reverted to my Southern mentality that snow is basically a light dusting of glitter that melts in approximately 10 minutes. Umm, self? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but methinks you aren’t in Mississippi anymore.

2. Listening to a 4th grader sing a song she made up with 2 English words she wanted to know. I was walking around the school during cleaning time, and she was sweeping the entryway. She wanted to know what sweeping was, and so I told her. Then she wanted to know what the broom was. That word took a bit more practice. So then, she dances up and down the entryway sweeping and singing, “Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, BROOM! Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping, BROOM!” It was completely adorable!

3. Looking at Mt. Rishiri yesterday with snow coming almost all the way down. OK, so this is SORT of related to the first item, but it was still different! Well, sort of. I just can’t describe the transformation the mountain undergoes throughout the year. During the summer, it gently curves through the atmosphere like a dream. At this time of the year, it begins to get its snow coat and is completely majestic. It looks like a storybook mountain. The snow highlights the sharp angles of the mountain and makes it pop.

4.  Getting pumped for NaNoWriMo. TWO days! TWO days! Anyone else gettin’ on the NaNo Train? 30 days, 50,000 words! And here, no idea of a plot. Well, I have two…but I don’t know. Augh.

5. Running for 20 minutes straight today! 2-0!! Can you tell I’m just a little excited? I started a running program about 6 weeks ago (basically training for a 5K). Even though I regularly walked decent distances for exercise, starting this program was very different. After the first run on the first day, I thought my lungs were going to explode (or maybe implode…something was going to be ploding somewhere). Now, I can run 20 minutes! Hopefully, I will be able to get out of bed in the morning (get out of floor just doesn’t sound right).

Well, so that’s that for my 5 happy things this week! We’ve been talking a lot in Bible study about being thankful. Coming up with 5 happy things is a great way to realize the many things you have to be thankful for. I didn’t realize that was going to happen when I decided to do this post. Nice benefit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Strange pictures

Have you ever stopped to think about the pictures of you floating around the world? Not just the ones taken by family and friends, but the pictures taken by strangers where you just happened to walk through the background?

CIMG0605

I have no idea who these people are, but here they are in a shot from Kyoto.

Well, I went grocery shopping today. When I got to the store, I was surprised to see a crowd of elderly people jammed in one corner near the door. I had that brief moment of hesitation where you wonder if the crowd knows something you don’t know, but then I went along and did my shopping. When I finished shopping, I headed toward the exit with my purchases and noticed that the crowd was now moving. Many tiny elderly people were in a long line, and many more were  all over the entryway…eating rice. Bewildered by these strange happenings, I started to exit the store with my cart. As I returned to put it back, I tried to figure out what was going on with the rice-eating crowd. Just as I was figuring out (possibly) that they were eating some sort of Hokkaido rice, I noticed someone taking a picture of the crowd. I tried to quickly put my face into a pleasant expression, but I have a funny feeling that someone somewhere has a nice picture of their random rice event with a tall, confused-looking foreigner in the middle of it.

Oh, well. Don’t you wonder what pictures you are in the middle of?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why I love October

CIMG1794
…mmmmmmmmm…
The weather this month has just been utterly fantastic.
CIMG1795

Although the sun has been going down earlier and earlier,
CIMG1787

I’ve tried to get up earlier to enjoy it on the other end of the day. Sometimes, the early waking is not by choice, though
CIMG1785

The ferry waits for no man or woman
CIMG1804
Plus, things like this are waiting!
While I’m not sure that I’m ready for everything that comes after October – more darkness, bone chilling cold, ice, etc – I know that great things are coming as well…
Hang glider


Mama, Dad, Bro, Sis, Neph, Friends...I’m comin’ home!
61 days!
BTW...I did not take this last picture!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Apple Bobbing


I was on a blog recently that promoted a Feel Good Friday project. There are several writing prompts, and you choose whichever one you want to do. So, today I'm going to write about something that happened to me this week that really made me smile.

Introducing Apple Bobbing to students

October 1956:  Julia Arnall, Austrian born actress and ex-model, who lives in Britain, watching one of her fellow party-goers bobbing for apples at a Halloween party. Original Publication: Picture Post - 8728 - Beauty And The Beast - Halloween Party - pub. 1956  (Photo by Thurston Hopkins/Picture Post/Getty Images) 
Now, unfortunately I can't post pictures of students online, so please enjoy this free online photo from the far distant past (only joking, dear readers - clearly I meant the very recent past).
Anyway, during class today, the students had a chance to try apple bobbing. I had forgotten just how hard apple bobbing was until I saw the students trying fruitlessly (haha) to retrieve the apples. It was hilarious, though. Everyone was in stitches, and the players were so pleased when they got the apples. It was just so great to see teenagers laughing hysterically over something that was just plain fun. Their teacher and I even got in on the action. I was happy that I was not wearing mascara. Plus, the teacher and I got great workouts changing the apple bobbing water!

So, that was something that really made me smile (well, and crack up like a hyena) this week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On the train, part deux

And this was from the train this evening! This morning, I could see snow on top the mountain. I'm excited to see what it will look like when I drive past on the ferry tomorrow!

