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This raining needs to stop now kthxbai. orz

I still have no driver's license. Amanda is taking her third test today - three tries is the fastest either she or I have ever heard of anyone getting theirs. I still shake my fist at Japan's love-affair translation agreement with Canada and Australia. I understand it, mostly, but I shake my fist at it. In light of not being able to drive, I wake up at 6:30 to get the 7:07 bus to make the 7:35 train to get to Ogane at 7:45 so I can walk up the mountain to school and be on time at 8:00. This is not so bad. If it never rained, I would be perfectly happy to do it every day. But it does rain. A lot. And it's cold. That makes it very Not Fun.

I have discovered a girl in one of my second year classes who lived in Oxford for three years (she still speaks with her accent and it's adorable), and a boy in one of my third year classes who lived in Ohio for four. I am looking forward to speaking to them more. But oh, man. I've been so spoiled. Between starting late and having all these days off this past two weeks, and Golden Week beginning on Saturday (wherein I am set to go to Osaka and do everything Kanjani8 told me to do, and see everything Kanjani8 ever referenced), I don't know how I'm going to get through the rest of the year. L-lol

The apartment is almost totally put together now. We finished putting away our kitchen and my room is basically in order, and we just got a kotatsu. We need to get an extension cord so we can plug it in, but that will take care of our living room furniture. Now we have only to get all the packaging trash taken out and then I can take pictures of our lovely space. It's exciting.
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Blah. I hate TV for taking away my Utaban. WHERE WILL I SEE TAKA-SAN NOW, JAPAN? Surely there were wigs you could use when Nakai ran out of hats? And right after taking Shukudai-kun from me. Shame. Dishonor! Dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow!

/Mulan quoting.

I will miss you, Utaban.
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You guys, it's the last Arashi no Shukudai-kun. I might cry at the end of it. I am going to miss this show and staff so much.

I have other things to say, but not the brain power to say them. So I will leave you with me wibbling over the loss of AnS.
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It's not the Snowpocalypse or whatever the snazzy titles the news stations in the States came up with, but we got snow last night. Serious snow. Such serious snow that the kids are coming in two whole hours late today, and I appeared right on time this morning to the general HOLY-CRAP-HOW-DID-YOU-DRIVE-THAT? of everyone.

Snow, of course, is not so much a big deal back in the States, but that's because we have plowers who are out first thing in the morning. Here, they haven't got that. If there isn't snow on the streets (at least the big ones) it's because there have been other cars driving over it. If there isn't snow on the little back streets it's because God created a miracle. (No, really.)

It's actually very pretty out there, but terrifying to drive. I barely went above 20km the whole trip. (This, uh, may be in part because I don't have snow tires. I know, I'm a terrible person. No, really.) I took some shots from around the school on my phone; I will try to get some from around my house later. I wish I had snow boots - my sneakers are soaked. XD;

Of course, because the kids are coming in two hours late my first two classes are canceled, leaving me only fourth period. And Nakamura-sensei isn't here either, so who knows if she will come at all, since she has to commute from Takasaki. If she doesn't, that would bring me down to zero classes. Nakamura-sensei has entered the building. One fourth period for me.

YAY BOREDOM. I knew I should have brought my embroidery. 8Db

OH. And I forgot to mention. Rush Limbaugh threatens to leave the US for Costa Rica should the health care bill pass Congress. This is HILARIOUS because, funny enough, Costa Rica already offers universal health care to the people. It's also a relief. Good riddance, Limbaugh. (Is he really going? Doubtful. Do I wish he really would? You bet.)
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♠Preventative measures seemed to have worked against the Oncoming Cough. My throat doesn't feel as scratchy. Excellent.

♠Yesterday I wound up watching the latter half of the Tokyo marathon. I didn't realize how many celebrities participated, but I saw Bobby Orgon(?) make it (took the poor man 5 hours). His kids, particularly his son, who'd told Bobby he didn't think Bobby could make it, were there and it was really sweet. I got embarrassingly teary-eyed.

