New Years Eve Snow

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

December 31,2004 2:30PM

It’s snowing!!!!!!  And it’s snowing pretty damn hard.  The snow is collecting pretty quickly so I’m a bit worried as to whether or not I will be able to get my car out.  My car is not a 4WD so, it may be a challenge.  Here is a pic of my front yard:

Both of my dogs LOVE the snow especially Princess.  She went absolutely bizerk when I let her out.  Jenna loved it at first but then she wanted come back inside after when she got cold.  Here is pic of Princess.  She looks a little confused here….like “What’s this white cold stuff?”

I have to get ready now….Happy New Years everyone!  See you in 2005!

One More Day

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

Yay! Today is the last day of work for the year. I’m pretty stoked (<-is this a California-only slang term? I never heard it used anywhere else. It means excited BTW). Furthermore, its only a half day so I will be off by noon. It eventually did snow in Tokyo yesterday and it snow pretty hard. It snowed just long and hard enough that the snow collected a bit on the sidewalks and some parked cars. But by the late afternoon, it started raining again and melted all that wonderful snow Today the weather is sunny and clear; perfect day to have a half day. I was thinking to either go to Akihabara or Shibuya. I think maybe I've been to Shibuya a bit too much lately and I haven't been to Akihabara in literally years, since the anime otaku's (nerds) infiltrated it and turned it into a weird little mecca for sick and perverted minds. Tomorrow, I will go to my grandmother's place for the reunion. I think my mother is already there although she hasn't called yet, not that I was expecting her to call anyways. The only thing I don't like about the end of the year in Japan is that there's nothing really good to watch on TV. Its all New Year's specials which are really corny and lame! Looks as if the Halvsie site is still offline. I guess Saren is doing the upgrade to the newer version.

Random Ramblings

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

Ok…I figured out the trick to maintaining this whole thing and now I think I’m getting pretty good at this.  I have been coming to work an hour earlier every morning, and so I am pretty much the only person in the office at that time.  It gives me time to be able think and write the things I want to write.  Whether or not they’re interesting….well, I think I still have to work on that.

Today is my last full day at work for the year.  I come in for a half day tomorrow and then I am off until the 11th.

This morning I saw something really frightening, but it really caught my attention!  I saw a girl in her late teens/early twenties wearing a real short plaid catholic school girl type of dress (its freezing cold outside, mind you), carrying a huge gym bag and what appeared to be small bag of golf clubs. Other than being a bit mismatched and having bright purple hair underneath a dark colored beret, she didn’t seem so odd at first glance (under Japanese standards, of course).  It’s only when she boarded the train and sat down that I had noticed SHE HAD RED EYES!!! AHHHH!  They weren’t blood shot; her eyes (the cornia or whatever that part is called) were RED!  Obviously she was wearing colored contact lenses (I hope, unless she part rabbit or something) but I still couldn’t help but to stare, and I think she knew I was staring. The closest thing I could find that resembled what her eyes looked like is this picture shown here.  She had a lot of eye make up on as well. So I was piecing all this together in my head: a beret, bright purple hair, lots of facemake up, red contact lenses, catholic school girl-like uniform (no school today in Japan BTW, but I’ve seen girls wear uniforms on Sundays), a humongous gym bag, and a small bag of what appeared to be golf clubs.   The only conclusion I could make is that she is an SM queen on her way to a cosplay party.

On a different note…today is REALLY cold and its raining outside.  I wouldn’t be too surprised if it snowed tonight or even later today.  It’d be really nice if it snowed this year!

On yet another note, I got a message from Yuriko, who’s back in Germany visiting family during her winter break.  She sent some pictures from the off-kai.  Here is one of them (this was taken in front of a parking garage in Shibuya):

From the right: me, Kamille (sp?), Daniel, Mariko, Simon (back), Yuriko (back)

I looked really confused in this pic because I was looking for my digital camera, which I was beginning to think I left back in the pub. I eventually found it; it was in my pocket ..DOH!

Thanks Mario…I’ve been in Japan too long

Preparing for the holidays

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

Today’s Tuesday, 2 and a half more days to go and then can sleep in until noon once again. Its been 4 days since my birthday and no physical or mental ailments or sicknesses so far, which is more than I can say about my 30th birthday.

