spinelstar: (Default)
That's Japanese for "Long time, no see." XD And it is an understatement.

Long story short, I've been back home for exactly 3 weeks. Things predictably got crazy the last couple of months I was in Japan, packing up and spending every weekend going to goodbye parties and trying to squeeze in last-minute sightseeing (and karaoke!). So I sort of dropped RPing suddenly and stopped checking my secondary email. ^^; As a result, I missed some things—some automatic payment failures on my journals due to an expired credit card, some very sweet and somewhat concerned emails due to me being entirely absent on LJ and AIM, and most importantly what everyone has been up to!

So what's up, everybody? :D

As for me, I'm simultaneously not up to much and up to quite a lot. (Figure that one out. XD;) On the one hand, I have been relaxing… Beating my mother at Dr. Mario, taking moonlit swims because it's too hot during the day, chatting with my sister all night until the sun starts to rise. On the other hand, she and I decided pretty quickly that we needed to switch our rooms around, and we've gone all out. After a few trips to IKEA, I've got all new furniture in here, aaaaaand our beds are finally in separate rooms. We used to sleep in the same room so we could chat all night, and left the other room for desks and books and things. But I got so used to living by myself that we decided I should at least have my own space. And I like it now; it's pretty. ♥ I'll have to take some pictures.

Things are winding down on that now, though, and I'm still taking the rest of the year off. I've got a decent amount of money saved up from teaching, and since I'm living at home I don't really need any income. I would like to pursue a bit of singing and acting while I have time like this, but at the moment I'm not really thinking about that. First I'd like to jump back into RPing!! I'm free as a bird, and what better way to spend it than playing and chatting with you guys?? :D You all kept me SANE through what was, for me, both a very difficult and rewarding experience. I can never thank you guys enough. ♥

I'm sure I'll do a long and more reflective post about my time in Japan (maybe several), but for now I just wanted to update and let everybody know what was up. You all are awesome! I'm anxious to catch up with everyone. ^_^

It's so good to be home~ ♥
spinelstar: (Default)
Whoopsie! Skipped for two weeks. Where has the time gone?

Sorry I haven't been around at all, guys. Still trying to stay calm and things. (Sometimes failing—*cough cough* last night.)

~♥ ♥ ♥~ )
spinelstar: (Default)
Wow, this didn't take me as long as I thought it would. Tagged by [livejournal.com profile] in_the_blue.

It's all about ME!!! :D )
spinelstar: (i like kitties)
A Drama.

Me, these past two months or so: I'm going home in ___ days. Thank God. -_-

Me, this weekend: OMIGOSH I ONLY HAVE FORTY-SOMETHING DAYS LEFT!!! D: *stress* I HAVE SO MUCH FREAKIN' STUFF TO DO!!! How is it all going to get done???? And why hasn't my new supervisor contacted me AT ALL yet this is his job and I haven't even MET the guy WTH WTH WTH DDDDDX What if he bought my plane ticket already and it's not the date I want and AGGGGHHHH *calls sister on Skype* Sister: *anxious to see me* *doesn't understand why I'm upset* Me: *snaps and whines and just generally makes her feel bad* *can't sleep*

[brief interlude in which I ask my English teacher for my supervisor's contact info, he calls the guy who says, yeah, he has other stuff to talk to me about too and we'll meet next week]

Me, yesterday and today: *calmer* *hits me every once in a while* "Omigosh I'm going to be home soon! :D"

Stay tuned for more updates.
spinelstar: (shisei)
I skipped last week—whoops! ^^; And now I feel like there are all sorts of things I thought of over the past two weeks that I'm forgetting, but here we go anyway. ^_^

~♥ ♥ ♥~ )
spinelstar: (Default)
If you look on the website for the Japan Meteorological Agency, my little prefecture has been colored red for "High Warning" all weekend. There was a lot of rain, a typhoon that came close that was kind of a non-event, and today it's so windy it was actually somewhat difficult walking from my car to the front doors of the school.

