coika :|: love song

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Friends & etc.
lie to me
coika
I keep some entries friends only (usually work stuff), but at least half are public. If you'd like me to add you back, please check it below and add away! I don't really mind if we have nothing in common or not. :)

o1. please try to put large stuff behind a cut
(I'm not a big fan of stuff that stretches out my friends page to infinity and beyond ^^;;;)

o2. are fine with the fact that I may not comment much
(most of the time I can't think of anything interesting to say, but I do read my FL posts!)

o3. your journal isn't just for stanning
(I'm more interested in getting to know you over whatever fandom you may follow)

If you don't comment it might take me awhile to figure out I've been added and why, especially if your LJ is completely in Russian or something.

Moving day is finally here!
bulma
coika
Thanks ya'll for sticking out my previous rant, lol. I got was able to reset my mail on my own and while tedious and annoying, saved me another round of bad customer service. :D Now that I've cleared that hurdle I'm actually really liking the iPhone 5. The battery life is pretty weak like everyone says, but I don't use my keitai very much during the day when I'm not at home so it's not really an issue and the charging time isn't as bad as I was initially told. All in all I'm very happy I switched!

We got the key to the new place last Saturday and since then I've been suuuuper busy trying to get new furniture appliances and the delivery times reserved, pay/cancel utilities, event planning and high school testing work-wise, and packing up and moving what we can from here, and then organizing as much as we can at the new place. I don't think I've gotten more than 5 hours of sleep a night for the last week, and yesterday morning we had to dump our futon out so I slept on the bare tatami while Nori took the cramped couch. I'm not sure which one of us woke up with the worst backache this morning; it was a pretty close call. The landfill garbage day (the only time you can toss old bedding for free) is only one day a month so it was either that or get stuck paying about $30+ to dispose of it or take it with us and store it for another month to dispose of.

My schedule for the past week has been like: wake up at 5:00 a.m., pack stuff and take as much as I can on my scooter to the new place, go to work, come home and fix dinner, pack more stuff and take as much as I can on my scooter to the new place, shower, finally go to bed at 12:00-1:00 a.m. I was doing pretty good until my scooter battery crapped out on my yesterday and I had to take it in to the shop nearby after work. So today add walking an hour each way to work into that mix and yeah... IDK I'm just not genki enough for this shit anymore, lol.

So while I was working today Nori went at dealt with all the people coming and going from either place to turn on/install/take stuff since he doesn't star his new job until the 22nd or so. We won't have internet from tomorrow on for about 2-3 weeks (internet installation in Japan is the absolute slowest process ever, seriously guys) so I'm trying to finish up any work prep for next week and get our moving announcements printed on VistaPrint.

I can still check stuff on my phone, though... so if anyone should nee dme before we have a connection again don't worry! :) In that time I hope to carve a Halloween pumpkin and get the new place in order! Probably better I don't have internet to force me to get stuff done instead of reblogging shit on tumblr and the like, lol.

Way looking forward to sleeping on the new bed tonite! *__________* It's been yeaaars since I've slept on a proper bed that wasn't just to crash for the night at a hotel. Bye bye ratty old futon! You will not be missed! :3

Ranty rant rant.
gloomy bear
coika
tl;dr wtf customer serviceCollapse )

And it went by, just like that...
lie to me
coika
So continuing from last post, we went to see the new place and it was much better than I had even imagined in person! Just little details like the sliding doors having controlled rollers that prevent them from being slammed shut (so one person can be moving around without disturbing the other), a little area on the veranda to wash shoes and for pets to drink from, and best one of all: none of the other tenants have children. Hallelujah! The lady we've been working with told us the apartments were pretty much designed for newlywed couples. In fact I'm not even sure kids are allowed... This came up a lot while we were looking at newer places, so it must be a recent trend..?

We squared away contract details and should be all set once Nori's dad signs the guarantor paperwork. :D We went to Eiden Edion, according to the new CM with Celine Dion, since we have a lot of points saved up there and got a new fridge and a drum washer/dryer. Since the fridge was the last in the store they have us a huge discount on it, and we got another for buying two items at once. We should have enough points to cut down a couple of man off a new computer later. I feel super old getting this excited over appliances, ya'll. But you have no idea how much I hate having to hang our clothes outside. They stink when you bring them in, our towels never fluff right, and if I forget to shake everything out after leaving it outside overnight sometimes I find little "surprises" like a spiders or cockroaches inside. Yeah. :/ Give me a dryer and dryer sheets over that any day.

