Party People

So not much has been happening recently, despite the fact that this is a very busy time of the year. Lots of seminars and presentations to prepare for, business trips to take, formalities to attend to (I’m switching schools, which requires a lot of “showing my face” to various assorted administrative individuals who will smile, shake my hand and then promptly call me “carl” or “fernando” or some other previous ALTs name for the rest of the year) and what not.

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Panda and the lovely Tennis.

My schedule having been less than convenient this past year, I haven’t been able to formally study Japanese since I got here, which has ironically led to me knowing even less than when I first arrived. Okay, so that’s actually an exaggeration, but nonetheless, one of my new year’s resolutions was to get on my nihongo studying with the dedication, and towards that end, besides stuffing my face at starbucks while meeting assorted “language partners” (really, I just go for the cheese souffles…mmm… *drool*) I’ve decided to sign up for lessons at the local international center.

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C showing off her beautiful “blueberry eyes” as she (quasi-drunkenly) puts it.

Actually, I also applied for a JET-sponsored 10 day intensive language study program a while ago, and to my surprise, was accepted, which means that in less than 9 days, my poor non-studying panda butt will be in the middle of some building on the outskirts of Osaka trying desperately to remember just what that particular kanji meant again and would everyone in the classroom please stop staring at me?

I also applied for this “translation and interpretation” course, which based on the JET language courses I have taken in the past, I figured would be a piece of cake (they’re generally very elementary). Unfortunately, I found myself this weekend tearing parts of my fur out because I realized that the test to get into this course (which was due today) is actually quite difficult, and it sort of frustrated me in that familiar way that I remember all my japanese courses in university doing – sort of a tensing of the neck and upper arm muscles for several hours on end and the barely submerged desire to hurt something, or else maybe just throw your (assorted) dictionaries out the window to try and hit a squirrel. (damn squirrels get to sit on the trees all day and just chatter inanely. god i hate squirrels)

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He may be small, but maplelips nearly won the Gaijin sumo tournament!

Erm. yeah, so anyway, I turned that in today – there’s this bit on it where you actually have to record your voice as you do some “live interpretation” – which, after I finally managed to sort out not one but two cassette tape recorders (I had to look all over for some – in my house, I have a dvd player, a cd player, an md player, even a couple of mp3 players, but not a damn tape recorder…! who uses those anymore..?) – I managed to do, only when I listen to my voice, I sound like a high version of Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You know, heroes in a half shell.

*sigh*

turtle power.

Anyway, forgetting about this depressing exam and how crappy it made me feel when I turned it in (the thing is, I’ve been studying this language for 4 or 5 years now at this point, and I still have to run for a dictionary all the timer. Urrggghh… why couldn’t I study something easy, like french? or spanish?) (okay, so i hate the french and spanish reminds me of my mother yelling at me to wash the dishes or clean the bathroom.), I should mention that mixed in with all the sadness of people leaving, the transitory busy work of preparing for the next semester and the excitement of thinking about the incoming newbies (mixed with occasionally deeply peturbing thoughts about just what, exactly, I should be doing to prepare for the future, and oh, by the way, what do i want out of life anyhow…!?) people still have managed to find some time for a party or two.

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A confused Tako sending out mixed signals while clutching a beer.

Saturday was the aptly named “JETACULAR III” at the local gaijin bar, ostensibly with some gimmick about wearing various colored buttons to indicate your receptiveness to getting shagged by some drunken stranger in the dark and mysteriously sticky recess of a bench jammed in the back next to the store room at 4:30 in the morning. These sort of JET events can be rather played out at times, in that college sorority/frat type of way, but nonetheless, it was one of the last chances to see your friends who are going back, so I decided to go, accompanied as always by the lovely tennis (wearing my red tie to warn all non-pandas to keep their appropriate distance ( ^_^)P.

It was a fun time, and while my current state of broke-ness kept me from fully enjoying myself with the drinkage as pandas are occasionally prone to do (and which tennis seems to firmly disbelieve…. just you wait…), it was still a nice break from the monotony of it all.

*sigh* time to reflect on life, where I’m at, where I’ve been, where I’m headed…

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Two lovely girls smile for mistar panda ( ^_^)v

bittersweet, really, that morning after the party, laying in bed, staring out at the world, sky and clouds drifting along in parallel shades of grey and blue, and unable to stop thinking about the grains of sand sort of tick tock falling away in the distances somewhere, three old shrouded women on a rocky coast somewhere measuring out the intertwining threads of your life as it heads for that inevitable *snip* and then fall falling, twisting, spiraling, fluttering ribbons as they float and drift slowly to a sunlit marble floor.

It was a lazy sunday though. and you can’t beat that.

not now at least.

Now watching: “Requiem for a Dream”

“it seems like 1000 years ago since last summer man…”

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