That said, I had a pretty nice weekend. I only stayed indoors all day yesterday (when the typhoon came closest, just in case). On Saturday, I went all the way back up to Takarazuka to see another show, and the gentle rain all day was kind of nice. I bought a pretty umbrella at the theater (they have lots of pretty shops there) to replace my boring, navy folding one. All the Japanese girls have cute umbrellas with designs on them, and now I have one too.

I have been sucked into this whole Takarazuka Grand Revue thing way too fast. The problem comes when you start recognizing the names of certain actresses, and remember that oh yeah she sang really fabulously in that one part, hey look here's a shiny photo of her-- would you like one? it's an afforable little souvenier. And then oh look over here we already have the DVD of that other show you saw, or perhaps you want to see that one you missed that looks really cool, maybe a musical adaptation of your favorite classic novel? And then we have photobooks and magazines and posters and HOLY CRAP I almost spent 300 dollars!!! (Though I actually managed to restrain myself this last time... mostly. But now I have a list of things I regret not picking up. ^^;)

The show I saw this time was an historically-based musical, about a famous samurai named Mitsunari, my knowledge of whom comes almost entirely from a combination of what I saw yesterday and his Wikipedia page (and, I suppose, a basic knowledge of that period in Japanese history). I forgot to read the synopsis before I went, but considering that, I followed what was going on pretty well-- he fell in love with the wrong girl, led a major battle, fought bravely and lost, and got executed. The costumes were gorgeous, the sets were gorgeous, and the acting was wonderful. I was really impressed with the star in this troupe; she has sort of a willowy low voice, and wonderful control.

Random fact about the Cosmos Troupe: all of their otokoyaku (actresses playing male roles) are very tall. Most of them are over 5'7" (170cm)-- that's taller than me! o.o They have this one chick who's like 5'10" or something ridiculous. And she didn't exactly stand out, either.

I, um... don't have girl-crushes on any of the actresses, what are you talking about. *cough cough*

Anyways, thanks to everyone who tagged Data this weekend! If I'm light on classes today I should be able to tag back. Love and sparkles and feathers to all of you. ^o^ ♥
spinelstar: (mozart livejournal)
…The FML Edition.

Just kidding. Well, sorta. Only sorta because I feel I should preface this by saying that I've hit another low this week. I feel borderline depressed, honestly (I'm not even sure I should be saying "borderline"). But I'll put the details behind a cut; feel free to skip it. In fact, I might recommend it. :P

Cut for length and maybe-not-so-uplifting )

*deep breath*

But because I have not been depressed every moment of this past week (and because I need it now more than ever, really), we continue with your regularly-scheduled TILT:

~♥ ♥ ♥~ )
spinelstar: (Default)
~♥ ♥ ♥~ )
spinelstar: (Default)
Late again, but only a day this time! ^^;

~♥ ♥ ♥~ )
spinelstar: (hunny)
So. I had a complete meltdown yesterday.

I was feeling a little lonely and depressed the night before. Then I tried to get tickets for something, it didn't work out, and I just lost it. Suddenly, I was just sick of everything and I hated everyone here and I just wanted to go back to America.

But honestly? I consider this a victory. Because I can't believe this took so long to actually happen.

I had meltdowns like this 5-6 times a year in college. When I was 40 minutes away from home and went back to my parents' house every weekend. When my sister was in the dorm next to mine and I could hug her and tell her about everything whenever I wanted. Now we have Skype and IM and that's amazing too, but it just doesn't replace being able to cuddle someone and have a good cry.

But it took me nine months here before I broke down like this. And even now, I can't bring myself to regret coming to Japan, or any of it. And I realize that this is natural, that everyone feels this way at some point when they've gone to live by themselves in a foreign country for a year.

So yes, I'm a little sick of Japan right now. But in the end, I'm okay.