♠I also watched what Japan showed of the figure skating exhibition got embarrassingly teary-eyed. Oh, figure skating, what will I do without you for four years?

♠Classes do not promise to be terribly interesting today, since last week was tests from Tuesday to Thursday. Actually, we'll see if I even have classes because they might just be giving back the tests and going over it. (LOL, nope, no classes. Just fifteen minutes of bingo at the start and then back here to the old desk to read.)

♠Note to self: Start going to sleep at a decent time again, you nut.

♠I love how the weather's been recently. I'm going to cry when it gets cold again. orz

♠I bought Namie's Future>Past and TOKIO's new single last week, but I'm lazy so I didn't get around to importing them 'til yesterday. They make me seriously happy.
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Macchi was on Utaban tonight, and he killed (and introduced Arashi for next week). Because the last time he was on Utaban presented him with a bike that he really, really wanted, he said "Nandemo yarimasu". Not a good idea when you're on a show with Taka-san and Nakai. Nakai took advantage of VTR to call Macchi Macchi to his face, and then make him do ridiculous things.

So of course Macchi used the opportunity to dokkiri Nakai and send him into a whimpering ball of Johnny, whining "I REALLY WANTED TO DIE" and "IS IT OKAY FOR ME TO QUIT JOHNNY'S????"

LOL.
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... Mikhail Gorbachev is on SMAPxSMAP tonight. I knew about it from [livejournal.com profile] capncosmo, but seeing it... How on EARTH did SMAP manage that??? I do not have an icon that properly expresses my bewilderment.

PS: OH MY GOD Shukudai-kun is going to KILL me tonight. XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
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Apparently if I want to keep driving next year, I either must spend three months in America (to make an international driver's permit legal again) or get a Japanese license. Getting a license would be fine if I were planning on staying in Japan for several more years - it only makes sense to have the license of the country/state you live in.

However.

Just to apply for the test I need to fill out forms and send them and 3,380 yen to the Japan Automobile Federation, and then wait for further instructions. The actual test itself includes written and practical driving, but it also includes being automatically failed the first time, being failed the second time for good measure, being failed the third time just for the instructor's fun, and maybe being allowed to pass the fourth time. One of the other Joytalk employees had to take the test five times before they passed. I don't even know where I'm supposed to go to take these tests after I submit all the documentation.

Japan. Why do you exist to make life hard for people?

Also, no word yet on the training dates for Spring, though apparently the Tochigi people are having it on the 5th (which will be the day I get back from America - I predicted that, but leaving any earlier made the price of tickets skyrocket). I don't even know if I'm staying here in Maebashi or not.

Sigh, my life.

Back to attaching sleeves to my blouse.
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I am probably going to regret it when the e-mail from my company comes telling me that our training days are something ridiculous like March 31st and April 1st, but today I bought my tickets home. I will leave here the morning of the 26th and I will return in the afternoon of April 5th (leaving New York on the morning of April 4th).

Frankly, I don't care if I miss training. I'm sick of them waiting until the last damned minute to decide anything. Prices skyrocket and they know it. What I'm worried about is the health check. If that winds up being during the time I'm still in New York, I don't know what I'm going to do. :/

Oh well, we'll have to see what happens.
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Awwwwwwwwww Arashi look so sad without Sho on Music Station tonight. XD YUKI and Porno Graffiti are both on, making this well worth it. (We'll pretend KAT-TUN don't exist because um, Jin. Cut the skeezy hair for real.) Also, the Backstreet Boys are on. It's going to be HILARIOUS.

ETA: The awesome is already starting with Taka-san making fun of them with Nino while hiding behind a giant picture of Tamori-san.

ETA II: LOL Nino pointing out that MS had forgotten KAT-TUN. Also Kame, please keep your hair short always. You actually look good like this. (Super super LOL because Nino is too short and is being blocked by DJ Ozma's and Kinashi's enormous hair.)

