Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I have a couple of very serious problems that need to be solved. Calling all Stephen Hawking wannabes.

#1 - In my bathroom I have a bright fluorescent light. At least it's bright when it goes on. But every day it takes longer and longer for it to go on and always includes excessive flickering. Tonight it won't even really go on. (Thank goodness for the kitchen light, although it's still dark enough to make me scared thanks to the spider incident). So, here's the problem. Get out a notebook. I can tell the lightbulb is a round one but don't know if it has one ring or two. The middle one could be burnt out. Now you'd think that I could just take off the cover, buy a lightbulb, and change the thing. However, if you have seen pictures of my apartment, you will notice the absence of anything over 3 inches off of the ground. I'm tall, but I'm not that tall. So, how do I change a lightbulb without being able to reach it? Can't move the toilet. Can't climb on the sink. My bed is a foam mat and my only chair has no legs. It's quite the problem and I need some inspiration. The catch is... it can't cost money or involve me speaking in Japanese to anyone. Go to it!

#2 - Even more serious, my little shrine guy needs a name. He's in the urinal and wants to be called something memorable and downright fitting. And it must be appropriate. Here's a pic of the little guy.

A couple of announcements as well --- 1) A certain friend needs to tell me whether I can tell everyone some exciting news. 2) Everyone who has a skype number needs to email it to me. 3) Everyone who has a phone number needs to email it to me. 4) Everyone needs to go back to the college days and get an AIM name. Once you register, email me your name. Even better, get a camera for your computer so we can chat live. Ken and I are amazed every time we talk via video. Absolutely amazing.

I haven't done too much exploring as of late. It has been hotter the last couple of days than it has been since we arrived. I even turned on my air conditioning, which makes it even harder to venture outside. Another ALT took me on a mini-road trip last week and we ended up at a castle and then saw some rocks we wanted to drive to. We ended up on a fairly abandoned beach with the tide coming in. It was a fantastic discovery and, of course, I didn't bring my camera.

School begins on Thursday and apparently I have to give a speech in Japanese to the 900 students and faculty. No one else appears to be worried about this development and haven't gotten around to actually teaching me Japanese. Thankfully, Ken is now a master of the language and he's going to write something out for me and coach me through it. I have discussed my first day of class with the teachers, presenting my games and ideas. The frustrating bit is that it is very difficult to gauge their reactions. Are they pleased? Intimidated? Disappointed? So, I'm just going to trust my own teaching instincts and go for it.

Here's a random picture of my apartment building. There are only 5 apartments, even though it's a fairly massive building. The first and second floors make up the landlady's house. And they're adding on an entryway that looks fairly elaborate. It is a pretty new building and the roof is distictive, which is helpful when you're a bit turned around.


Kimi said...

nice touch with the shrine guy in the urinal... when I worked at the Symphony, we put potpourri inside a foil baking pan in the urinal (the women's designated porta-potty had a urinal & a toilet, so to alleviate the trauma of your head in front the urinal, potpourri was a nice touch). I'm feeling well, for the most part (thank goodness!!), and I'm hoping I can survive the road trip without any incidents!

Anonymous said...

1. Get a neighbor guy to switch the lightbulb. They always feel very special when you ask them such things.
2. a. Godzilla; b. Shibuya; c. Hello Nakata; d. Chinchin; e. Peepee kare (car-eh); that's all I got.
3. Done.
4. Done.

Good luck, we're all counting on you.

Carly said...

Awww... your little guy is cute. Although, he looks a little too excited to be in a urinal.

As a past cheerleader/coach - why didn't you think of this: Get your friends together and make a pyramid. Even better, you're in Japan so find a tiny person to be on top :)

Dorso said...

A tall neighbor, a small person to sit on your shoulders(better yet, on your neighbor's shoulder).

I think "Splinky" for the guy in the urinal.

Dorso said...

Get a tall neighbor or a small child or person on your shoulders(better yet, on your neighbor's shoulders!

I think "Splinky" for the guy in the urinal.

Joyce said...

my skype name is joyce.chapman
if you look in your JET Diary, they have the entire welcome speech written out for you. page 231. but maybe you already gave your speech today? mine's tomorrow... eek!

Joyce said...

wait! i think you should name your shrine guy Taro. Maybe even Taro, and then give him some sort of title, like Taro the Urinal Eunuch. That's fitting.

LueyFufu said...

How do you say "Yellow drops" in Japanese? That's what I think you should name him. :)