I was hoping to go get to see The Hunger Games in theaters finally, or get my nails taken off and cleaned up, but with the typhoon today I only managed to go to Bookoff and pick up my new iPhone. I still have to get used to it; I'm only halfway done with setting everything up because the touch keypad was driving me insane and I needed a break.

I finished re-watching Rose of Versailles and OMG so many feels I'm dead. Yet at the same time I'm disappointed it's over and therefore bought a re-release of the manga off of Amazon to read at leisure and compare the two. I was hoping to find it at Bookoff, but the volumes they had out were pretty beat up so I got a couple of Hana Yori Dango instead since I never finished it oh-so-many years ago. It was a good purchase if not only for the foooorever long wait at the au shop to get served, lol.

Nori was supposed to go to a work meeting tonight for the new job, but it got cancelled because of the typhoon. Despite that he still decided to go out for some bowling event. Maybe he'll bring home something good for dinner. :O

I have some stuff left to organize for work tomorrow (starting a new baby class...^^;;;;;) and then maybe hit the futon. I have a three day weekend after this which makes me a little more gung-ho about work than usual. XD;;

And I got those Rilakkuma plush a-OK, kikuko_kamimura! Thank youuu! <3

I'm not good at being patient...;A;
vegas motel
coika
Tomorrow's the viewing on our new place and I'm so so sooo excited! I've been trying to stay calm the past two weeks since we went to the real estate office to get everything straightened away, but it's been tough! I don't even know why I'm feeling so ridiculously spaztastic about it since I can pretty much imagine what it's going to look like from the floor plan and pics of a similar model. I think I'm just so ready to get out of our place now that seeing it in person will seal the deal in reality that "OMG WE ARE MOVING YESSS!"

I had really hoped to be moved in by the end of this month, but because the agency took so long to give us a date we missed the deadline to put in our end of lease notice without having to pay at least half of next month's rent. So we decided in order to not lose any money, we'll stay until the 15th and move into the new place on October 13th and 14th. Either way we're moving because we put in the notice; if for whatever reason this place doesn't do it for us we have a list of a few places we're also interested in as a back-up.

In other good news, Nori applied for a bartending job and got it! Work-wise it's a little less than his previous job, but not by much. It'll also mean he'll be up nights and sleeping in days. Though honestly... with the job he put his last day in for today, even though he came home at night it was usually just to shower, eat dinner, and sleep so it's not like much will change. Perhaps the hardest thing will be getting used to sleeping alone until he comes home. Pros will be not having to rush home after work to try and get dinner on the table the minute he gets home. I can take it easy and as long as I make it before I go to bed for him to heat up later I'm golden.

As for things on my end, I've got everything decorated and organized at work and it feels great! I'm super on top of things; just the way I like it! I don't feel stressed the way I sometimes felt at the other schools, with one of main reasons being that I no longer work in a cluttered environment or have people come up to me trying to get me to do y and z when I'm still working on w and x. I even got a compliment from one of the bosses on how nice the school looks now... somewhere pigs must be flying!

There's so much good stuff going on right now it makes me worried that something incredibly shitty will befall us soon. You see, things in my life can only ever be so good before something happens equally to put me back in my place. I don't think I'm incredibly unlucky or anything, but for as long as I can remember life has always thrown me enough crap to keep me on my toes. The minute I start to feel relaxed and put my guard down, something comes flying out of nowhere to make sure I don't get too comfy. I always figured this was like the balance of the universe- nothing tragic befalls me *knock on wood*, yet nothing is simple at the same time. In any case, I'll be sure to enjoy this period while it lasts however short-lived it might be. Who knows? Maybe 2012 is my year after all.

A fresh start.
dandelion
coika
I started at the new school last week. The kids are great, but there's so much to organize! As a secretary I'm supposed to give out material to potential customers if they happen to wander up to my room, but with so much old flier/schedule clutter it was hard to know which information was the most recent one to give out. Fortunately nobody came wanting information while I was busy trying to figure out which stuff to toss!

