spideyj: (l'aventure)
I've gotten this question a couple of times, so I figure I'd update all of you on what's going on.

So, yes, I'm still planning on going to Japan. I don't know yet when or where, though. I was working on researching positions and updating my resume when my grandmother got ill and passed away and that kind of threw me off. I've also had some financial stuff going on and I was starting to think that maybe I'd need to find a job here for a bit (and I may still do that) and save up a bit more before going. But I've got some money coming in so that brings me back to a level where I have enough to go without having to save up more first.

I'm hoping to find a position in a junior high or high school rather than working at an eikaiwa company. I'm open to going just about anywhere, though my preference is to be near Osaka.

Anyway, Brian's here to pick me up so I'll tell you more later.
spideyj: (BB No matter where you go...)
Nova, the company I worked for in Japan, has filed bankruptcy. They are the largest English conversation school in the country, and all of their teachers are foreigners, who are now left high and dry as a result. I still have friends who were employed by Nova, now left with no source of income and in danger of losing their visas (no job, no visa). Some of them don't have the money saved up to return home. Needless to say, I'm worried for them! I don't think there's really anything we can do but try and send good thoughts their way.
spideyj: (BB Sexy geek Buckaroo)
This video highlights some of why I love Akihabara. I can't wait to go back! So many games, so many toys, so much cool geeky stuff!
spideyj: (Doom song)
Finally got a grounded power strip and adapter so I can plug in my laptop. This means I can finally do the big update, telling you about all my adventures up to this point.

Big post of doom! )
spideyj: (BB Not my planet)
I saw Inside Man yesterday; it was a good movie and excellent stress relief after the shock of the news about my deferred departure (thank you, john_whorfindarling!). I quite enjoyed it. An element that amused me was the song playing during the opening and closing credits - it was Chaiyya Chaiyya, from the Bollywood hit film Dil Se... I've always enjoyed Spike Lee's soundtracks, and opening the film with this song reminded me of that. It also reminded me of another thing I like about his films: the metamessages - they're not particularly subtle, but they are interesting, and the intersection of different cinematic elements to create them is impressive. The opening credits, with this song playing and the various views of New York, really drove home what a globalized society we really are living in. I find it interesting that that is the world that I feel most comfortable in, the mix of cultures with the sense of a global society free of borders (as Pico Iyer talks about in his book The Global Soul).

On a side note, I looked up the Takarazuka (an all-female musical theatre group in Japan) and I'm pleased to see that they will be performing The Rose of Versailles in Tokyo in April and May, so hopefully I'll be able to go see it. The Rose of Versailles is based on a manga (which also spawned a twenty-episode anime series); it was partly out of a desire to read the manga that my interest in learning Japanese was born. Seeing the Takarazuka perform was near the top of my list of things to do in Japan, and I was particularly hoping to see them perform Rose of Versailles. My fascination with the manga is derived in no small part from my high school obsession with the French Revolution, and my love for heroic women. The manga stars a fictional character, Oscar, a girl raised as a boy who becomes the head of the Queen's guard. In my childhood fantasies, I was a female knight in shining armor, like Oscar, noble and skillful in all manner of martial and courtly things.
spideyj: (Flibble hex vision)
I haven't heard back about my Nova interview yet. I'm still somewhat hopeful, but I'm also working on an application to another company just in case. That way if Nova doesn't hire me, I will already be working on an alternative and I won't lose steam. At least that's the hope. I've been kinda worried that they won't hire me and that I'll use that as an excuse to chicken out. I don't wanna chicken out - this is something I really want to do, and I'm pretty sure I'll regret it if I don't do it.

*sigh*

Okay, I'm slightly stressing about this.

I went for my TB test this morning, so I now have a little welt on my left arm. I have to go back on Friday for the reading. This is for my job at the high school, btw, and it's something that was supposed to be done before I ever worked there. Oops.

Btw, in case any of you are interested, here are my
Johari results )
spideyj: (BB No matter where you go...)
Johnny Clegg is a South African musician who was born in the UK but grew up in southern Africa. He sings about his love of Africa, about the need for racial unity and about other African issues. He was one of many artists who fought to end apartheid, the practice of racial segregation in South Africa.

Anyway, this song just played on Launchcast, and I feel like it somehow expresses some part of why I need to go to Japan. How does a song about Africa lead me to Japan? Well, my heart will never be fully at home here in the States... Africa evokes a longing for other places, other ways of thinking... I want to live somewhere where people understand that there are many ways of viewing the world, of understanding each other and their relationships, of valuing children, family, money, friendships, communication, etc.

Scatterlings of Africa )

Yatta

Jan. 27th, 2006 10:35 am
spideyj: (Crazy Danny)
Well, it's done. I submitted my application this morning, hopefully I'll hear back soon. Wish me luck!

I'm feeling good about this path. I really think it's right for me.
spideyj: (Gackt chuu)
This instructional video on going to a sushi-ya is very silly.
spideyj: (Angry Zim)
Here is yet another attempt by media giants to blockade or co-opt digital media sales using a government strong-arm. Blech!!!

I was already annoyed that I can't download songs from the Japanese version of iTunes, thanks to regional marketing divisions. Never mind my irritation with region restrictions on DVD players and game consoles (it's especially stupid on consoles, since they're just losing sales there, not really protecting markets). At least the Australian government has come in on the side of consumers with the recent High Court ruling (link may require registration - a link that doesn't is here) making mod chips legal.

White Day!

Mar. 14th, 2004 08:08 pm
spideyj: (Default)
I suddenly realized that today is White Day (aka Howaito day). White Day is a holiday celebrated in Japan on March 14, exactly one month after Valentine's Day. On Valentine's Day in Japan, the girls give chocolate to the boys, so White Day is the boys' opportunity to return the favor, by giving gifts and candy to the girls. Something about the reciprocity of this appeals to me. I think part of the reason I've always resented Valentine's Day as practiced here in the US is because most of the expectations are placed on the men - they're supposed to buy flowers and chocolates and gifts, and take their girlfriends or wives out to someplace romantic for dinner or for the weekend or something like that. I want to be romantic, too! I'm the kind of person that likes to shower her beloved with gifts and affection, and I'm not comfortable when it's a one-way thing where I'm passively receiving the tokens of adulation from my admirer.

I also like that it's considered extra romantic for the girls to make the chocolates themselves, usually in heart shaped molds and then decorated with some sort of romantic phrase of some sort (usually in English). This appeals to me because I like to cook, and in my homebody Cancerian* heart, cooking for the ones I love is the height of happiness. Of course, there are disturbing implications to it as well, related to sexual inequality, something I feel strongly about (natch!). But I can be okay with being feminine and subservient once in a while for romantic purposes, I suppose.

From what I've heard, though, Valentine's Day and White Day aren't exactly equal. The girls have to give chocolates to all the boys they know, not just the one they really like. It's called giri-choco (obligation chocolate), and it's a token given to everyone so that nobody feels left out. On White Day, the boys don't generally give gifts to everyone, I don't think, but the guys with girlfriends are in trouble, as it's definitely an opportunity for the girls to ask for expensive gifts like perfume and jewelry.

I think I'll plan on instituting White Day here, but since the guys have already claimed Valentine's Day as their day to be romantic, I'll claim White Day for us girls. (If you're in a same-sex relationship, I suppose you'll just have to agree on who gets which one.) I haven't decided what sorts of romantic gifts should be traditional for the American White Day, but I'm thinking about it. Any suggestions?

*Note: I don't really believe in astrology that much, but this is one aspect of the typical Cancerian personality that really applies to me.

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