 My mother will be arriving from Atlanta, GA tomorrow evening.  I doubt I will have time to go to Tokyo (my grandmothers house -where she will be staying) to see her until at least the 30th.  I will definately go on Omisoka (New year’s Eve). 

The best word to discribe my mother is “odd”.  She’s only 52 and I think she’s already going a bit mad.  I know its not senility, because she’s been like this for as long as I can remember.  And the most scarey part is that a lot of people (close relatives) are telling me that I’m starting to act just like her.

Every New Year’s Eve, we have a family reunion at my grandmother’s house.  It  has been a tradition for about the last 15 years now.  Sometimes some family members cannot make it but, overall its always a good turn out. And every year, it seems that more and more people come (girlfriends, wives, children, etc…)

When I was kid, I never got to go to the reunions because I lived in the States and only came to Japan during the summer when all of my cousins were on summer vacation.  I would stay in Japan at least a month since summer break is 3 months in the States, so it was the best deal for the money.  I only started to come to Japan in the winter, during my winter breaks (which was only 2 weeks) when I was able pay for my own plane fare.  I enjoy the winters much  more than I do the summers, mostly due to the weather.

Nowadays, I feel as I have to brace myself for the personal attacks I have to endure from my uncle.  He’s a good man! If it weren’t for him, I would not be in Japan today.  He’s help me out so much in the past ten years and I owe him a great amount of gratitude.  But when he drinks, he gets really talkative.  Most of the time he’s really funny to listen to, but then he would tell me how old I’ve gotten or how fat I’ve gotten.  Last year, I was actually 4 kilo’s lighter than the previous year and yet  he still told me that I was getting fat. (laughs).  My scale is broken this year so I have no idea how much I weigh.  But, everyone (especially my grandmother) insists that I look abnormally young for my age, as if I had made a pact with the devil or something.  As a matter of fact, my gradmother thinks there is something wrong with me (kind of like that Emmanuel Lewis guy) who stopped aging at 11 years old and still looks like he’s in the third grade even though he’s older than me.

I simply reassure that I am aging and show her my new wringles from time to time (laughs)

Happy Birthday

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

Today’s the most dreaded day of my life. It’s the day when I come one more year closer to death, and it seems as if they are coming quicker an quicker these days.

On my birthdays, I usually just take time out to reflect back at the last past year. Fortunately, this year I can honestly look back and feel some sense of accomplishment with my career goals. I am finally at a point where I can say that I am happy with where I am or where I am going with my career. Next year, I will focus on bettering my personal life.

On a side note, today I went to onsen in Ito. The last time I went to any kind of onsen was about 11 years ago with my cousins. It was the last time I went because I was too self-conscience about being a gaijin (foriegner), or at least foriegn looking person in an onsen. Being self-conscience about my looks didn’t help too much either.

I asked the manager of the onsen if it was possible to do a kashikiri (or a buy out) of a bath. He was nice enough to let me use a bath after service hours, so I had the whole bath to myself. It was sooooo nice!

First ever: Halvsie Off-kai

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Family and Friends

Today was the Halvsie off-kai. Overall, I think it turned out really well. The venue that I chose, turned out to be a bit dull and quiet, but at least it allowed everyone to talk to each other without having to talk over loud music or disturbing other customers. *whisper* there were no other customers!

I admit that I was a bit nervous about many things especially about whether or not anyone would really show. December 23rd is the Emporer of Japan’s birthday and a national holiday. On top of that it’s Bonnenkai season (end of year celebrations), so I assumed that people would be pretty busy. But luckily enough, we had a pretty good turn out.

But I think the main thing I was nervous about overall was what kind of impression I would make on others. Some people, I had known for months and talked to via e-mails and PM, but have never met in person. And no matter how much you try to be yourself on an online community, there are some things that always turn out be different about a person. But for the most part, everyone who attended were pretty much the same people I knew online which is a very good thing, because I really enjoyed talking to them. I think something like an off-kai can make or break an “online” friendship, and so I sincerely think that this one enhanced everyones friendship. I just hope I was able to make the same impression if not better to others.

I’m not sure if its a good idea to write personal impresisons on individuals, seeing that this Blog is open to the public. But considering that I have nothing but positive things to write, here goes.