I finished organizing all of the files and the book shelf, so now I just need to finish organizing the drawers and re-decorate. I made an order to Trend (For anyone in the U.S., that teaching company that sells cheesy stickers and bulletin boarders in every grade school classroom) and it arrived this morning. :3

Speaking of which it's still super hot and we don't have an A/C unit in the bedroom so Nori and I just sleep in our undies with the fan on. So basically anytime we hear someone at the door in the morning we have to make a mad dash to put on whatever is in reach to answer the door. If it's the mailman he's really quick to leave an "undelivered" notice if you don't answer right away, so it's kind of like an Olympic event making it to our entryway in time. I had two people ring the doorbell this morning; the first person I mistook for the mailman, but it was actually the newspaper man asking us why we're stopping service (wtf that is not a legit reason to wake me up in the morning and have me dash out, sorry) and the second was the mailman.

Last night after I finished work, Nori and I went to see the new Rurouni Kenshin movie playing. I usually don't like most Japanese movies because the quality of acting is usually subpar (that's what happens when you hire "talento", idols, and other pretty faces instead of people with actual skill to play the parts) but the movie was beautifully shot and the only kind of annoying actor was Emi Takei, who played Kaoru. I loved the way Sanosuke and Hajime were done and the styling was excellent. It deviated some from the original series some as to be expected, but it wasn't an unwelcome change. In fact I found myself wishing the original had been played out more like the movie. I heard they're in the works to release it internationally, so anyone stateside/overseas might have something to look forward to. :)

Last weekend was nice, too. Saturday I went into work to organize for a few hours and then took it easy the rest of the day. On Sunday I went to the gym and then met a friend to get our nails done together and girl talk. We had lunch at this new sandwich place inside the shopping center near the station and they were very reasonably priced and good. I hadn't had a proper chicken salad sandwich in forever. I'll probably go back next time I need a cheap, tasty lunch on the go. The nail salon I've been going to recently usually has a movie on while you get your nails done and chat, but since we were the only customers during that time slot they let us pick what we wanted to watch and put the sound in English. :D We watched The Ugly Truth, which was pretty cute.

This Saturday I'm babysitting a friend's kid while she attends an wedding thrown by a mutual acquaintance. We were invited to the wedding at the last minute since (we've only been introduced for a short time and invites had already gone out), but the reception is rather expensive (about $180 pp) and I wasn't sure we'd have the day off when they needed their final counts so we declined. In my circle of friends we're the only couple not going so she was having trouble finding a sitter. It's not the first time I've sat for her so I'll probably bring over some DVDs to watch like last time since her kid goes to bed really early.

I'm hoping by Sunday Nori and I will know more about when we can see the new place/our move in date, and hopefully we'll be able to get the ball rolling on the paperwork.

Anywho, all you lovelies enjoy your week!

Updates and stuff!
bulma
coika
So... We couldn't get that place from last entry. The landlord discussed the issue with a bunch of other property owners and they were anti-pets so he went along with their advice and decided no pets. No hard feelings, we get it and it wasn't exactly a surprising result.

Following that we still decided to check a few other places we had come across and were debating on one until a new real estate listing for an apartment complex being built came up. We did a lot of talking between each other, visited the agency to talk about the logistics and construction of the place, visited the spot where it's being built, and finally decided to apply for it. Other than being a little longer than Nori's current commute (but not by much) it fit all our conditions and rent budget.

Since the place isn't complete yet, the application is more like a reservation than a binding contract. When the place is finished we'll go look at it and if we're satisfied we can proceed with making a contract with the landlord. Also, because the application isn't binding it means we can also check out other places while it's being built and if we end up liking another place better (although doubtful) we can just refuse this place without any kind of penalty. The new complex is scheduled to finish construction by the end of August, so we would be looking at a September move in date. That gives us enough time to pull together the money without having to take out a loan, woohoo.

Not much else has been going down over the past couple of weeks... Last weekend I went to Tokyo to pay host family a visit and then on Monday before coming back I went to the embassy to submit my passport name change documents. Should get the new passport within a month and then it'll be time to jump through all the spousal visa hoops. The passport thing was a little easier than I had anticipated so hopefully the visa will go just as smoothly.

