vintage_belle: (Default)
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.
vintage_belle: (Default)
First day of work. I came to a desk with a computer on it and was told: "Please use it. There's even internet."

I will try not to abuse it, but damn that makes my life happy for a while. (Not, of course, that I can get e-mail, but LJ is working just fine.)

And class is shaping up like this:

Tasaki-sensei: Introduce yourself to me, to Lisa-sensei, and to three or more of your friends.
Student: (in English) I don't. Have. Friends. :| *turns magazine page*
Me: *tries VERY VERY HARD not to laugh*

I hope this happens every day. Also, it might be that the quality of English out here is super awesome or they have a deal with the devil, but these kids are pretty damn good. And they TALK TO ME. Like, willingly. In Japanese/English mixes even. It's awesome. :D
vintage_belle: (Default)
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.)
vintage_belle: (Default)
♠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.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Company people didn't show up yesterday, and they haven't showed up today. Don't know what it means except I don't have to deal with them, and that is always a good thing.

In other news, I'm about to fall asleep at my desk. Yesterday and today being test days, I had a grand total of two classes between them - both of them with Class 6 and neither with an actual lesson plan. Today we actually had lunch a whole hour early, and now I'm sleepy, bored, and have nothing to occupy me. I should have brought a book. Le sighe.
vintage_belle: (Default)
My usual first and second year classes are all taking tests today, and my third years either are as well, or have other things of importance. So instead I'm being asked to teach what I assume is the special class, since there are only maybe 5 students and I haven't actually seen any of them yet. I have no idea if they've actually had English, but I assume they must have, and I don't know where they are or what I'm expected to do with them.

Kill me now, kthxbai.

[ETA] Apparently people from my company are coming today??????????????????? I DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT THIS! Now every time the door opens I jump in my seat. What on earth could The Company need with me that they didn't see fit to inform me of in advance? TT_____________________________________TT
vintage_belle: (Default)
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.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Had only two classes today and nobody to play with, so I spent most of my day clicking on the members of [livejournal.com profile] dressdiaries. There are enough people who are still active that I only got through half the B's. LOL

Also in lol-worthy news, in 1-4, somebody wrote a school paper article about Nino and how he's awesome. I wholeheartedly agree. 8Db
vintage_belle: (Default)
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.
vintage_belle: (Default)
In light of me being sick, on Monday my vice-principal sent me home early. It wound up being by less than a whole period, because my one class of the day was during 5th and I leave 10 minutes before 6th ends, but the thought was there. My vice-principal was ready to let me go home that morning, if I wanted it. Instead I spent the day being plyed with cough drops delivered from the office keeper/secretary.

Tuesday there wasn't an offer to go home early, but two of my four classes were cancelled so it didn't really matter. I spent those two classes doing as little speaking as possible, which sort of defeats my purpose, but I had my writing cards. Also, someone presented my vice principal with two calendars, one of James Dean and one of Marilyn Monroe. (I'm not really sure why.)

Today I'm basically totally better, which is nice. Again, two of four classes were cancelled. And then after lunch my vice-principal gave me the James Dean calendar. It's huge and gorgeous and I'm very excited. On top of that my mom sent me an e-mail saying that my grandmother's apartment has finally been sold - cash contract for $610,000 (I think). The closing will be in January. It's a great relief, because now mom doesn't have to pay the maintainence on her apartment.

That's all the news in the land of me. Now I being my Hawaii-and-Stevie countdowns!
vintage_belle: (Default)
I finally did it. I turned off my alarm for the weekend, left it off, forgot that I'd turned if off by last night. And this morning? I was awoken by a phone call from my junior high vice principal, asking if I would be coming in.

.___________________.

Luckily they're all treating it as something funny since it's the first time in eight months that it's happened. And they called me instead of calling Joytalk, which means I don't have to tell the dear old company anything that happened until the 10th of December - and what are they going to do about it then?

So yes. This week is off to a fantastic start.
vintage_belle: (Default)
I woke up 10 whole minutes early today and decided to see if there was weather on. There wasn't, but I caught Jun the 'Idea Man' on Zoom-in Super. Tons of VTR and not much talking. He looked particularly un-made-up, but that could just have been me.