Daniel was everything I expected him to be. In Japanese slang, we would say that he’s cho omoroi or super funny! He had me laughing out loud at work with this outrageous comments, and his offline personality is even more outrageously funny!

Simon, I must admit was a suprise to me. He seemed to be a bit quiet online but, he really kept the evening going! Any off-kai should definately have Simon there because he is defintely the life of the party! Thanks for showing up man!!

Mariko was the very first person I spoke to online, so I really was looking forward to meeting her. As online, she was really fun to talk to. Her fresh outlook on life make me wish I were 19 again (laughs) Let’s definately hook up again soom…K? Your stay in Tokyo was much too short!

Yuriko was the second person I spoke to online. We have so many things in common (which is the nature belonging to an online community, I suppose).But the one thing that really surpised me is that, I couldn’t believe how beautiful she is!

Carlos is a friend of a friend and a very good customer of mine. He reminded me of the boys I use to hang out with back in college. (and yeah Carlos, they were all Filipino ) So, meeting him reminded me of home…Thanks for coming! Still can’t beileve you came straight from SF to the off-kai! That’s pretty hardcore! LOL!!

Bobby D., a fellow Prince and Shiela E. fan. I’m glad that there was someone at the off-kai who’s older than me! LOL! I didn’t really get to speak to Bobby D. too much at the off-kai, but from what I can tell he seemed to be a pretty cool dude…thanks for coming!

Darkness of Japanese winters

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

The temperature has changed quite a bit in Japan in the last week. It has been significantly cooler than it had been earlier this month. On top of that, I actually had to wake up in complete darkeness this morning. Last year, I accepted having to wake up and going to work in the dark. I worked a 7am to 5pm shift every day for my old comapny for the previous 3 years, so I was use to it. However, now that I am with my new company, I get to sleep in an extra hour and half more every morning.

So I woke up in complete darkness once again. Luckily it had gotten light outside by the time I left the house. Last year, my whole commute was in the dark and I wouldn’t see the sun until I was actually at the office. On top of that, by the end of the work day, the sun would have already set, and it would be dark outside again. This would continue for 3 months until the spring. After a while it would get really depressing because I wouldbe living like a mole.

I remember I went to work with a fever once, and I was someone delirious that day. By the time I got to the train station, I honestly could not remember whether I was going to work or coming home.

This week is a short week for me. the 23rd is the emporer’s birthday, and the 24th is my birthday. I iwll be spending the 23rd with friends from the Halvsie forum and the 24th with family.

Inexpreienced coworker

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Work Related

My persistence with this weblog stuff is not going so well obviously (laughs). My llife currently consists of work and sleep and nothing too much in betweeen.

Right now, my boss is on a business trip to Paris so its just me and Kohda, our helpdesk guy. Kohda has been with us for about a month now. He’s a few years older than me and has had some experience in the field. But I suspect that the only reason he was hired was because of his good English speaking skills and not his technical abilities. Since my boss, who’s French, does not speak fluent Japanese, he was looking a bilingual person to help me out while I finish my projects. Hence , Kohda was hired.

However, lately, I have found that Kohda has been somewhat of a handful. His lack of experience is starting to show and causing me to do more work than I would normally do if I were by myself. I know its only been a month, but I was hoping he would be able to work a bit more independantly and efficiently.

For example, during his first week here, I gave him a full tour of the office and our servers in the machine room, which took approximately an hour and a half. I asked him to take notes because the machine room is quite complicated, but he didn’t. As I was giving my tour, he seemed to have been understanding my explanations pretty well because we was asking good questions. But recently I have found that I had to repeat a lot of the explanations I gave on the tour because he had forgotten a lot of the basics. He would ask “what does this machine do again?” or “Is tis machine is this offiice?”. After a month on the job and working on these machines on a daily basis, I would expect that he’d know this by now. I feel that I have no choice but to take away some of the high end work for the fear that he may cause damage to our infrastructure.

Yesterday, Kohda arrived 40 minutes late to the office. Personally I don’t care what time he gets in, but if HR asks me where he is, I would have to be able to account for him, so I wasn’t to happy about his tardiness. He eventually walked into the office at 9:40am, without as much as a word about being late.

I decided to approach this diplomatically and asked “were the trains running late this morning?”. He looked at me puzzled and said “no”, and then continued working. I was irritated, and decided to be more frank.