Dakota is doing so much better and is back to his usual spoiled, happy, lap cat self.

Work is a little busy because the high school is getting ready for their first end of semester tests before summer vacation. After the first week of July things should be calmer and I'll have a break from going there in the mornings for awhile. Still stuff to prep at home while they're out, but I'll take working in my pajamas to getting dressed up and being in a stuffy, hot classroom with no AC anyday.

On the bright side, this weekend I'll have time to chill and then next weekend is fishing!

The end of another weekend, nooo...
lie to me
coika
I'm so ready for Golden Week already, but I'm sure this coming week will drag on out. I have a week of doing absolutely nothing at home planned and am looking so very forward to it! This is probably the first break I've had completely to myself since moving here. I'm always either going back home or spending it in Tokyo with old host family and/or friends. Every time we get a week plus holiday I tell myself I'm going to spend it getting some real R&R at the apartment, but then I end up letting other people guilt trip me into going out and before I know it the break is gone and I'm more out of it than I was when it started. Well not this year- I've put my foot down!

I've used my crap to do list to come up with a bunch of different things I've been putting off to take care of inbetween relaxing and hitting the gym, and with all the rest I'll be getting and Nori at work (and out of my hair) most of the week I should have no problem managing it all. ^_^

Last weekend I went to Tokyo and had fun, but ended up hanging around until Monday afternoon with the cool peeps letting me stay with them so essentially there wasn't any down time for me to gear up for the work week following once I got back home and got done with home private. I also regret losing 10,000 yen in Akihabara, a place I would never normally set foot if it weren't for someone dragging me there. (Creepy, creepy, creepy...) Spent yesterday pretty much sleeping off two weeks of nonstop crazy.

I had a pretty awesome time with my old high school friend on Sunday, tho. I can't believe it's been 10 years since we were sitting in the same classroom together. While it's obvious we've both changed and matured, there was that same easy air between us that made it feel like not that much time had gone by after all.

After he showed me his dive in Roppongi (OMG his apartment had a maid and one month's rent alone would cost two months of my entire salary, lolol) we headed off to Odaiba since he's a pretty big gamer and I figured he'd enjoy the huge ass game center they have down there. Wouldn't you know once we got there it was under re-construction, hah. But they still have a bunch of old Showa-era retro games in the same complex so we had fun at those, visited a few of the stores, and chatted over some good okonomiyaki. The overview of the area was really nice at sun down so I took a picture.



Today was the usual housework and stuff. I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday since I doubt either of us will be up and/or at home at the same time on Wednesday and it'd been awhile since I'd touched base in the U.S. Later in the afternoon I broke out my new new hard boiled egg maker for the microwave and made some nom nom potato salad to go with dinner.

Over the weekend I watched Blue Valentine, and it was as terribly well-acted as it was insightful and depressing. I think I might have to buy a copy of the DVD eventually, which is really saying something because I never buy/re-watch movies with the exception of a handful of titles I grew up with. I should probably make a list of things to rent at Tsutaya for when I'm chillax on the couch.

And hmmm, let's keep this short for now. Hope ya'll all start your week off on the right foot!

Can't have too many shoes!
anchors away
coika
I don't know why, but each day this week feels like it's going on and on foreeever. Maybe it's because I've been pretty busy? I don't know.

Anyways, I'm making curry for dinner at the moment, and figured I'd write a bit while it's finishing simmering. I work late on Thursdays, so I have to prep dinner before I leave so I can take a meal with me to work and all Nori has to do when he gets home is heat and eat.

High school kicked off, and after spending one day planning oral communication lessons up until the end of May (midterm), we had our first go at it yesterday. The lessons went really well in both of our opinions. The teacher I'm with was pretty good at trying to be humorous when disciplining the kids when necessary and was totally OK with just going with my flow instead of that I want you to prepare everything beforehand without my help, but I will nitpick and interrupt the lesson because it wasn't done the same way I would have done it if I had been the one planning it, although didn't bother to read what you had planned before our class to let you know beforehand attitude that had me running from the last school I did team teaching at.

