Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Doggone good weekend...

Awww..... I spent this weekend with some of my teachers and their DOGS!!!! yeah!!!!!!!!

After missing Gizmo so much, it was great to get out, enjoy the fresh air, nice weather, good friends, and have a doggone great time with some pups!!!

Saturday morning I took a walk with Gon.... he is the cutest corgi who lives next door!!!!

Then on Sunday I had 2 teachers come over for a lunch party... One of my teachers and her husband brought over their shetland sheepdog puppies!!! They were sooooooo cute!!! We feasted then had a long fun walk along the Toyohira River next to my house.

Marin kept jumping up on me and snuggling his head up against mine. I've never met a dog that nudges and snuggles sooo much!!!! I didn't want to put him down!!! ;-)

They were both sooooooo well trained!!! She had them sit close together and then wait as we walked away until she gave me the command to call them..... in which they DARTED towards me and jumped up to snuggle yet again against my neck. hahah...

Dogs are great for meeting people too! We chatted to so many other dogs and Marin and Toko kept wanting to play tennis and frisbee with everyone along the river! hahah... we also met a group of Deaf Japanese adults who were having a BBQ along the river. Luckily I had been studying some Japanese Sign Language so I was able to communicate a little with them... and one of them had been to the States so he knew a bit of ASL. It made me really really really miss being apart of a Deaf community. :-(

After all the doggie parties I actually started to feel down for the first time since I've arrived in Japan. Maybe it was all the fun time I spent with families and dogs... made me miss my family and friends back home and made me miss Gizmo :-(

But everything is going so well here in Japan, so I know this slump won't last for long :-)

School lunch...

My friend Chris sent me this photo today...

This is what they serve up at rural Japanese elementary schools for lunch!!!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

My first birthday in Japan!!!

At lunchtime on my Birthday, my English Club threw a Bday party for me and invited all of the students. So many kids came and we had a blast singing "Happy Bday" in Kenyan Sign Language, dancing, playing pin the candle on Callie and a relay pictionary game ;-)

Some students parents even made cookies and sweets to bring to the party!!! soooo sweet.

One of my teacher's sons made me the cutest chocolate chip cookies for my Bday in the shape of Mario and Yoshi!!!!! ;-)

yum yum!!!

After school I met up with my friend Shingo and we went to the festival in Nakajima Park. It was PACKED... There were soooo many food stalls selling okonomiyaki, multi colored choco bananas, sausages on sticks, squids on sticks and more!!!

There were also loads of games and bouncy castles and rides to go on... The pic on the left is a gold fish catching game...

We bumped into so many of my students too...

There were even a few haunted houses!!!!

After Nakajima, we walked over to Susukino to meet up with a bunch of friends at an Izakaya where we did a nomi/tabehodai (all you can eat and drink in 2 hours!!!)

And what Bday party would be complete without a bunch of kisses on the cheek from random strangers?!?!?!

I love birthdays in Japan because you get the most awesome, random, cute and useful gifts!!!

Some examples include: the ever useful handtowels, lots of cute cute socks (including mexican fiesta toe socks and rilakuma), grilllz sucker, roller derby 80's bubble gum, a pink poo wand stick/pen, traditional Japanese purses and accesories, American yummy junk food, sushi magnets and more!!!

A pink poo stick wand/pen you say??? Why, yes!

According to the packaging you can use it to get people's attention, write essays and letters, um... act like a samurai or you can give it to a maid in a maid cafe so she can wave it around and look pretty.

Sadly we were playing with it so much at my party that my poo wand broke and can no longer extend to 70 cm. What a shame since I was hoping to use it to get my students' attention in English class. ;-)

The note on the back of the package is also awesome. It says 'please do not eat the poo.'

It does kind of look like a nice strawberry softserve, eh???

Here is an awesome lip gloss from Stephanie which had the most tantalizing message:

"Candy Doll is a cosmetic that realizes the wish that the girl wants to be cute. Sweet as fluffy. Happy as milky. It begins sparkling as made magic."

I agree. I think it's every girls dream to be sweet as fluffy and happy as milky!!! ;-)


But the winner of the most interesting gift would have to go to my dear friend Katie.... she gave me an intriguing party girl tin.

uh oh. one could only imagine what this mystery tin contained!!!

Here is a break down of the contents for those of you who can't see the video:

1. Flicker Razor
2. Hand Towel
3. Panties
4. 2 Spray bottles
5. Personal massager
6. American socks
7. Winnie the pooh packing tape

I think this gift needs no additional comments.


Next year will be my 30th... uh oh!!! ;-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

sweet old lady

Today as I was heading home on the JR train I noticed a cute elderly woman wearing this shirt with boldly printed colors and English text... I then read it...

"I #@&%* on the first date."

oh deary me!!!! I had to do a double/triple take and then almost peed my pants laughing at the irony of it all...

I wanted to adopt her. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hokkaido University Festival!!!!

yeah FESTIVALS!!!!!

I went to check out the Hokkaido University Festival a few weekends ago with a former student and some JET friends... we saw them advertising for the festival a week in advance... they were marching through the streets in awesome crazy costumes... i then knew i HAD to go!!!

Here's one costume of tako yaki (fried octopus balls) yum yum!!!

No Japanese festival would be complete without lots of boys dressed up as girls... (school girls, maids, geishas, pop stars, female cows... you take your pick) I love this country!

We had fun wandering about the festival, eating, listening to music, mingling with the man/girls, singing, dancing, watching magic shows, relaxing.... and we even went into the University's haunted house!!! We weaved our way through a labyrinth of black cardboard boxes and bloody heads... and creepy bloody hospital scenes... Jesse even picked up one of the bloody heads that was thrown at us and handed it to the bloody zombie woman who was following us. hahaha... I wish I had a video to show you!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

May/June Randomness in Sapporo

With the snow FINALLY all gone and spring peeking through it means that Sapporo has come back alive!!!!!! Flowers blooming, festivals in full swing.... awww... I missed this place!!!

In an effort to get my blog back up to speed here are just a quick rundown of the things you've missed in the past month and a half. ;-)

The big news is that my good friend Stephanie got married!!!! CONGRATS STEPH and YUKIA!!!!

We threw her a mini Bachelorette party at Electric Sheep...

Take a look at Crystal's photographs from the gorgeous traditional Japanese wedding she had.


There were also heaps and heaps of B-day parties to be had in May/June...

A fellow ALT, Katie, had a picnic B-day party in Maruyama Park... The weather was perfect... and my favorite guest at the party was a hairy hot dog dressed up in an orange speedo suit.

Jacob also threw his 27th Bday bash at Famous Door... we were happy to celebrate with a genuine Japanese cowboy!!!! Check out Crystal's blog for more fun fun photos!!!

And yet ANOTHER b-day was for Kanae at Brian's Brew and the Flare Bar. The Flare Bar was a fun joint which put on a drink and fire show (Tom Cruise Cocktail style) for us!!!

And the most recent B-day party was for fabulous Hidetaka at Jack's Casual Bar.


It's also been a month of hanging out with friends...

AND... making new ones!!!!

Nina also threw a mini make your own Okonomiyaki/yaki soba party!!! mmmm.... altho I'm not sure if we cooked the meat throughly cause I was runnin to the loo for a week afterward ;-0

One of the first of the spring festivals was the Sapporo lilac festival which was set up along Odori Park... Lots of people relaxing outside, drinking wine, and sniffing up the lilacs... (made me miss rochester!)

Fun times!!! ;-)