Fall Has Finally Come!

It looks like the cool weather is here to stay! It’s so fantastic. This week is actually surprisingly chilly — today is rainy and my toes are a bit cold. But I’m relishing the feeling. The smell is great, and the mountain outside my window is covered in mist, so it looks very pretty (and very fantasy-like).

I was planning on going to the Katsuyama dinosaur museum today, but since it’s rainy I wasn’t in the mood to figure out how to commute across the prefecture on my own. I guess I’ll have to put it off for another week. Le sigh.

Back in June I started working on the next 100 Famous of Views of Philadelphia painting, and never ended up finishing it due to business getting ready for Japan… So I tucked it away for a rainy day. And, well, today is a rainy day. So I finished it up and made it into a nice little fall scene:
Night View of City HallWork this week was good, despite the intense pain early in the week. The highlights of the week were finding a funny typo in a book (I’ll post it later on), and making a student laugh until tears. She takes a private lesson to improve her English for work, and after our practice dialogs I hang up the “bonus dialogs” for extra practice. She somehow misheard me and when I turned around she looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Donuts dialog??” I think I really got her hopes up right there. When she realized what I said she completely lost it, which is awesome because she’s usually so quiet and serious during class.Now I guess I should go grocery shopping. I need to get out of the house for a bit. Plus I want something sweet. (Dang this rain! I’ve really wanted to go to Mr. Donut ever since that class!)

Yargh!

Today I woke up at 5 am in excruciating pain… I tried to sit up and it felt like my head weighed 500 lbs, then I heard a crunching noise in my neck and it felt like someone wedged an awl in between my vertebrae. So I rolled out of bed and crawled to my phone to text my manager what should I do? I stayed in bed until 8:30 to see if it would go away, but then when my alarm clock went off, it was just as painful as ever. So I crawled into some clothes and hobbled my way over to the hospital.

In Japan, hospitals are like doctor’s offices; you don’t only go there for emergencies. So there was a long wait there, and since I didn’t have an appointment it was even worse. I ended up waiting for 5 hours, missing breakfast, lunch, and then being late for work… but luckily there was nothing wrong with my neck. I thought I had slipped a disc (whatever that means) or something, but it just turned out to be the mother of all neck cricks. So I loaded up on painkillers and managed to grunt and starve my way through a day of kids’ classes (you know, lots of singing and dancing and games… perfect for when you can hardly move).

So that was my day. Wugh! On the plus side, I just discovered an amazing new taste combination: I brushed my teeth with mint paste, then flossed so there was just a bit of blood in the mix, rinsed completely, and then after my shower I had a small glass of apple juice, and rinsed thoroughly again (since I had already brushed), and now, my mouth tastes exactly like turkey pepperoni! It’s fantastic!

Now you too can enjoy pepperoni in countries where you can’t read the labels, or perhaps while on a no-pepperoni diet. Good luck, and good night!

Papa

My grandfather died this morning. Or I guess, afternoon, due to the time zone difference. Either way, when I woke up this morning there was an email… It was just a few hours ago though. That’s a really strange and bad feeling. Normally you think of death as a state — either someone is alive or dead — rather than as an event. Or at least when it comes to family. He had been really sick and deteriorating since he broke his leg last fall, so it wasn’t unexpected… and his children were all taking turns visiting him almost every day in his last weeks, so despite the sadness and the being sick, maybe it wasn’t the worst way to go. At least he was with family. It’s a little lonely being out of the loop and away from it all. Since my night is America’s day, and vice versa, I don’t have anyone really to talk to. And I’m going to miss the funeral and memorials… That makes me feel pretty bad. Continue reading

Last Time on MatthewMeyer.net

My batteries for my keyboard died halfway through the week, making it really tough for me to type anything but short sentences… it takes about 50 times as long to handwrite on the screen than it does to use a keyboard, especially because handwriting recognition software really, really sucks. It’s strange how a program that is supposed to actively “learn” more about your handwriting style can actually get progressively worse and worse the more you use. The most annoying thing is that recently, it starts off guessing the write word that I wrote, but then shortly after, changes its mind and changes every word in a long string of sentences to something that makes so much sense. For example, I’ll write something like Today I went to the grocery store. and as I write the first 6 words, everything will be perfect. But then, mysteriously, as I cross that t in store, the entire sentence will change to Tuber 1 wart te toy grabeplops slough. What gives??? Continue reading

Another Fast Week

So again, it’s Monday night and I haven’t written anything this week yet, even though I definitely could have written a bunch of good posts a few days ago… oh well.