ETA III: Digital Sho is hilarious. They should do that for the whole Olympics.
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Oh, here we go.

Waratte Koraete's New York special, and the guy managed to hit the East Village. Within the diameter of his compass, the Bowery, Broadway, and "3丁目" (uh, no dude, no such thing) were all included. The lady is going with the ubiquitous fake nose, blond curly wig, and is dressed in the flag. Yeah, this is going to be one of those specials, where everything they put on TV is going to be the "weird side of America".

ETA: Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool and the first lady the TV hostess goes to see starts laaaaaaaaaaaughing and asks "WHY???"

ETA II: I LOVE NEW YORKERS. The old man tells the lady to turn the "kinda famous" statue and then says "I think so. I've never done it."

ETA III: They found the rick-shaw guy who is dressed up as Spider Man and does acrobatics. orz

ETA IV: One of the things I find really funny about this? They're RIGHT NEXT to 8th street, where all the Japanese restaurants are. But instead they're going to pubs that have been there since 1854 (which, you know, I can understand - it's an awesome place).

ETA V: Looooool they just got roped into going into the Astor Place barber shop by a big Italian man.

ETA VI: Oh, there we go. They found the gay men. With the accents, lisps and skinny jeans. Who dress in drag and do the hula. Yep, yep, there we go.

ETA VII: And it ends with that. So everybody can talk about how scary it is. Except they cut a lot of the talking. That's good at least.
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My mom sent me this card for Valentine's Day. My mom is seriously awesome. We'll ignore how early it is. XD;

Also. LOL Jun's fender-bender is on every single news station. It's kind of funny.
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Some seriously amazing things from Kise Junior High:

Nagata-sensei: *marches three boys into the teachers room*
Nagata-sensei: *looks at them* Now. Watch. Me. *turns to me* Lisa-sensei. *puts down a handdrawn kabuto picture* What is this?
Lisa: *wonders if this is a quiz* A kabuto?
Nagata-sensei: *turns to boys* A KABUTO! Repeat! Kabuto!
Boys: *shuffling awkwardly* Kabuto.
Nagata-sensei: *draws a stag-horn beetle* Lisa-sensei. What is... THIS?
Lisa: *blinks* A stag-horn beetle?
Nagata-sensei: *turns to boys* A staghorum beetle... *turns to me* Staghorum?
Lisa: Stag. Horn.
Nagata-sensei: Hoooooru...mu? Ma?
Lisa: Horn.
Nagata-sensei: Stag. Hoarna beetle. *turns to boys* Repeat! Stag hoarna beetle.
Boys: *repeat*
Nagata-sensei: Again!
Boys: *repeat*
Nagata-sensei: Now! Rei! *boys to me* THANK YOU, LISA-SENSEI.
Boys: *mumble* Thank you, Lisa-sensei.
Nagata-sensei: *leads the boys away, making them repeat stag-horn beetle the whole time*


Just before second period English:

Marubashi: Lisa-sensei! おひさま!
Lisa: Good morning.
Marubashi: Lisa-sensei get かみカット?
Lisa: *nods*
Marubashi: 似合う! どこでした?
Lisa: 高崎のグラム。
Marubashi: おおおお! 私もgetカット。千円のヘアー変なおじいさんここでハッシャって。*points to her hair and makes the sign for money* This important!
Marubashi: Lisa-sensei! Your family... 何県? Ah, no, your family... FROM JAPANESE?! *beams proudly*
Friends: *in a chorus* 違う!
Lisa: *trying not to laugh* No, not from Japanese.

I swear that girl is going to grow up and either be a comedian or a Johnny's stalker. Or both.
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I have new hair. Not really, but I got it cut shorter than it's been in ages (which, if you know me, is not very short) and takes approximately an hour to air dry. Now I just need to re-dye it any things will be super-peachy.