I think I'm just a little lonely. I've somehow managed to make the same mistake I keep making-- though I'm not sure what the mistake actually is-- which causes certain friends in RL to never call me or tell me about anything. But that's another story entirely, and I already got the whole "you should do this/that and the other" speech from my mother last night. So I won't get into that.

Love you guys! I wouldn't have survived here this long without you all. :)
spinelstar: (Default)
My friends, I think I must resign myself to my fate.

Now that there is only one English teacher in my school, the classes are arranged such so that it is humanly possible for him to be present in all of them. And what does that mean for me? That I, too, am also capable of being present in all of them.

Consequently, I am now apparently going to be present in all of them, whether I actually help much during the lesson or not.

What does this mean? Four classes a day, on average. And what does that mean?

No RP, except on weekends. Because I'm just too exhausted and don't have much time anymore.

But I really can't complain, and I especially can't resent my teacher for it. He's a really nice guy. And really, it's a lot more fulfilling than sitting at my desk surfing the internet, and feeling like I'm not helping here at all. Now I get to actually see and talk to my students everday. The only thing that's annoying about it is when I'm sitting there through half the class, watching Niwa-sensei explain things in Japanese, and not doing anything.

Anyways. I was in a drawing mood last night, when I woke up from my nap. So you guys get to see one of my crappy pencil sketches. XD

Daily Drawing #13 (and random babbling) )

♥'s for everybody! ^.^
spinelstar: (tantrum)
60-second-rant, GO!

ARRRGGHH work has been crazy. For no reason at all. I had five classes yesterday, and four each day two days before that, and today I have three. And it came at the worst time because my back is hurting (don't know how I hurt it) and being on my feet all day isn't helping. And I haven't been able to RP at ALL because I come home exhausted and I have no time during the day and it's made me REALLY upset and cranky and I wish I could play with all of you guys because I really miss it. :(

*deep breath*

HERE HAVE A MEME.

Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] viridian and [livejournal.com profile] chanter_greenie:

Give me a character and I will tell you...

* How I FEEEEEL about this character
* All the people I ship romantically with this character
* My non-romantic OTP for this character -
* My unpopular opinion about this character
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon.

(List of characters in my profile.)
spinelstar: (sparkle)
Today was a pink petal day.

It was cloudy this morning and, predictably, started to rain this afternoon. So it was raining when I left the elementary school. The extra weight of the raindrops was causing the cherryblossoms to fall, so it looked like it was snowing everywhere. I hadn't realized I'd parked my car under a cherryblossom tree, and it had this adorable smattering of pink petals all over it. The way the petals were falling was so pretty and slow-motion and perfect that it looked fake. I wish I'd been able to take a video of it or something. ♥

And then for my bath today I used one of the bath bombs I bought at the Lush store in Osaka. When I'd picked up the one called "Pink" the lady at the store had said something about "kami (paper)", so I figured it must have had a streamer in it or something (I'd heard of ones that do that). But it was confetti. It was these adorable little pink paper hearts, floating all over my bright pink bath. It was such a delightful surprise, because I really wasn't expecting that. :3

I heard that the Prime Minister of Japan asked his people not to have cherryblossom festivals this year, claiming that it was not a good time to celebrate. I know this isn't my culture, and I appreciate that we need to honor the dead, but I can't help feeling like this particular idea is bogus. I think Japan needed to enjoy the cherryblossoms this month. I know I did.

Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to participate in the traditional practice of hanami (flower viewing). But it mostly involves picnics and drinking and socializing, none of which I am very fond of/good at, haha. ^^; So maybe it's just as well. Saw a lot of amazing cherryblossoms, though. It is now officially off my bucket list.

And just because I happen to have one prepared, I shall give you another poll question. :3

What's a convergence, and why is it kind of kinky? )

I have to go to work tomorrow, on a Saturday. What's up with that?
spinelstar: (Default)
Hey guys!

