Wednesday, December 15, 2010

November 29th - December 15th

November 29th
At Osaki JHS today.  At lunch, a boy came up to me to tell me that he has two boyfriends.  This is not the same boy who asks me if I think of him, but he gave me a similar look…I’m not liking the look of this.  I watched the tennis team practice during lunch.  Went running after school, saw some kids who seemed amazed that I could do anything outside of teach, and then went home.  Semi-boring day.

November 30th
I was split between two schools today.  Osaki JHS was fine, no news.  Osaki Elementary was crazy!  Kids hanging from me, left and right.  I taught them animal names, which they already seemed to know, so I’m guessing they were just using me as a babysitter today.  I was super crazy with them and played multiple games of Simon Says, lifted each one into the air (multiple times), and acted out the animals during our lesson.  I left the school, went home to eat, and then finished the night at Becca’s house (with Kyle) to watch a movie. 

December 1st
Woke up at 6am but slept until 9.  No morning classes today, so it’s okay.  Skyped home to Grandma and Grandpa, mom, John and Kalika.  Cleaned my house a bit and then took off to teach my 1 class of the day.  After school I went fishing but didn’t catch anything.  The waves were fairly large and soaked me a bit.  Went to the Sankyu mart and bought some new sweat pants, foods, etc.  Made dinner and fell asleep.

December 2nd
I had 6 classes to teach today.  I played hangman in 2 classes this morning, nearly forgetting how to spell handkerchief during one game.  I’m just feeling out of it today.  Today Takumi said, “I’ll kill you.”  Just another thing to worry about.  After work, I realized that I had a bounenkai (end of year party) after work.  My big boss, Imoto-san, picked me up from home with Mizoguchi-san.  At the party, we ate some great food.  
No chicken sashimi this time

The guys all started talking to me about women, motorcycles, and breakdancing.  We left and reconvened at a karaoke bar.  Aiboshi went to school with the lady who owns the place, so I think she gave us a good deal.  
These are my insanely awesome BOE buddies!

There were 3 women working the place, all over 45, and they were playing the part of the girls at the karaoke bar I went to in Kanoya.  
Touchy Girl

One, in particular, was getting a little too touchy with me and I had to remind her that I could be her son.  We actually had a great time.  The owner made me sing a Christmas song with her, I impressed them with some Frank Sinatra, but I was blown away when the touchy lady sang my favorite anime song, Evangelion.  It totally redeemed her as the coolest karaoke party girl ever.  She even sang another anime song that had something to do with a submarine that could fly into space.  Needless to say, most of the guys were absolutely smashed by the end of the night.  Aiboshi drunkenly said, “This is my 2nd mother” instead of 2nd wife.  Smoooooth dude.  Got a ride home from Imoto-san and passed out.
We went to Hotaru...right next to Girl's Bar Dope

December 3rd
I actually woke up feeling great, despite my late night.  It was raining all day and extremely windy.  I went to my furthest school today, roamed the halls for a bit, teachers are coughing everywhere.  I guess their face masks aren’t helping much, huh?  My first class consisted of grade 6 elementary students, who were learning the alphabet.  I nearly facepalmed myself.  I finally found a nickname for the annoying kid who has an obnoxious laugh, Cartman.  Other classes were fine.  I had one class of new students, 4 months into the semester.  During a free period, I walked into an art class with Cartman, and ate some of the pumpkin seeds off the counter to freak them out.  I had asked in October if Japanese people cook pumpkin seeds and everyone said no.  I’m guessing they were going to use these to grow crops, but now they have become snacks.  I had two crying kids in other classes, taught an extra class because of boredom, and then went home.  Played badminton tonight and that was it.

December 4th 
I went to a motorcycle shop, as directed by my buddy Nathan, and met a guy and his wife.  They work on custom bikes, but specialize in creating custom Chevy trucks.  The guys flies to LA during the year, gets a hotel near Compton, and buys old school cars, trucks, lowriders, you name it.  He has a Chevy Suburban, and 5 other random trucks just sitting in his lot.  Really nice, not much English, but we traded stickers and said we’d try to strike a deal about a motorcycle soon.  Got a text from Justin about going snowboarding tomorrow and I jumped at the opportunity.  Hurriedly went and did some snow shopping (gloves, neck warmer, long johns, etc.) and made it to Justin’s 2 hours away.  We watched the end of Shawn White’s snowboard competition in China, which turned out to be a great comp. 

