April 15, 2000
now I'm feeling: Pretty OK, considering what's been
going on in the market.
Right now I'm listening
to: Ayumi Hamasaki
Today I read parts
of: The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan,
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan, Flatland
by Edwin Abbott, and Lonely Planet: Egypt (can't
keep my mind on one book).
"As he thinketh in his heart, so is he ."
-- Book of Proverbs
the stock market hasn't been doing so well. That's an understatement.
Actually, it's in the crapper and there's no telling when
it will pull out of this death spiral. The stock of my main
holdings has dropped 50% in the past month and a half. Just
thinking about it makes my head spin. I'm OK. Don't worry,
I'll be fine. I just have to stay here on this bloody island
for another two years just to make up what I've lost in
the past two weeks! Just kidding! (sortof).
been downloading and installing new software like a madman
this week so I defragmented my hard drive... took more than
two hours! I've been spending wayyyy too much time on my
computer, but the plus side is that I'm getting more used
to these funky programs. One program I downloaded lets me
encode MP3s into RealAudio format. Which is really cool
because I can compress those suckers even further and put
them on the web for all you good folks to listen to. Today's
selection is from Ayumi Hamasaki and is called Fly
High. I was a bit worried about what bitrate to
encode it at, so I assumed that most people out there have
56k modems. If anyone has any problems with the stream,
email me and I'll try encoding on a lower bitrate. (If
you'd like to know a few facts about the young Ayumi Hamasaki
just click on her picture.) I'm fairly sure this is
illegal, but what do I care? If anything it's a promo for
those artists, right? I just hope they don't haul me away
like they did that kid last year in the north of Japan (I
think it was Hokkaido) for having MP3s on his site.
But until my storage site admins delete my accounts, I'll
be including J-Pop selections with my journals. Sometimes.
Not all the time. Got that? Got it??? I KNOW you
all are dying for J-Pop, but it's just not gonna
happen every day, kapice? Cool. Actually, I was really surprised
how fast it is to encode this stuff and slap it on the page.
The graphics for the hidden layers are a breeze, too.
the really curious things about being a JET is everyone
treating you as if you were a little kid. I was late for
school on Thursday, not for class, I had no class that day,
but when I showed up a couple of the women were grilling
me about where I was and how they were sooo worried about
me. GASP!! As if the path to school is writhing
with snakes like in an Indiana Jones movie. I see teachers
waltzing in late every day, but they get all worked up because
I come in a half hour after the morning meeting. Everyone
always takes an interest when I'm sick or if I have a problem.
I guess that's good, but I can take care of myself! Really!
(Well, for the most part, anyway.) I know some JET's
schools don't give a rat's ass about them, so I guess I
should be grateful, right? Hmm.. maybe I am. Whoa. Weird.
Now that I think about it, I am grateful.
supossed to go to another, yes, yet another, opening ceremony
on Friday. The special ed class has their opening ceremony
separate from the rest of the school for some reason and
I was invited to it. The special ed teacher was quite enthusiastic
about it, like it was some kind of party, but after a few
questions it sounded like a replay of Monday's and Tuesdays'
opening ceremonies, only with fewer people and less bowing.
"Oh yes, thanks I'd love to go to another opening ceremony!"
The opening ceremony was during first period on Friday and
I so wanted to go (now there have been classes for two
or three days already, mind you so it's not exactly an opening
ceremony anyway), but I was unavoidably detained by
Mr. Sandman. Bummer. Love those kids, I eat lunch with 'em
every day, but opening ceremonies... oK. enough of that.
two girls proclaimed their everlasting affections for me by
shouting "I LOVE YOU, JEFF!!" one from a window,
the other in the hallway. Cute kids. One of them said, "Oh,
Jeff! Handsome, kakkoi, pretty, pretty, nice face! I love
Jeff!" hehe Sometimes they're cute, sometimes they're
scary. Today they're cute and I love 'em for it. Next week,
I'll probably be making them write sentences till they lose
feeling in their fingers. :)
train back I met a guy from Morocco. He works in a factory
near Wakayama and he's lived in Japan for about 8 years. (His
name is Mustafa. Cool name, huh?!?) Interesting guy. Not
the usual foreigner teaching English in Japan, that's for
sure. His accent was really interesting, I'd never heard anyone
from Morocco before. He's married and has one girl. He warned
me that if I stayed long enough in Japan that I'd get married
no matter what I did. He said there was no escape. Uh-oh.
I don't plan on staying nearly as long as he has, but what
he says has more than a grain of truth from what I can see.
After I talked to him I ran into two flocks of my students
from last year. Coming back from their high schools. One group
hated it, one group loved it. The more things change the more
they stay the same.