I will not be around for two weeks starting tomorrow, as I will be vacationing with my family. ^_^

I apologize for epic slowtimes that have already been put into epic slowtime. >_> I've been really unfocused these past few weeks, but I hope that things will get better after spending some time with my sister and my parents.

Love you guys, and see you in a couple weeks! ♥

.....

Mar. 19th, 2011 12:10 pm
spinelstar: (Default)
So... yeah. I haven't been around.

I guess it just wasn't a good week for someone as high-strung as me to be living in Japan. *nervous laughter* I've been having crazy mood swings. I've mitigated this effect by remaining in contact with at least one of my family members almost 24/7, whether through Skype at home or IM at work. And thus I have not had time nor brain for much of anything else. :/

Here's the situation, though: I could not possibly be much safer than I am, where I am. The nuclear plant is a non-issue. I did not feel the original earthquake, nor have I felt a single aftershock. And the worst is definitely over.

My family is still coming to see me, which I'm really excited about. We were originally planning on going to Tokyo, but we've decided to hang out in Osaka instead, which I'm really excited about-- I've never been to Osaka, even though I'm technically only 3 1/2 hours away from it, LOL. XD

Tokyo probably would have been fine, except they're still having aftershocks, and since we were going to be staying in a really tall hotel building there was a possibility of feeling it sway once in a while. Not good when certain members of my family are even more high-strung than I am. I think we'll all be a lot more comfortable in Osaka.

Anyways, so I caught up mostly on tags last night, and I'll *try* to be around more this week. Sorry for the epic slowtimes. T.T And then starting Friday, I will be occupied with a family trip for two weeks, and thus be absent. Just to warn.

I love (and miss) you guys! ♥
spinelstar: (shisei)
Okay. I have just witnessed something really tragic happening very close to home, or what I have been considering my home for over six months. The destruction is awful. Aftershocks are still happening up north and causing worry. And unfortunately, worst of all, it's cost hundreds of lives.

But for my own sake, I need to shed some sunshine on the situation.

This is about the worst thing that could ever have possibly happened-- the worst recorded earthquake to hit Japan, ever. Places were hit with 10m waves, and the entire coastline was affected, including the little fishing village I reside in on the east coast. A very similar earthquake happened in the 1920's, and it left over 140,000 people dead.

And yet none of the projected figures I've heard this time are over 1,000.

There are literally millions of people in Sendai, where it hit the worst. Somehow, they had about 15 minutes of warning, and that was enough to save millions of lives. I haven't heard anything about overcrowded shelters. I haven't even heard anything about people not having food and water. The majority of places even up north seem to have running water and electricity, and people seem to be able to contact each other for the most part.

I am so incredibly grateful for this amazing country I've been able to visit, and even call my home for this year, that it's literally bringing me to tears. I can't believe how prepared they are-- it doesn't make any sense, almost; this could have ended up so much worse. I am so impresed by the calm and dutiful way people are taking care of the situation and each other during this time. And I am so amazingly lucky to be here now, in the age of so much information in a developed country where it seems like not a single person has been left in the dark about what's going on. Even I, who can't understand most Japanese, have been able to figure out everything as it's happening, and even call and see my family and tell them I am fine.

Down in my town, we heard sirens and dozens of warnings. I was at school when we heard (less than 10 minutes after the earthquake), and we kept the children after school just in case, because some of them walk close to the ocean on the way home. But the wave didn't even come over the barriers, or stir the boats in the harbor. And all of my teachers were watching and being very careful, and no one was in a panic. It's incredibly comforting, to know that even as bad as all this was, so many people are being protected and taken care of like that.

Again, don't get me wrong: this is a horrible tragedy. Where I am was barely hit with anything (I didn't even feel it) and I can't comprehend some of the images I'm seeing. But watching the news and talking about how bad it was isn't helping me anymore, and even though worrying seems appropriate or even important to me somehow, let's face it, it's not helping anyone else either.