December 5th
We woke up at 4:30 and were out the door by 5am. 
Justin driving through the cloudy valley

Drove to Oita, where the mountain/hill was, and I was able to rent a board, boots, pants, and goggles.
The 'Hill'

  We both had loads of fun taking the 30 second run down man-made snow.  On the chair lift, we were able to start some conversations with locals and they were curious about us.  Justin taught me how to do a backside 180 off some small jumps.  We ended around 12 noon and were given free rain-jackets by the staff at the front counter.  We had merely asked how much they were (turns out they were 500 yen) and they said, “Present.”  After all, it was only the 2nd day they had been open this season, so these were going to help them spread the word. 
We stopped at a huge bus/trucker stop on the side of the highway and had lunch. 

Justin and I both fell in love with a lady who worked in one of the restaurants.  I got home around 10pm and realized I had a Christmas lesson to plan.  Stayed up and got it done.

December 6th 
Multiple Christmas lessons today.  I had the kids trace their hands on green paper, write their name and some Christmas wishes, and then we pasted them onto a huge sheet to create a tree.  The kids loved it and I showed them how to make snowflakes.  My teachers actually had lessons to teach, but dropped them when they saw how much fun it was.  I graded some kids’ notebooks in between classes.  For lunch I had 3 quail eggs in my soup.  I watched kids play soccer during lunch recess and nearly fell asleep. 

I tried to pay a bill to the bank for the 3rd time, but they were closed earlier than what was posted.  Finished some of my language course test.  Confirmed a snowboarding trip with Justin for next weekend in Hiroshima.

December 7th
Sooooo cold this morning.  There was ash on my windshield from Sakurajima (must have been some eruption).  2 classes at my first school.  They took my school picture for their yearbook.  I finished my language test and had a rare conversation with my principal from Hishida JHS.  He didn’t know I was from California and seemed really nervous talking to me.  I played basketball with the boys at lunch and made a halfcourt shot, which sent them to the ground laughing.  Not sure why it was so funny, but I heard them bragging about it to their friends in the next class.  This was also the lunch when my kids were yelling, "I'm coming, I'm coming" and grabbing their chest.  Where are they learning this stuff?!  Not long after I made my shot, they were assaulting the girls who were trying to play volleyball, with one-handed full-court shots. 
Went to my 2nd school and sang, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” to my class…alone.  That was a little weird, but they did clap for me.  My vice-principal gave me a “Tokyo Banana.”

  I drove toward Miyazaki tonight and found myself at a custom motorcycle shop.  I was able to speak a bit with the owner and he gave me a cup of coffee while we talked about bikes.  I gave him and his assistant an advent calendar and he let me take pictures around the place.  
Insane bikes

I was in complete bike heaven.  Most of the bikes were old Harleys, but he had some Honda and Suzukis too.   

Getting to Miyazaki I looked for a snowboard for next weekend, but they had nothing related to snowboarding.  I take that back, they had 1 thing, which I bought, which was related to snowboarding.  It is a DVD called, “Put Fuck the Lid Back Down.”  I haven’t even seen it, but I’m almost certain it should have won an award for “Best Unintentional Documentary of Crazy Japanese Snowboarders.”  

Drove home and passed out.

December 8th 
My hands are frozen this morning.  There is frost on the ground and I have to scrape ice from my windshield.  I really wasn’t expecting this in Japan. 

During a couple of my classes, I was asked to tell the kids what to draw.  So I made it interesting and had the kids draw natto in a toilet, a cat on my teacher’s head, a fish playing the piano, and some other random things.  I actually had my JTEs laughing in hysterics today, it was so much fun to see. 
Student drawing: house with ramen under it, car (that had teacher with cat on it), toilet with natto, new teacher
with cat picture, fish playing piano, another fish playing the piano.

I was invited to another bounenkai today, but it’s the same day as my Daiichi party.  I was lucky enough to catch on film, and in pictures, boys during a PE class today.  They were throwing a praying mantis at each other and then one of them began singing to me. 
One of the funniest kids at the school...with praying mantis on shoulder.

