Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Aikido, Karaoke, Harajuku, and too much Nihongo.

Sadly I went to bed at a terrible time monday night/ tuesday morning. Try 3 am. I was actually able to wake up and get out of the dorm on time on Tuesday, which was a very pleasant surprise. Get to school as per usual. First class is always language. I like the teacher, I had finished my home work and was all prepared. I was hoping this class turned out much better than it did on thursday. Class did turn out much better than it did on thursday, it almost managed to be fun, and I felt like I was very productive. There is one problem with the Japanese class... all of them really, both the intensive and the regular academic classes. THEY ARE TOO DAMN LONG! With any class except maybe a very riveting lecture course, I am only tentative for the first 2 hours of it. After that my brain becomes mush and I start drooling. The Academic classes are 3 hours long and happen twice a week. I just can't deal with that much of anything, but especially a language class as hard as Japanese, it is ridiculous. Most of the other students agree with me, after the first two hours they start zoning out and loosing focus and drive. I think they should make the classes no longer than 2 and 1/2 hours.

After that I went to Lunch and just chilled with my buddy Kei. She had to go to class and I ended up just talking with some of the other ISP guys for a while before our class. The class it's self looks very promising. Japanese Post-War Film and Lit. The teacher seems awesome too, so I look forward to going back. I almost wish we had shorter classes more than once a week. The class was un-eventful, though I look forward to our first assignment, watching the 7 Samurai, a movie I have meant to watch for a long time. The basic plan is watch a movie, read a story, watch movie, read story, ect. till the end of the semester. It seems like a good plan and then we just have to be able to talk about which ever form of media we watched and how it fits with what was going on during the time it was writen.

The class actually let out early and per the plan I went down stairs to meet Sean for Aikido. I had borrowed a friends work out pants, but they were more like yoga pants than work out pants, and I didn't really think they were appropriate (and neither did anyone else) for aikido. Since I was a lot earlier than I thought I would be I went on down stairs and took a look around. The gym complex for the school is mostly underground and is very nice. It is also huge and maze like. I wandered around for a bit before finding a place that looked like it could be a dojo. There was a very long wall of slidding wodden doors (all closed so I didn't know what was on the other side.) Then there was another wall of slidding doors with the raised wooden platform down the hall and regular doors on the opposite wall. There were also many many cubbies for putting shoes in at the end of the hall leading off the raised platform to where I was standing. I figured this was where I was supposed to be, but since none of the doors were open I wasn't sure. I went to the bathroom nearest the maybe-dojo.

At some point a security guard lady walks in and I ask her where the aikido dojo is. She tells me to wait in the bathroom, which was kinda odd, but there I waited. After a bit she comes back and leads me over to this guy (out of the bathroom) and is just like "Aikido" and points at him a bit. I'm like "okay cool, whatev's at this point. Neither me or this guy who apparently does Aikido speak each others language very well so I'm just kinda sitting there chilling, I bring out a piece of paper with one of the other club members names on it (Sean the guy I am supposed to meet) and motion that I will call him. I have to go to the up stairs to do this cause we are a few stories underground at this point. I go up, call, no answer, so I text that I am in the doko already. I go back down and am introduced to this girl who takes me to the bathroom to change. Things actually went very smoothly after that. One of the many Sempi's (they are all sempi to me) but the head one spoke english kind of and led me through some base things, like what they do to enter the dojo and the like.

We go into the dojo and do the little start ceremony, bow to the wall, bow to the sensei, then get up and stretch as we used to in my old Aikido class. This was all familiar and I remembered it real quick. I actually felt good because there were other new people who had never done any aikido, and I knew a lot more than they did. It's also funny because I am still good at the things I was good at the first time and bad at other things. Like I still want to use my ballet skills and tighten up, but it also makes it so I am very good at keeping my upper body pointing straight. I still can't slide my feet across the mat as smoothly as I am supposed to because I do not have the caluses needed, but I am still good at tenki-ing (this little pivoting turn). Tai Chi actually did keep me able to move well enough so that I know what to do, I am happy about that.

Sean led me through a lot of stuff though. It was really nice to have someone who could speaking english come over if I didn't under stand what the sensei was saying. Or if one of the other students was helping me and didn't know how to phrase something or how to say it they would ask him. This other guy named Ko also helped. He was my sparing partner for a while, and we communicated through hand language mostly. He though the noises I made along with exagerated movements were really funny.

