Sunday, June 29, 2008

Life in Sera: an update

Again, not many personal posts recently. I've been working on another book, so that consumes most of my writing time. Also, it seems every weekend we've been doing stuff and work has been busier than usual this year. Partially, I think, it's due to my closer involvement with these students. My san-nensei (3rd year Junior High Schoolers --the equivilant of High school freshman in America) are the kids which were just coming into Junior high from Elementary school when I first arrived in Sera.

I guess I'm starting to feel my age as I see my third set of students grow up and graduate. My first batch of kids I met the first year here are graduating high school this year and are going onto college. A couple week ago I went to the High School's culture festival and saw many of my old pupils, some of them came up to greet me and reflect on their middle school days. Many of them still remembered me, which was a nice feeling, since it shows I made and impact on their lives--hopefully for the better. In fact, all ove my students who graduated Sera Junior High last semester all said high to me and invited me to their fair booths at the High School. Some of the girls came up to me and struck a casual conversation, treating me like an old friend rather than a teacher. It was great to see them all, and the admiration in their eyes really warmed my heart.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures from that day, I was busy, and also, I forgot my camera at home. Oops!

Above is a picture of my "Naruto" cake which my English class made for me and Sayaka after our wedding.

Other than that there hasn't been anything too exciting to report. Sayaka, and I took Arend (the ALT from New Zealand who teaches at the high school) to the new Indiana Jones film last weekend. I enjoyed the movie a lot, although I thought the latter part ran a bit long, it was a great action adventure romp. I rented Disturbia too, in my Shia LaBeouf craze. I really have enjoyed watching this young actor grow up from his Even Stevens days to become one of Hollywoods leading men. Transformers is still one of my all time favorite movies. Who would have thought that little Even Stevens would grow up to be America's highest grossing action star? Yeah, I didn't see it coming either.

One Piece Volume 50

Over 10 years of high seas swashbuckling pirate adventures! I can't believe One Piece has been going steady for over ten years, and maintaining the number one sales notch in monthly sales for seven of those years. It's an amazing feat, which, I don't think has ever been topped in the publishing industry for a contemporary book--if not a comic book. I mean, for you Japanese manga fans (manga being Japanese comics for the layman) One Piece is a rare gem of a book.

There has been only one comic to outsell One Piece in all of history, and that's Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen Mae Hashutsujo (こちら葛飾区亀有公園前派出所), or just Kochi Kame for short. Kochi Kame hit collected volume 160 this month (June), and although it doesn't sell the same amount of books on a monthly basis, as some other titles, due to its longer running time it still holds the record for most books sold. One Piece will probably topple Kochi Kame's record by this time next year, which is amazing considering the shorter shelf time One Piece has had in comparison to what Kochi Kame has enjoyed.

Anyway, I'd just like to shout out to the amazingly imaginative Eiichiro Oda, artist, storyteller, and lead creator of One Piece, he and his art team deserve a big hand and a genuine thanks! It's been one hell of a ride, and I for one, am looking forward to many more years of amazing adventures.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sexy Card

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could have your very own customized credit card featuring a sexy Japanese pop idol dripping with sex appeal? Oh, wait... what's that you say? You can? Sweet! This one happens to be Koda Kumi, the hottest thing going! (Disclaimer: The picture is an example photo from the application form on the official Orico website.)

Blue Hawaii in Japan

This new soda is another great seasonal beverage, which may or may not be unique to Japan. You'll all have to tell me if America has this new Pepsi flavor, since I'm not on the down low. This time, for summer, Pepsi has released a rather fruity cocktail blend soda of Pineapple and Lemon. However, I must say I was surprised that it was actually pretty good. Pinapple fruit mix doesn't sound like it would be a good "pop" but it actually tasted like a blue snow-cone. And we all love blue snow-cones. So, yeah, a beverage to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us. (Sorry for the blurry picture, but I took it on my cell)

A while back the "Final Fantasy" video game franchise celebrated its 30th anniversary and released a collectible beverage wrapped in a sleek sexy can. It was basically a lemon-lime drink, called a "magic potion" (fitting), and had a flavor reminiscent of a sour 7-Up with a dash of Mountain Dew. I thought it was delicious enough--but for a limited time only. I picked up a few because the CG-Art on the cans was absolutely gorgeous to look at. I collected about half of the characters on display. You Final Fantasy buffs may know the characters better than I do, but there's Sephiroth, Tifa, Cloud, and Aerith. I have since recycled the alumi-cans, but saved the memory via this pic for all of you FF fans to drool over. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Deli ala Footus Longuiness

Japan doesn't have much in the way of Deli or Club sandwiches. They do however have the fast food franchise "SUBWAY" which is wonderful if you can get into the city and actually find one.

As for me, I've resorted to making my own deli sandwiches. This is my personal favorite, a roast beef with black pepper-cheese, with the vegetables (your choice) doused in Italian vinaigrette dressing. I personally like lettuce, tomato, and onion which has soaked for fifteen minutes in the vinaigrette, lightly toasting the bread, add some mayo and sesame mustard, and if you want to pull out the flavor just right singe the roast beef slightly and voila! A deli sandwich like no other!