Today I went to a barbecue with one of my coworkers and her friends. It was at this awesome place up in the mountains that was like a campground, except no camping — only barbecueing. Japanese barbecues are fun — they use a lot more types of food than we do in America (especially more vegetables), and you barbecue right on the specially made table that has the coals and grill built into it, rather than on a separate grill. The smell was great, and there was a big downpour with thunder right in the middle of it (we were under a roofed area so it didn’t bother us), and that made it even cooler, as I love rain and thunder.

This week at work, the manager decided I have a poltergeist. Apparently, ever since I arrived here, the copy machine has been shutting itself off. She took me into the copy room to show me that I can just hit the standby button instead of turning it off, and I told her that I already knew that and had been doing that since day one. But one day I was in the room putting books away and I heard a click — the on/off switch on the copier flipped itself off. I suggested maybe there was a fuse or some other thing shutting it off, but apparently there isn’t… I don’t know, maybe I do have a poltergeist? That would explain all the ghost-y things that have been happening back home in NJ and at college in FL for all of my life. In any case, I have to be careful about talking about ghosts at work, as one of my coworkers gets really scared and angry with me if she even hears the word ‘ghost.’

It took a lot of repetition to convince them that I wasn’t the one turning the machine off, and that’s my fault really — I’ve been playing a few pranks since July… After my first lesson at Shinetsu — a company about a 10 minute walk away from Aeon — one of the students gave me a love letter and asked me to hand it to one of my coworkers. She’s engaged, and had only met the student once, so she was a little freaked out. Since then, every time I’ve come back from Shinetsu, I’ve brought her some kind of love token from the student (completely fake, of course). This week, I brought her an empty box and told her that he cut off a lock of his hair and put it in there for her, so a part of him could always be with her. Then the next day, with the help of one of the other teachers, I sent her a Japanese email from him using my phone explaining that I had left my phone at Shinetsu, and could he stop by her house and drop it off some time that day.

When I sent the email, she happened to be at home on her lunch break, and she got really freaked out and called her mom to ask her what she should do… When she came back to work she was a little bit shaken to say the least.

But I always told her that I was just joking after each prank, so no harm done… except for ruining her image of an otherwise perfectly nice guy. Oh well, she’s engaged anyway so it doesn’t matter, right? :-P

But yeah, like I said, the consequence of that prank was that it took a lot of work to convince my coworkers that I’m not turning the copy machine off… and I’m still not 100% sure that they believe me. But this time, I’m really not behind it! (Though I have to admit, I’m really tempted to start sneaking in there and turning it off during the day to add to the mystery.)

Busy Weekend

Wow, it’s already Monday night! How do weekends go by so quickly?

So like I mentioned, yesterday I went to an Italian restaurant with Minako. One of my teachers (coworkers? co-teachers?) works there on Sundays, so we went to check it out. The food was fantastic; the noodles and bread were made on-site! It was interesting too — even though it was Italian, it had a very distinctly Japanese feel to it. I suppose that Italian food in America is the same way, but I just don’t notice it, having not had Italian Italian food. But yeah, the food was good, and it was really nice to see Yumi-sensei on the weekend (I think she enjoyed the visit too). Continue reading

Busy Week

Phew… it was a busy week so I didn’t have much time to write. I was always tired when I came home. But now it’s the weekend, yippee!

Last night had a goodbye party for one of our Brazilian students who is moving to Aichi prefecture. So we went to a Brazilian restaurant (and I also had a good time explaining some English to my teachers when they asked me if I was ready for my Brazilian). Earlier in the day, I was also able to explain why it’s not a good idea to tell a teenage student her necktie is very erotic and horny. So it was a fun day for lessons.

I had a study meeting this week. Wow! Was that this week? It feels so long ago… oh well no worries. Other than that, nothing really interesting. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading up on 4th Edition D&D new (nerd!) and just recently watching the Office. That show is freaking hilarious… I can’t stop watching. Actually, I was going to write this post last night but I was up watching the Office until 2:30, so here I am writing it in the morning.

Later today I’m going to an Italian restaurant with Minako, because one of the Aeon teachers works there on Sundays. Then… well probably the Office for the rest of the day, but ideally I’d like to get a lot of shopping done, and try to make some soba (which is my culinary challenge for this weekend — last weekend I mastered friend strips of meat.)

My back hurts like hell too… I think because of how I’ve been sleeping. So I need to figure out a way to solve this problem too. Anyhoo, I really need to watch some Office before I go to Fukui…