Since the only request the teacher had was to come up with a plan was to maximize the students speaking as much as possible, I changed the format to a routine somewhat similar to the teaching system we use at the eikaiwa. Basically our lesson style is one where instead of having one or two main topics and doing activities associated with them throughout the whole lesson, we cover numerous different topics, about 5 min. long each, and repeat the same topics or expand on them every lesson until they've been mastered and a new topic replaces it.

This works style works pretty well anywhere as students are constantly reviewing material so there's no forgetting what they've learned, and the activities are fairly short so there's no need for long explanations/games to tide over the class. Having a quick flow also means the time goes by faster because nobody gets too bored of one activity/topic and on top of that, without any extensive games there's not a lot to prepare each class in way of materials, nor much explanation needed for the next lesson since it will almost always be identical except for a few small changes. I like this because we only have about 20 mins. between lessons to talk about the next lesson, and it would be hard to explain a totally new lesson plan each week and the other party "get it" in that small amount of time.

Other classes have gone fine, the boss skipped our committee presentations and we just turned in the report afterwards, and today I have a new junior high class that I made another plan for. The biggest reason kids drop our school for juku is because we only advertise focusing on conversation instead of integrating useful vocab, grammar, and other skills for passing tests in with it. So tentatively my new plan should incorporate all this stuff while still being mostly conversation based and going along with their textbook I'm required to use. (Which I don't like because it's designed for elementary school kids.) One student is aiming to pass her 4th level eiken so I want to do as much as I can, and encourage the other students to try for the same level as well.

In my free time I've been finding my way around Gmarket for some cheap shoes since I haven't turned up much luck on this end (I got an e-mail about the pair I ordered last entry being sold out) and put in an order for about 6 pairs, which came to a little less than what two pairs of a regular brand would have cost here. Luckily sizing in Korea is done the same way as in Japan so there should be no problems there. I can't wait for them to arrive! Today was umetate (landfill) garbage day, so I dumped out a bunch of old shoes that are unwearable in anticipation to make room for the new ones.

This weekend I'm planning on going to Tokyo after work to catch up with two friends. I prefer going this weekend over, say Golden Week, when all the trains and places will be slammed with tourists. Hopefully all will be good and I'll have something more interesting to update with next time. :D

Sorry for all this tl;dr but here goes anyways...
&gt;_&lt; cookie
coika
Nagoya was great! I only wish we could have had a massage everyday, lol. And maybe I should have packed warmer clothes. The weather has been pretty haywire; today's unbelievably chilly as it's been the past week or so, and even though the cherry blossoms are in full bloom I have no interest in going flower viewing because of it.

nagoya day-by-dayCollapse )

There was pretty much nothing to be scrounged up around our place went I got back, so I've been doing a lot of grocery shopping over the past week and our cupboards and fridge are now chock full to the brim! I guess I maybe went a little overboard. ^^;;

Crossed off a bunch of errands and as luck would have it I found one of the pairs of shoes sold out in my size online and they should arrive on Thursday. Woot for free shipping to boot!

As always, working training was a huge bore/waste of time and my boss decided to shift me over to another committee to fill the void of the two teachers that left that were in it. I'm glad to be out of the other committee because the leader there used to dump his committee workload off on me, but who knows how being in this one will turn out since my boss is part of it. Classes have started and they're chugging along OK, too. I think the kids in today's last class are a bit under developed socially, so maybe that particular one might be a little challenging the first month in or so.

My high school classes got turned into team teaching under the mandate of the new principal there, which really blows. Being able to teach by myself was one of the few perks of having to go there. Not sure if this decision came into play because my co-worker alternating classes with me last school year refused to teach from the book and it fucked with some of the lower level classes, or if it's because they want more ALT presence around the school and since I'll be the only one there this year, by having me only do three classes per usual it alienates a lot of other classes from getting to study with a native speaker. It's likely that the Japanese teacher I'll with won't ask for much of my input, and I very much hope that's the case. If I have to team teach, at least let me get to stand there and be a human tape recorder so I don't have to think much or be accountable if the students aren't focused/whatever.

I've been trying to get through Mrs. Dalloway but the conscious stream narrative puts me to sleep every time I crack it open. Any new book recs ya'll?

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