Monday, October 18, 2010

On the train

It is a lovely afternoon for a train ride! Of course, that could be said for most afternoons! Almost every kind of weather is beautiful when viewed from the window of a train. Especially while traveling through the mountains. Unfortunately, they won't stop for picture-taking, so I just have to make do with what I can get! :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy 10/10/10

I just walked in the door from a whirlwind weekend trip to our ALT association's fall meeting. It was so much fun to see friends and whirl about the city in a daze of traffic and confusion. I really am ready to drop into bed (crash onto futon doesn't quite sound as soft), but I wanted to publish a quick blog because today is...

10/10/10

Really, how cool is that? And I didn't take many pix on my cell today, but I went ahead and added one I did take. It's of our fancy new train platform sign things at the brand new Asahikawa station that just opened today.

OK, well I think I'm headed to bed now! Goodnight, all!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The coffee is ready!

It’s just over 29 days until NaNoWriMo 2010 begins! I’m excited! It has been long enough that the torture has faded to a pleasant memory. Unfortunately, I still don’t know what I’m going to write about this year. I can’t decide if I want to write about things I know or break out and try something new…hmmm.

Any ideas out there?

Monday, September 20, 2010

The reason why I love random holidays...

Hello, little mini-cheesecake friends!

I have to say, I think my little oven is the best purchase I've made in Japan (with the exception of plane tickets home, of course). Best purchase for my house, anyway.

Happy Respect for the Aged day, everybody! Not that any of you should be celebrated on this day, of course!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cattle class

Well, I was going to treat you to a nice rollicking whine, but then I met a zillion of my students when I went out to get something to eat. They were in a happy kind of Friday mood, and put me in one as well. So, behold...the edited rant and whine.

Please have a look at the section of the ferry where I sat today...

You may think it resembles a corridor. This would be because it was a corridor.

How did this all transpire? Well, by the time I got to the ferry terminal after leaving school, a ton of people were already in line for the ferry. As one of the last to board, all the spots inside were taken. So, those of us left over started looking for nooks and crannies to fit ourselves into. On a balmy day, I might have headed outside, but this was a chilly evening with a strong wind blowing.

I found this little spot (it's pretty much a mirror image of the area where the legs are in the above pic). Another girl also came and settled down across from me and closer to the door. It was nice to have some company in the overflow hallway. All in all, it wasn't a bad spot. I figured I'd enjoy my music and my book, and be back in Wakkanai before I knew it. We hallway people got a few double takes, but I'm getting pretty used to those. ;-)

As the ferry started off, I opened my book and soon found myself absorbed in the story. Do you remember the wind I briefly mentioned earlier? Well, I realized that my old friend from the winter was back. Foolishly, I tried to fight back. I continued reading until it became impossible. While my earlier snack decided to have an internal dance party, I decided to try to close my eyes. I dozed off sitting up with my face buried in my backpack. That was a mistake, so I tried drawing my knees up and resting my head on my knees. This was a little better.

Exhausted from attempting to nap, I took a look at my watch. Oh, sweet victory! The ferry would be landing any second! I had slept much longer than I thought! Oh, Happy Da....waitaminit... ARGH! That was the second hand! I still had a good 45 minutes left to go and no reading or napping to do.

Usually, when it's time to leave the ferry, I linger until the end. I generally don't see any reason to stand in a line to be one of the first off the ferry.

That was not the case this time.

But, I have to report that I am much happier now - it's amazing what students and a bit of ice cream can do for one's outlook on life.

Good morning, part 3

Rishiri from Rebun

Monday, September 13, 2010

I've heard of sawing logs, but...

...Log pushing? Just thought I'd take a minute to share some photos from the log pushing festival. It was a beautiful (and hottttttttttt) day, and a good time was had by all. Well, probably not all, but close enough.

All my pix seem to have loaded in reverse order, so we'll just go backwards through the day. I suppose if you wanted to go in order, you could go to the bottom and work your way up. :-D

We left while an exciting sort of Power Ranger play was going on. It looked very exciting, anyway. Couldn't tell you what was going on, but I'm fairly certain that the thing in front of the drums was a Bad Dude (in the evil genius sense, not the other sense).

Here we are, shielding our fair and delicate skin from the blistering sun. By this point in the day, we were pretty much worn out!

Three ALT teams participated in the log pushing - go Foreign Ladies 1! They lost. They put up a pretty good fight, though! There was actually no Foreign Ladies 2 team, as most of their members pulled out.

And yes, a team of ladies dressed as French maids.
The Foreign Gentiemen 2 team. That's what their sign said, anyhoo. They actually made it to the second round. That was because of their very serious faces. This is the proper log pushing expression, I suppose.

Two random teams battling it out for log pushing victory!

The log, without people desperately hanging onto it.

The teams, preparing to meet the log.

The view from the train window. The train often slows down as we pass this spot. That's Rishiri in the distance. The black coffee was an accidental purchase, but wound up tasting pretty good, though I definitely prefer the addition of cream.

And there you have the log pushing day in reverse! Er...I mean... Reverse in day pushing log the have you there and.