Date:
September 12, 2000

 

Right now I'm feeling: pretty good

Right now I'm listening to: Olivia


Olivia -- Pass Me the Sugar
(Japanese Version)


I found out only recently that this J-Pop star is only half Japanese. She sang with a group called D&D for a while, but now she's gone solo. Perfect English, I think her Japanese has a slight accent to it!

My neighbors have been having a problem with spiders lately. They found two of these bad boys in their bathroom. No, the size of the monster is no illusion.. that's the pipe underneath their sink.
Can you say, "Aquired Arachnophobia"?
Last night I dreamt: One of the only two recurring dreams I have. It starts off that I'm in a small glass enclosure and the ground is covered in sand. Outside the enclosure... it's just blackness. The glass walls are curved so the bottom of the enclosure is much smaller than the top. The sand begins to run, like the ground sprang a leak or something. The sand slips through this hole in the ground. I begin to slide through the hole along with the sand and I'm trying to get a palm-grip on the walls, but it's no use. The struggle gets really frantic and I'm in a panic by the time I'm waist-deep in the sand and I slip through the hole. Then I fall. Far. I hit the bottom hard and lose consciousness. Then, the view kind of pans out away from the enclosure and I see that I'm trapped inside a large hourglass. That's where the dream ends.
How's that for your distorted dream imagery, huh? haha Not a hard one to analyze, I don't think. Yes, I've got major issues with time, I know. "Time is the fire in which we burn..."

 

Half Days

The Japanese sure love their half days.

Check this out.

OK. So, last Saturday there was a typhoon warning in the morning. Usually on Saturdays, they have three classes. The typhoon warning lifted, after it had been sunny and warm for four hours, so they called everyone to class for one period. On Monday, because they had missed out on two classes on Saturday, they had to make them up.

Strangely enough, though, this entailed having a half-day on Monday, which then had four classes instead of six. Two of those classes were homeroom (read 'homeroom' as: they sit in their class and listen to whatever their homeroom teacher feels like telling them for that day, something probably along the lines of giving it all they have and trying hard and good luck to us all… something vaguely inspiring in that Japanese sort of way.)

So, in total, they missed out
on four classes to make up two.
Like I said, any chance they get to have a half-day.

It's not that I'm complaining about this change of schedule. I think it's great (naturally, who doesn't love a half-day?)! But the funny thing is, is that they don't know HOW to enjoy their half-day. Any normal teacher (read 'normal teacher' as: western teacher) would pack up their things immediately after their last class and high-tail it home to spend the rest of the day lounging around their house or spending some quality, or not so quality time with their family.

Instead, the Japanese teachers can look forward to meetings for the rest of the day. What do they discuss during these meetings, you ask? Good question. I don't know, seeing how I avoid every single one I can. Like today.

Today the rain is pelting Wakayama-ken, Japan in a fierce, vengeful way. The earth has something to prove; the weather has to make it clear to man who's boss. The world stops when it says so and that's that. Well, it does, and it doesn't. They're closing roads, some shops, and people are not going places that were on their daily schedules. My neighbor's classes are getting cancelled. There are flood warnings all over the news. But the teachers are at school having their meetings. Damn!

The weather has been really bad lately. Humid and pouring rain. A bad combination. Very bad.

Back home in So. Cal, if it rains, that means that it's cold. It doesn't mean that you can't put on a jacket to protect your clothes from the rain because you'd sweat like a pig if you did. If you don't put on a jacket you get drenched from the rain. You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. But there are occasional cool drafts of wind that the rain brings and for that I am thankful. Unlike the relentless heat of summer or the icy air of winter. Variation is the word for today.

Variation is good.
Humidity is the devil.

The Replacement Teacher

The teacher who gives me a ride to one of my schools is pregnant and she's taking her maternity leave starting next month. I can't remember how long it is in the States or elsewhere, but here in Japan it's an entire year. The school needs a replacement teacher.

Problem is, is that they don't think they can find an English teacher to replace her.

Uh-oh.

Man, that's gonna suck big time if they get sum funked-out teachah who don't speak no good English likes I do.

Processing Problems

My computer crashes a lot. A lot of those goddam "kernel32.dll" errors (if you know what I'm talking about, you have my sympathies) and general page faults and other miscellaneous errors that dump my entire system tray, but more often than not freeze up my computer and won't respond to ctrl-alt-del. Windowstrouble.com and some other sites I've seen said that it could be that my processor has been overheated by a malfunctioning fan, and if the processor overheats, it's not simply a matter of cooling it down again, it's a piece of junk after that. It's been struggling along for the past few months, getting worse and so I've been shopping online for a processor/fan/motherboard replacement under 200. Strangely, for the past week or so it has only crashed once. I think it knows that it has angered the powers that be (namely me) and it has to shape up or I'm going to toss it's ass onto my hardware graveyard. Or it could also be that it's giving all it has, in one strong burst, just before it completely burns itself out (that would be bad).

I don't want to upgrade this thing just before I leave, but I might have no choice… I can't be without the computer. I just can't. I also hate being dependent on one thing for so many things. Working on schoolwork, writing, communication (email and PC to Phone stuff), and certainly not least, my web stuff. I wouldn't be able to maintain the page if I didn't have my own computer. How can an item we depend on so much be the source of so much frustration and woe?

My Brokerage Firm: Outhouse

I was on trading stocks last week (which I also need the computer for) and my fucking brokerage firm's site is so goddam slow that it cost me over five hundred dollars because the trade took so much time. I hate that. When I get back, I'm afraid of heading into a Waterhouse branch and just going postal on everyone for all the money they've cost me. I'm in the process of switching brokerage firms, but it takes time.

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