After practice was done we all ajourned to the upstairs where there is a little study hall. I officially joined the club, signed my name to the paper and all. Everyone was very nice and I had great fun. The all were very pleased that I find aikido such fun, but I really think it's fun, not just a way to stay in shape. I hung out in this little cool club room that was one more floor up and talked with Ko and the other guys for a bit before going home.

I went back to the dorm after hanging with the aikido guys around 8:00, which was a little later than I expected, but it was fun, so oh well. There was a giant party going on at the dorm when I got there. Everyone was already in some interesting states of itoxication. I guess this kinda thing happens. I joined in and provided the music. It was a lot of fun actually. Parties are the best way to practice your Japanese.

At some point things got kinda out of control. I was kinda bouncing back and forth between trying to stay out of the way and helping. Damage control ensued and most people ended up breaking off from the party at that point and things quieted down. A few intrepid people stayed down stairs and chilled and talked for a while after words. I ended up staying up late with Meghan, she wanted me to do a tarot reading for her. Sadly the deck of cards we have here kinda sucks.

Woke up kinda late on Wednesday. Showered, got dressed and made my self look more respectable. Meaghan, Maggie, and I went to Shiuya to Kareoke. It was a week day and before 1 so we got really good rates, though this place was not as good as some of the ones I have gone to. Meaghan and I both like Linkin Park so we ended up singing a lot of that. I usually did the screaming part because I can kind of do it. Made my throat sore and we couldn't stand to add any more time at the end because we all kinda started sucking.

After that we went to Harajuku and shoped around a bit. We started a different way than I usually go and went around the back. I found this little girly boutique and bought this cute two towned skirt for ONLY 500 yen skirt! Like $5! It will be nice for summer cause it is very light and airy and goes down to my knees. I like how well it swooshes in the breeze.

There are lots of cute caucasian boys in Harajuku. I am not against inter-racial relationships, in fact I am all for them. However, I do not think a relationship with a native Tokyo boy would be healthy, my ego could not take me dating some one whoes clothes I could not fit into (I like skinny boys, but thats taking it to far). It just wouldn't work out. Thus I tend to find the caucasians who live in Tokyo or visit more attractive. All of the attractive white guys have seem to moved to Tokyo, cause there are sure a lot of them.

Anyways, after a while Meghan said she was tired and her contact was giving her issues, so she left to go home and we walked her to the trains station (eki.) Maggie and I decided to walk around a bit more. We found this little side street with a lot of gothy stuff in it. I found this blood red bowler with black lining that I REALLY REALLY wanted. Sadly it was 4600 yen (about $46) and I could not justify spending that much on a hat, even if I had found a good deal in the skirt (see, I am a responsible shopper.) After walking a bit more we decided we were tired and starving and thus went to dinner at this Italian place. It was pretty good but over priced, I don't think I will got back because I bet I can find a cheepier place, I know of another one in Shibuy I want to look at soon.

-----This all happened last week, I am finally getting around to finishing this post, I just don't have the time to do this every day, and to much happens during the course of a week for me to only do it every week, my posts would be novelas. Thus I am going to try updating wednesdays and sundays. Hopefully that works, because supposedly some more people are reading this and I want them to continue reading it. I am going to do a QUICK over view and then write about the actually exciting parts of the rest of the week until today-------------------------

Thursday: same old same
-woke up far to early
-Academic Japanese from 9:10-12:20 (this is far too long a period of time for my tastes, even with the 10 min break in the middle) I think this was one of my good days, so it was fun, but still tiring and long.
-After that lunch with Kei, and I think my other budy Ayako was there.
-Kabuki and watching a bit of a movie. I love Kabuki class.

Friday: Long day, and a bit upsetting.
-I lost my voice in the morning. Couldn't speak above a whipser and it hurt to swallow.
-Went to school anyways. Teacher said I didn't have to talk in Intensive Japanese, which was good because I really couldn't and what little I tried hurt and no one could understand me.
-Lunch, The I walked to Meguro with Kei to transfer out the rest of my money and pay my room rent.
-My voice came back on the walk back from the bank. We both kinda did a double take when we realized I had been talking in a regular voice, and not a hoars whisper, for the last 10 minutes.
-I got a doughtnut at this awesome hole in the wall store, it had coconut filling, the doughnut, not the store.
-did my home work in the cafetiria with Kei.
-We went down stairs and paid the housing money. It made me sad, we had to get these little stickers to put on the form by shoving 200,000 yen in a little machine. I cried to see that much money go.
-Went to the Tea Class, and felt even better, that class always relaxes me. Sensei said I could come in early if I had time and help set up.
-Some people were going to Korean BBQ, which I did want to do, but I was still not 100% so I went home to sleep.
-didn't sleep that great, but I did.