“Is there a reason why you’re 40 minutes late this morning?”, I hated doing this, but its my job to know.

“Oh,” he paused, obviously fishing for some excuse but couldn’t find one “I overslept a bit” he said a bit embarrased, and as if it were no big deal, which it wasn’t but, but I didn’t enjoy the attitude.

“Um…Kohda, I really don’t care if you’re late, but if you are going to be late, call me and let me know so I have an excuse to give to HR. If you don’t call and HR asks about you, I will be forced to tell them that you are a no show. And since you are still in your probation period it will get escalated to my boss, and the outcome won’t be pretty.” I hated myself for doing this! This was not me or my style, but it had to be done for his sake.

“Oh okay, sorry” he said. He looked to be a bit more apologetic. “I didn’t think a few minutes would be such a big deal, but I will call next time”

I looked at him and suddenly became really concerned over his future work ethics and his future with our company, but this wasn’t my problem. I just hope he doesn’t get himself fired.

Women immitating shellfish

Author: mirai  //  Category: Uncategorized

Suprisingly, I actually have readers reading about my otherwise boring life, but I guess I should post something.

Today I learned a new Japanese phrase? word? Its “Yadogari Onna”. Directly translated it means “hermit crab girl” Being in Tokyo everyday, I have notice more and more of these yadogari onna’s walking the streets. And until now I really didn’t give it too much of a thought about what they were all about.

What are theď˝™? They are basically just young and maybe older women who tote small suitcases around with them wherever they go. No, they are not homeless or taking a trip somewhere. The suitcase is a substitute for purses. see pic.

As you can see, this young, and quite attractive lady is toting a suitcase. At first glance, you may think she’s on a business trip or about to take a trip somewhere. But chances are, she isn’t.

This is the latest fad amoung Japanese women between the ages of 16 and 35. They did a show on TV where they would randomly stop these yadogari onna’s on the streets and ask to see what’s in their bags, that they felt they need to carry everywhere they go. They found everything from a change in clothes, to makeup, to hair products, to shopping items, etc… One lady (about 23 years old) was carrying a stuffed animal nearly the size of the suit case itself. When ask why she was carrying this stuffed animal around with her in a suitcase, she simply responded, “because its cute!”

But the lady who took the prize of all prizes was a 35 year old housewife in Yamaguchi prefecture. Hse carried a huge Louis Vitton bag around with her wherever she went. When she went to a restaurant, she would chain lock the bag to the table or chair to ensure that no one walked off with it.

She was then asked to open the bag and show the camera what she felt was so valuable that she had to have it with her at all times…..what came out was unbelievable!

She basically carried EVERYTHING. Her wallet, the passbook to every bank account her and husband has (about 20 in all), The ATM cards to all these accounts, over 100 credit cards, her husband’s life insurance policies, her kid’s health insurance policies, their stock certificates, over 100 different point cards for over hundred different grocery stores and shops…well the list goes on and on.

Apparently her husband didn’t know she carried all this stuff with her. When asked why she did this, she answered “I feel safer knowing its with me than if were at home where someone could break in and steal it.”

Japan -what a country!

Addicted to Drangon Quest VIII

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Rants and Raves, Techie Stuff

Okay, I’ve skipped a few days…typical mikka bozu!

It was suppose to rain this past weekend, according the incredibly accurate weather reports in Japan. And as always, the forcast was only half right. It did rain, but not during the day. It rained mostly in the early mornings. Sunday was nice, but I didn’t do much. I actually went to the local electronics shop and bought myself a copy of “Dragon Quest VIII” for my PS2. I have only had it for 2 days now, and according to the built in timer (in the game) I have already played it for 10+ hours.

I’ve been playng DQ every since junior highschool when I played DQ I. Nowadays, the graphics are so much better and the music and sound is in stereo. VIII is the first DQ to be in first person 3-D, which gives it a whole new feel from the previous DQ versions. Although I have only played 10 hours of it, I have found it to be a bit easier than VII or even V or VI. The secnerios are much more simplified and less frustrating. VII was just plain too difficult, and I never had the chance to complete it. Maybe when I finish VIII, I will go back to VII and try again. But again, I am a mikka bozu, so I hope I do finish VIII.