Work is a ghost town. Due to the outbreak of influenza here, 3 of 5 first year classes, 2 of 5 third year classes, and one of the second year classes are all out. On top of all that, the head of the English teachers is out, so I have no schedule. I did nothing yesterday except to check over the first year classes introductions and shiver. Today... is probably more of the same, only minus introductions to check. Fun times.
vintage_belle: (Default)
So I spent all of last week being sick (and not working on my dress). I went into work four out of five days. I could tell you about the bullshit I had to go through on Thursday, when all I wanted to do was sleep and be miserable. Suffice it to say that it is not worth it to call out sick; much better to get into a pile-up on the way to work and tell the company later 'I told you so'.

Instead I will talk about my dress, which I haven't talked about in a while. Basically, my pattern lied. All this talk of cutting out 1 on the fold is lies. In order to make the skirt proper one needs 2 on the fold at least. Then for the two over skirt layers it encourages cutting out two on the selvage. This is crap. If one is going to gather in those two layers with the rest of the skirt like they're supposed to, the over skirt layers wind up somewhere over the hip. The point of them is to still reach around enough to look as though they're coming down directly from the bodice. You can't do that if you don't cut out 4 panels.

In conclusion, the pattern is crap.

But I spent the weekend cutting the four new panels needed and sewing them together. So the new overskirt layers are together again; I just need to pin them back to the skirt proper, rerun the gathering stitches and regather, and then I can finally sew the skirt to the bodice. After that it's a matter of hooks and eyes and hemming.

That much of my life is exciting, at least.
vintage_belle: (Default)
So my company keeps earning strike after strike. This time it's about the rental car. The company they work with (I haven't actually been to the office so this is hearsay) is apparently a literal mom-and-pop place. The wife deals with the customers and the husband and son are the mechanics. So what they don't do is inspect the cars.

Upon retrieving my car in Tochigi two weeks ago, it came to me with an empty tank of gas and an absolutely filthy interior. I naturally made it my first stop to go to a gas station and get the tank filled and the car cleaned. While they were cleaning I was made aware of a battery problem and the need for an oil change. Calling my boss got me only the great advice that the garage was probably trying to get more money out of me and that if I wanted to get the car looked at I should stay in Tochigi overnight so I could drive an hour out to the company base and get it looked at. This was on a Saturday, which would mean driving all the way back from Tochigi to Gunma on a Sunday - that would have meant either driving back by myself or driving back with [livejournal.com profile] capncosmo only to put her on the train. I decided to continue driving.

Now I can't say that the fact the battery failed this morning is Joytalk's fault - I could have gotten it looked at either two weeks ago or last week (because it's so very convenient to drive to Tochigi). But nonetheless the battery did fail this morning. (It was fine on Saturday.) I had to take a cab in to work this morning and I will have to be driven back home this afternoon. Apparently the car company will now have to drive me down a new car - this will take two days, so I'll probably have to do this tomorrow and Wednesday, too.

The reason this earns my company strikes is that, well, if they worked with a company that maybe inspected their cars before sending them out, this wouldn't be a problem.
vintage_belle: (Default)
Sports Day got rained out. (I knew I should have brought my sewing. They still teach Home. Ec. so there are bound to be irons in the school somewhere.) This means I am regulated to the desk once again, unless some teacher picks me up and attempts to have a class. I doubt this will happen. I just hope there is no rain when it comes time to go home and buy an iron.

I will probably edit this post with the beginnings of my dress dairy when I get back. For now the photos of what I've done are up on my flickr (which, I admit, I forgot I even had entirely). As you can see, I do most of my work on the floor, as I don't have a table large enough. Don't do this at home, kids - it's made me the world's worst cutter of fabric ever. (Why yes, I am a total amature of sewing even now, how did you guess?)

Also in exciting news, Mom sent me Macaroni and Cheese which arrived yesterday. Fake yellow cheesy goodness. I am so excited for it.
vintage_belle: (Default)
So my very annoying company is sending grant into Gunma on Thursday and Friday. He's going to video Giovanni and myself in our schools, so OF COURSE he picks Eimei - my least favorite school. It's on a super special day when I'm going to be with the fourth graders, too. I'm NEVER with the fourth graders - any video he gets will not be representative of my usual teaching there. I'm not sure if that's a bad or a good thing, yet.

It will bring up a chance for me to bully Grant into giving me a car (though what I really want is a scooter). The bike was fine during the summer. Sure it was hot and oppressive out there, but I can deal with that. Now that it's cooling into winter? The northern head winds going several miles an hour are constantly blowing, and by the time I get anywhere - the Family Mart, work, home, the cleaners - my chest has constricted and I have trouble breathing. It's that cold and that much work to keep the bike moving forward. It's worse when it rains and I don't even want to think of what it could be like when it snows.