-woke up late, feeling 87%, good enough to do shit.
-went to Jyugaoka to buy sweat pants for aikido.
-caught the train from there and was only 10 minutes late for aikido.
-We had an older person teaching us, but when I asked if he was the teacher he said no, I guess he is a guest sensei. He was very good and very nice.
-Felt 90% better after aikido. Went home around 9:15 pm
-there was another party going on. I didn't really join, just kinda walked back and forth between stuff I was doing in my room and the party.

Sunday: Sunday will get it's own blog post in a bit, I went to a butlers cafe, but it was so awesome it needs it's own post.

-I stayed up late the night before. So I was VERY tired
-Went to Intensive (still to long of a class, and a bit harder than the regular class)
-society and culture class, we have to go to a different part of Tokyo and make a presentation on it. Me and Maggie are in a group with this very nice girl, whose name alludes me, and we have decided to go to Akasaka, which is supposed to be kind of old school Tokyo with lots of temples and things. I will let you know how it goes. I think we are making a video, I will provide the url when it is done.
-Went back to the dorm after that.

Monday Night is also going to get it's own blog post, I went to my first Kabuki play, it was awesome. I need to write a critique on it, so my blog post is going to turn into my critique, two birds with one stone.

-I had a kanji quiz on Tues, as well as a movie I needed to watch for the class. So I stayed up VERY VERY late to get it done. Try 5 am about. So I was exhausted the next morning.

Tuesday: day from hell.
-Woke up at 7, exhausted, did the pull on something resembling clothes and run out the door.
-Japanese was hard to get through, I could barly concentrait and was very close to falling asleep a few times, luckily, someone did fall asleep in class, who wasn't me, so I didn't feel too bad.
-Lunch, I watched the first half of the movie I was supposed to. I know, bad Eve, but I didn't have the movie and didn't know who did though the teacher had given it to someone. I thought there was going to be an advertised viewing and there wasn't. So I did most of it on my own.
-went to class and was able to participate enough.
-Went directly home, finished up some loose ends, e-mailed some people, and crashed for 12 hours at 7 pm.
-I had a really freaky dream, if time permits I will write what I remember on my other blog, woke up after that dream, and woke up one more time long enough to talk to my dad for a bit online.

-meant to wake up at 7 am but had missed a bit of time when I woke up the night before and thus recovered it by sleeping in a bit more.
-woke up for certain at 9
-did some computer things
-got dressed in work out clothes and went for a jog.
-I ran between three near by metro stations. I got lost once and had to ask this poor old man behind the counter at a convieni, I think i scared him running in all flushed and sweating but he told me how to get there, and I ended up being not as lost as I thought. I forgot to bring a water bottle which I won't do again
-Got back to the dorm a bit after 11, so about 45 minutes to do that jog (left 10:15). I bet I can do it in 20 min if I bring water and don't get lost (I wandered around amlisly for a long time when I got lost.)
-Cleaned room a bit

And now I am writing this waiting for my delicates to air dry so I can put them away. After this I think I am going to start working on the Kabuki post. I also should probably eat dinner at some point cause all I have had was an english muffin with some butter on it. Not filling. I also have another kabuki dvd to watch but we don't have that class for the rest of this month, so I guess I have time. I ALSO have a cumulitve test on Friday that I want to study for for at least an hour today.

I keep thinking it is the weekend. This weekend is going to be ridiculous. All Saturday night is going to be me partying. I am going to a club in Yokohama with Kei for her birthday, and then this giant goth dance party in Shibuya that runs from 12-5. The trains stop running at 11:45, so I either stay there the whole party or don't go, and I really want to go. I can always chill in a McDonalds if I need a rest.

Have a nice day and I will let you know what happens next.
-Rocketing off into another exciting adventure with Eve Terrific and her mighty mistic shaman dog Manfred.


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