Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just a tid bit

Due to my taking part in the Niigata Half Marathon next Sunday I will be unable to provide you dear readers with a worthwhile story for this week. To hold you over until my upcoming entry arrives, here are a few little details of my week that should entertain you until my next entry that will detail my first major race in Japan. Wish me luck and enjoy these tidbits.

• A 5th grader had this on his shirt "Blood Regular 77 Do You Want to Die".

• As the clock struck noon at my school today, I realized that I knew the bell chime for this week. The Titanic theme "My Hear Will Go On". What a joy that was.

Warning: To anyone who is on a diet or attempting to lose weight, this next entry may induce the following effects: Crying, Computer Smashing, and a Exorcist-esk Spinning of the Head.
A student asked me how much I weigh (a pretty usual question) and then he asked the teacher his weight. After telling the student that he was what I considered to be quite slim he told me, and I painfully quote "I am so busy with work that I cannot increase my weight" Please don't take your anger out on this innocent blogger.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My International Running Debut

Last Saturday I took part in the Kawaharada Seaside Marathon. For clarification, all running competitions in Japan are called “marathon” (pronounced Ma Ra So N), and this “marathon” was actually a 6 kilometer race. The majority of the competitors were actually kids from my Jr High Track team. Several of the men with numbers signifying them as “Male Open” competitors looked like they had been around a race before, so I did not know what to expect.
The course was beautiful; the majority of the race was right by the ocean. I was in close second to a man who I had met briefly though the Jr High track coach for the majority of the race. He had a 10k personal record 2 min faster than mine so I knew I’d have to be careful. We kept it easy for most of the race, but with 1 kilometer to go we started testing each other. Over the last 200 meters or so I made my move and took advantage of being the tallest guy in the race by taking my stride out. I finished in 23.34. I later found out that several of the open male competitors will be members of my distance relay team next month. My win made me the fastest member of our team, and I thus inherited the longest portion of the upcoming relay. I received a really nice Nike running bag for my winnings. Great gift! What did I take away from all this you might ask? I learned that victory tastes sweet even when you eat it with chopsticks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Lessons

Most of my schools started to ask me to prepare Halloween lessons at the beginning of this month. Because I only meet with most schools twice a month, several of them are getting Halloween a bit early. One was this week in fact.
The kids were really excited to get to learn about Halloween. Some of the vocabulary (Jack-o-Lantern, Witch, Vampire) was a little hard for them to do at first (I got Bampire a lot that day) but most of them got a hold of it. It also became school policy for the day to jump out from corners and try to scare me. Some of these little guys are about 2 feet below my eye line so this was not hard to pull off. My favorite part was the one class that dressed up. Black Cat was the most popular with black paper tails and cat ears being the costume of choice. A few kids draped black garbage bags over themselves to complete the look. The one that confused me the most was the kid who was only wearing a garbage bag. He was simply wearing a black garbage bag with eye slits cut out in the front. I asked him what he was and he informed me he was a vampire. I will proudly admit that I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the day (Who else missed the WB?) and I never saw Buffy take on the Glad-Bag Vampire. All in all, the day was pretty fun. I am sure getting them back on their regular lessons will be near impossible after this.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I have been brainwashed

I was watching the movie Fear and Loathing in Las
yesterday, and I had a bit of an awakening. I will admit, as will anyone who has seen the film, that this movie is not a good place to find any kind of enlightenment, but nevertheless, I did.
As Johnny Depp`s character was speeding down a Nevada highway while on massive amounts of drugs I decided to have a chuckle over the fact that he was driving on the right side of the road. “MAN! He is so blitzed out he is driving on the wrong side of the road” I thought. Then the awakening happened. I slowly remembered that in the US of A people are still legally encouraged to drive on the right side of the road. It seems that driving on the left side of the road in Japan these past 2 months has helped me forget that little legal fact that I spent 6 years abiding by back home. Further, I sadly realized that although Mr.Depp`s character had taken enough cocaine to kill a small horse, he was still in a better position to judge which side of the road to drive on than I was. A bit of advice: If you are feeling like you need to be taken down a peg, let a stoned out lunatic wearing a Hawaiian shirt and aviators correct you about basic driving safety. It`ll do the trick for sure. ; )