I played volleyball at lunch and one of the girls asked, “How have you been?”  When I answered, she looked so surprised, as if I wasn’t supposed to know English.  I’m not sure what she was expecting to hear.  After school I mailed my Japanese test at the post office.  Got my MSN account running and was able to talk with Gian and the Metcalfes.  Woke up Mikey in the process, but we had a good chat. 

December 9th
Super windy again this morning.  My 1st class was out of it and didn’t have the attention span of a frozen grape.  I had my 2nd class draw pictures of what I said.  I had them draw a picture of Mr. Ueno (one of our teachers) standing on a car, natto in a toilet, and a cat on top of Mr. Ueno’s head...again (but a different class).  The kids tend to perk up 500% when they’re allowed to draw during a lesson and they all participate.  Maybe my JTEs should learn from this.
Went to Osaki Elementary in the afternoon and they were crazy.  Had two classes combine, so I was teaching 57 students for an hour.  It was nuts, to say the least.  My most calm, awesome teacher unleashed his wrath on the kids 3 times.  One of the boys got my attention by flipping me the bird.  So, I had to ignore him for 10 minutes while he continued the same action. 
At night I went to Becca’s where we met her boyfriend, Nick, and he made us a great dinner.  We also watched the movie Prestige, which turned out to be more entertaining than I thought. 

December 10th
I got to my first school at 8:15am and they told me to come back at 11:45.  I didn’t put up a fight and promptly sped home.  Finally paid my bank bill, did laundry, and was able to talk to Kalika on Skype.  Got back to the school for lunch, taught one class, and was done for the day.  After class, the kids took me outside to pick vegetables from their garden.  One of the kids found a frog and others were busy playing with snails.  
One of the girls who takes me to explore the playground during recess.

Snail hunt

Drove to Justin’s after work and we made shabu shabu on his stovetop.  Watched the DVD I bought, Put Fuck the Lid Back Down and it turned out to be a bunch of Japanese goons just trying everything.  But, the snow in Hokkaido, where they mostly rode, was INSANE!!!  Justin and I were both freaking out about how powder-y and deep it was.  Went to bed but could barely sleep in anticipation of snowboarding in a day. 

December 11th
Woke up at 7:30 and drove to Fukuoka where we met Justin’s friend Jamina.  Super cool girl who showed us around Fukuoka.  I found a used board, boots, bindings, board bag, and jacket for about $100 US.  I’m also using the word ‘used’ loosely, since it didn’t look like the board or boots had been used more than once, if at all.  What a deal. 
Jamina took us to an Italian restaurant where we demolished 3 pizzas.  They had a brick oven and made them with some amazing cheeses. 

I was also able to find more TimTams while wandering through the city.  We finally boarded our bus to Hiroshima at 10pm and met a guy from who had actually paid for our bus and snowboarding tickets (this is without having met either of us).  His name is Jet and I’m sure we’ll both be boarding with him in the future.  He’s originally from Singapore and is now working as an engineer in Japan.  He speaks nearly fluent English, Mandarin, and Japanese.  We all talked for a bit, but then passed out.

December 12th
Got to the mountain around 6am and everyone from the bus followed a line into a small heated room.  Since the lifts weren’t going to open for 2 more hours, we all slept on the ground.  We were on the mountain by 8:10 and got a ton of runs in.  
Justin, Jet, and me

We also video-taped each other and I, unfortunately, pulled some muscles in my wrist trying to copy Justin on a jump.  So, I was out for the day.
We ate lunch and took a nap in the changing room.  Then Jet and Justin went to get a few more rides in.  The snow was primarily man-made, but there was a decent amount of it and they opened the top lift early enough to have a good time.  Once, Justin and Jet were done, we went to an onsen and soaked for a bit.  They even had two huge bathtubs outside, that were made from huge tree trunks.  We probably could have fit 8 or 9 people in the biggest one.
We boarded the bus at 5:30pm, got to Fukuoka by 10:30 and then headed for Justin’s house.  Got to his place at 2:30am (Monday morning now) and I drove to my place.  I took a 30 minute rest on the side of the road and finally made it to my house at 5:30am.  Great, work at 8:15. 