I dipped into [livejournal.com profile] sw_inku's hostess gift today; the oolong tea is delightful. It goes very well with the tiny opera cake I treated myself to buying yesterday. Said cake is pretty damn good, too.

It's been really warm around here lately, at least during the day. I saw on the news that sakura have started blooming, never mind that it's still January. This area still won't get them until around mid-March, though. I hope I'm here for them this year. Making sure I'm here for them would be to miss a chance to go home, and I really don't want to do that. orz
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Smelly foods, lost porn videos (borrowed ones!), and the staff writing out what's on Aiba's food-presentation cards so the other members can read it before he can. Also Aiba brought back the 'sing this phrase in this style of song' game. (Does that thing have a name?) Oh, Shukudai-kun, never leave me.
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[livejournal.com profile] capncosmo and I went to Utsunomiya hoping to get advance tickets for the Shinkenger vs. Go-onger movie (only to find that advance tickets are simply not being sold) and came back with tickets for Alice in Wonderland instead. I am exceeeeeeeedingly excited. I want to see this movie like burning.

I let my 100 userpic add-on expire as an unnecessary expense, to discover that I have 65 anyway. Most excellent. I means I can have my Yankees icons again!

Also excellent? Is the fact that my stove turns itself off. I may have just attempted to boil water only to completely forget it was on the heater.

Now for Sho's Tokujo Kabachi!!. I am intrigued by the previews for Bloody Monday, but I haven't seen the first series. I should do that.
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In memory of family and friends who have lost the battle with cancer; and in support of the ones who continue to conquer it! Post this on your LJ if you know someone who has or had cancer. 93% won't copy and paste this. Will you?

Dad's birthday should have been tomorrow. Gwen's husband Bruce passed on not too long after. RIP.

In totally different news, today Steive and I woke at 5:30 to get her on the train. She should now be 15 minutes into her ride on the Narita Express. And I return to my life as a lonely bachelorette, eating conbini bento. We were both rather impressed with ourselves and our capacity for living on top of each other without burning my apartment down or killing each other. (I imagine the trip to Kyoto and the fact that we spent most of our time, when possible, outdoors helped.)

It was a very good nearly-two-weeks of visit and I will miss Stevie. :( At least I still have birthday brownies from mom. 8Db
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I did not expect for Saigo no Yakusoku to turn out as it did. Well, in some respects I did (my way of thinking was: This is Arashi, nobody's going to die, and I was surprised by being right) but in others... well. I may have kind of burst out laughing at the climax such was my state of disbelief. I'm a horrible person, I know.

I have now been to Harajuku and seen Omotesando Hills. I am never going again. (Unless I somehow manage to walk that way.) I did have a good after-birthday lunch and cake there, though. It was worth it to have been able to dress up at least a little. And thanks to the train ride I am about 100 pages away from finishing Wicked. (It's ridiculous how I've been going through books lately. Stevie and I are basically switching piles of them when she leaves.)

There is probably other stuff I wanted to say, but for now I've forgotten. Oops. orz
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Going into Ueno/Harajuku/Shinjuku with Stevie (I'M SORRY IT'S NOT OKINAWA, AMANDA), because she hasn't seen Tokyo yet. And maybe because I get a late birthday day out of it. We're getting out late, but there will be plenty of time for her shopping. I'm dragging her back for Saigo no Yakusoku after an early dinner anyway. XD
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I am such a social faux pas. D:

Tomorrow Stevie and I are going to Kyoto, since she hasn't been and it's better than staring at the walls of my apartment. We will return on the 5th, just in time for me to drag her to "training" on the 6th. Then I have to leave her alone for two days worth of work since school starts on the 7th. D: We'll have the weekend (and this is where I'm a social faux pas) and then I leave her alone for another two days before she returns to America on the 12th. (And that's going to be fun - a lovely 5:30 wake up for all. 8Db)

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