I'd rather pray for those affected, but also sincerely thank God for all of the lives that were saved, because of all the hard work the people of Japan have put into being prepared for things like this. I think it's nothing short of a miracle.

Edit (3/14): I am saddened and even angry about more recent reports; things are worse than I was led to believe on Saturday. Still, even as my heart is breaking and the true extent of the damage is taking my words away, I know I still need to be grateful that it wasn't even worse. Pray that the thousands still missing are found.

PSA

Mar. 11th, 2011 10:08 pm
spinelstar: (shisei)
Just in case anyone's heard about the earthquake, I wanted to let you all know that I'm fine, and there wasn't any damage or anything around here.

I don't really feel like writing about it yet, due to lack of energy and just wanting everything to be over already. :/

Bleeeh. :P

Feb. 21st, 2011 08:05 am
spinelstar: (Tamaki towel)
Well, guess what, guys? I'm really sick.

I started feeling really dizzy yesterday while I was doing laundry, and it kind of scared me, so I took a nap. I woke up feeling a little better, but I had a splitting headache. So before I went to bed I took some Excedrin PM, which both cured the headache and knocked me out sufficiently. And I woke up feeling much better than I expected to this morning, but definitely sick.

I considered staying home, but my friend here warned me over Facebook not to do that. I don't know if my school is this way, but other JETs have been told that they have to get doctor's notes if they want their absence to be considered sick leave. That wouldn't be a problem, except that none of the doctors in my town speak English, and I'd have to drive over an hour to see a doctor I feel comfortable with. Which I don't feel good about doing if I'm sick. And I don't really want to see a doctor anyway, because I hate doctors and I don't feel that sick.

Luckily it's just a bad cold. I was worried that I would get the flu or something and start throwing up, but I just feel like my sinuses are clogged and my nose is runny and I've been sneezing. But it already feels like the worst has passed.

I'm going to try going into work today. I didn't put on makeup, and I'm going in wearing a mask, as is the habit around here to do when one is ill. Best case scenario, they'll take pity on me and tell me to go home. ;)

If they don't, though, that's okay too. I was just hoping I wouldn't have to push myself today, but I think my teachers are nice enough to at least go easy on me.

Eep! o.o

Feb. 2nd, 2011 08:34 am
spinelstar: (hunny)
So... I sort of brushed it off when my schools started handing out fliers and all of my teachers kept talking about the impending INFLUENZA. I figured, every school worries about sick kids, and hands out health fliers; they probably do it even more so in Japan.

But, um. I've just been informed that 13 students in my 2nd-year class are absent today. That's... kind of almost half of them. O_o

I have no idea if this is usual or not, but I sure don't remember anything like that happening when I was back in junior high school.

Luckily, I am not feeling sick or anything as of yet. And I'm hoping this is as bad as it will get, and the outbreak among my students will start calming down.

Poor things. :(
spinelstar: (is it modern)
Today I go out at 7 o'clock or so in the evening to go get groceries and fill my car with gas. I get done with groceries and drive over to the gas station, getting there at about 7:40.

Closed.

Seven. Freaking. FORTY. And it's CLOSED.

I don't understand how anyone gets anywhere around here! >.< The trains stop running before midnight, and don't start up again until at least 6, I'm pretty sure. (Not to mention that there AREN'T any trains down where I live. Don't even get me started on how early the buses stop running.) And the gas stations are open something like 9-5! It's ridiculous! Heaven forbid someone's mother gets sick in a neighboring city in the middle of the night and her children don't have enough GAS in their ONE CAR to be able to get to her.

/rant

It's all good, really. I still have like, a fourth a tank. I just like having a full one 'cuz the little "E" at the bottom makes me weirdly nervous. XD *paranoid* But I can't even fill it in the morning on the way to work because they won't be open that early, isn't that nuts?

Here, have a drawing. :3

Daily Drawing #4 )
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