December 13th
I got to my school and found out I had 5 classes to teach today.  I think I was so loopy and tired that I actually had great lessons.  But, I barely remember anything.  Got home, made myself stay awake until 6, took a bath, had a glass of wine, and was asleep by 7:30. 

December 14th
I woke up at 6 (nearly 11 hours of sleep) and was ready to tackle the day.  I just wasn’t ready for the two 6 year old boys who pointed and grabbed their crotches while saying, “Chi Chi!”  Luckily, my second school mostly consisted of Japanese Christmas songs being sung throughout the hallways. 
After school I went for a walk and then went grocery shopping for 2 hours.  Got home, made food, watched a movie and passed out.  
A patch I saw while shopping.  "Peed Parking"  Don't ask me, I don't know either.

December 15th
My first class: I greeted them with English for 2 minutes and then my JTE talked in Japanese for 43 minutes while I just stood there.  My next class was funny and one of the boys kept blowing me kisses from the back of the room (as he usually does).  We also sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” in English and I was surprised at how great they sounded. 
My 3rd class was by far the best class I have had in a while.  Immediately, one of my students starts talking to me about girlfriends and intentionally ruining English words.  At one point, while we were pronouncing the word “Rule,” he just went nuts on facial expressions and said something like ‘rule’ but sounded much funnier.  I caught myself from laughing out loud, but he kept doing the same noise and I honestly lost it.  I finally let it out and laughed extremely hard in the middle of class.  I don’t think my JTE knew what was going on so everything stopped and all eyes on me.  I was trying to hide myself with a piece of paper, but the class burst into laughter as I opened the door and walked into the hallway to get my laughs out.  Even when I came back inside, I did the whole, trying to pronounce the words but knowing I’m just going to laugh again so just stop, thing.  I politely excused myself to the back of the class, away from the one student, and taught from behind everyone.  It actually worked and the kids paid more attention than usual.  When I got my composure back, I walked to the front of the class and the funny kid (not Takumi, mind you) says, “I will wait at love hotel tonight.  Lets shall we go?”  At least he’s using his new words ‘lets’ and ‘shall.’  Japan NEEDS its own reality TV show that takes place in rural elementary and junior high schools.  Absolutely epic things happen everyday. 

At my afternoon school, we had 2 Christmas lessons that consisted of making snowflakes and learning the names of Santa, Mrs. Claus, snowman, elf, and stocking.  I also played a mix CD of Christmas music for them to listen to while they worked.  I didn't hear one peep.
Hard at work

They were so engrossed with cutting their pieces of paper, I almost couldn't believe these were elementary students.

Kids with my JTE

After school I met up with Kyle, Becca, and her boyfriend Nick at our favorite okonomiyaki place.  The food was better than I had remembered and we had a good time speaking English.  I followed Kyle to his house so I could borrow a Santa outfit and we decided to have a honking contest.  He definitely won by honking his horn for a straight minute while passing houses and other cars.  I laughed so hard that I cried.  It’s days like these that I live for.  Thank you Japan. 
I bought kerosene fuel for my heater today and it’s working great.  As I type, I don’t have to wear more than 3 layers and my feet aren’t numb.  This is amazing, although I don’t think breathing these fumes is going to be great for me.

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 16th - 28th - It's a biggie

November 16th
I was observed by my BOE (Masuyama-san) at my base school.  I made up some pictures of famous people and slowly showed the kids the pictures.  They had to guess occupations, sports, spouses, etc. and I would give hints.  It went well and the only criticism they had was for me to repeat words 3 times instead of two.  I taught another lesson using the phrase, “-go to” and had a funny boy in the back of the class say, “Go to hell!”  Then after all the laughter he said, “Go to Heaven.”  At least he’s learning something here.  We also asked the kids what they would do if they were rich, to which some students said: buy a Ferrari, become a singer, build a castle, and go to America.  During a spelling game, one of the kids was writing words on the board and accidentally wrote “Dank.”  I had to take a picture of it and was immediately swarmed with questions about what it meant.  

I told them that it was a slang word that meant “cool” and they seemed happy with that answer.  At lunch, I had a few boys yelling my name and asking me to come towards them.  When I got over there, they started pointing at everything in the room and saying, “That’s dank!  That’s dank!”
I made a lesson for Daiichi after school and called it a night.