Either that or Grant can prepare for a metric ton of receipts for taxi cab rides coming in, because I'm just not going to deal with the bike anymore. I wasn't supposed to have the damn thing to begin with.

My patterns still haven't come. Neither has any mail for that matter. On the bright side, I am reading a lot more these last two months than I have all year. I finished three books in August and I'm on my fourth of September as we speak. I didn't realize how much I missed reading until I found myself with little to do and nobody to talk to online.

Totally unrelated: I am not happy about the loss of the Dragon Cave fansite. Since it, I haven't been able to grow my dragons beyond hatchlings. They all die. orz

About-to-be-dead dragons under here )
vintage_belle: (Default)
My patterns need to come. Right now. I've had the fabric for almost two weeks. Apparently the store didn't ship them because they needed to take it to the post office to check the shipping and then charge my card an extra 12 dollars. Because that takes a whole week to do, you see. *sigh*

On Saturday [livejournal.com profile] capncosmo and I went into Akihabara. Apparently there is a maid cafe where in the theme is trains and they have electric trains that the customers can drive around. However, she being without a computer and having had nothing to write on, had neither map nor address. It became a rather fruitless search. (We did wind up in an Indian place for lunch - and then that same night I saw it on TV. I thought that was rather hilarious.) The cafe we finally chose half met my expectations and half didn't. The girls were all in maid costumes, sure, but they were all different dresses and aprons and the like. A couple weren't even in actual black maid dresses. But we were made to perform the 'becoming delicious magic spells' over our drinks and it was awesome. (Sitting next to us were two guys speaking English loudly and in thick accents. It was very distracting to the conversation.) So now I can say that I have been to a maid cafe, like every good tourist should.

Sunday I cleaned my apartment.

This week is looking to be yet another one of Those Weeks. I don't have a schedule, but it's looking like I don't have the first years today. Tuesday and Wednesday are both the special schedules, where the classes are short and the kids head out early. Not sure about Thursday or Friday yet. And then with the coming weekend, I have 5 days off. (Apparently it's called Silver Week among the business owners.) Not sure what I'm going to do with that aside from dragging [livejournal.com profile] capncosmo out to Tokyo Disneyland with me. They've started up a Halloween masquerade in Tokyo Disney Sea, and I really want to see it. It's as close as I'm getting to Halloween this year, and I won't even get to dress up for it. T^T
vintage_belle: (Default)
I have learned a new 四字熟語. (A four character saying.)
It is this: 開店休業. (Kaiten kyugyou.)

In essence: The shop is open but there's no work to be done. The reason I have learned it is because that is my situation today. I'm here at work, but the third years are out in Kyoto and the second years are having a job consulation meeting type thing. Since I have the first years on Monday and Wednesday, it means no classes for me.

Oh the joys of sitting at my desk and staring at my coffee mug.

Also, it's funny the things that you never think about until someone asks you to explain them. Case in point - the janitor at Kise just asked me what 'keep up with the times' means. Hopefully I got it right. orz

Also, also, I finally got around to typing up the partially-written prequel for In the Still of the Night from my notebook. The voice is very unlike that of the 'fic - I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. It needs a good ending point and a beta, and then I'll see about posting it.
vintage_belle: (Arashi - Ohno is not amused)
I love starting the morning with a good goose chase. See, yesterday I went to Komagata Elementary, and they were ready for me. I had all my usual classes, and it was cool. So today, I figured since it's Friday, clearly I have Eimei classes today.

Nope.

Apparently this whole week I was supposed to be with Kise Junior High, and start my elementary schools next week, on the 4th. And of course, Kise said nothing about this, and the BOE said nothing about this, so I had no idea. So they called Kise and said they had me but nothing to do for me, and I biked all the way back - and believe me it's HOT outside. あら、まあ。

But I finally got the schedule they'd sent to Kise yesterday, assuming I'd be here. Oh Japan. How you fail so much sometimes.
vintage_belle: (Arashi - Ohno is not amused)
So go figure, the one class I was supposed to have, I no longer have. This is due to a change in schedule - and when does anybody ever think to tell me about those until I'm standing on their classroom doorstep? *sigh*

Oh well, back to working on Blood Contract and prowling through the new JE anonymeme. At least it's a curry lunch day.

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