November 17th
Not much to report on today.  At lunch I had a couple boys asking me tons of questions in broken English.  He was asking something about math, but I misheard him say mouse and mouth.  Supposedly, that’s the funniest mistake anyone has ever made because the entire class wouldn’t stop laughing.  After the laugh session, I walked by some other boys who started to say, “Do you like Coke?”  I said, “No, I don’t drink soda.”  Then they asked, “LSD, acid, marijuana?”  Ohhh, THAT coke.  I still have no idea where they are learning these things. 
Went for a run after work and passed out watching a movie. 

November 18th
I brought the cards the teacher had asked me to make last week and was told that we weren’t going to do the lesson.   This has to be some sort of patience test.  "How many things can we make the foreigner do, that are really annoying, before he acts like a total American and gets pissed at everything?"  Instead, we played the “Who Am I?” game.  When I started revealing a picture of Ryo Ishikawa (Japanese golfer) a girl SCREAMED his name at the top of her lungs.  I jumped in fright and she immediately turned red from embarrassment of her intense answer.  I guess that’s better than an entire class of kids who won’t say a single word.

November 19th
I taught at Osaki Elementary today, the most genki (energetic/happy/insane) school on my list.  

Another day of holding hands with 6-8 little girls at any given point and boys pushing my butt, back, and yanking on my sleeves.  
Happy kids at lunch recess

We played baseball for a while and then I drew them a picture of Spongebob in the dirt. 
I went to badminton tonight and practiced with the kids.  Afterward, I tried to teach them breakdancing moves.  After failing with the worm and I somehow managed to do my first complete set of windmills (3 to be exact). 
I met up with Kyle and Becca after practice and we had a little party together. 

Since we hadn't had any, Kyle decided to make cat sashimi.  Becca was eagerly waiting for the first bite.  (This is a joke)

November 20th
Woke up early in the morning and went fishing at my surfspot.  There were a few people in the water and only one other guy occupying the rocks.  I took a spot near him and we both caught a good amount of fish.  

None of mine were desirable fish, so I threw them back, but I did hook up with something big that snapped my line after it dove into the rocks. 

Left from fishing and stopped at the Softbank store to finally receive my iTunes gift card.  I went home and had a Facetime party with the guys and Miriam back home. 
November 21st
I woke up early and went on a long drive today.  Stopped at a little antique swap meet but didn’t find anything worth buying.  Drove home and slept for a good while.  Woke up and went to movie night at Becca’s with Kyle.  We watched Benjamin Button, yet another movie that didn’t leave us happy at the end.  Maybe we should re-name movie night to, “Depress yourself into sleep night.”

November 22nd
Had ½ day of teaching at Hishida JHS, but it took forever to get through.  I went to the BOE in the afternoon with nothing noteworthy. 
At night, we had a nabe party to celebrate Kat's almost born child.  The food was great and it turned out to be a lot of fun.  
I just found out tonight, that Kat had her baby over the weekend.  Congrats!

November 23rd
Today is Japan’s “Labour Thanksgiving Day” holiday so I spent most of it at a festival in Asuparu (where I play badminton).  I saw nearly all of my kids and gave them some money for a fundraiser.  
Girls who stole me away
A group of girls took me into a line with them to get some free black pork soup and then I was nabbed by a group of boys who took me to a little lookout spot to spy on girls.  Kyle came to check out the scene and we even ran into some of his friends.  While we were talking, we met an ex-kamikaze pilot who politely introduced himself by grabbing my genitals and saying how he can’t get ‘get up’ anymore.  Nice to meet you too. 
Went for a run after the festival on a new route and saw a lot of my elementary kids coming back from the festival.  I also found a cool little shrine that was made in a little forest between two houses. 
I had a BBQ that night with chicken and vegetables, outside my house and listened to music and watched the stars.
Cabbage, green peppers, onions, and chicken

I was scared half to death when my neighbor came out of the darkness and said something in Japanese I couldn’t understand.  She brought me a home-made okinomiyaki that was the best I had tasted. 
Greatest okinomiyaki ever!

November 24th
Today is the first day of our mid-year seminar in Kagoshima City.  Kyle and I were going to drive together but were offered a ride from Ryan again.  Super nice of him to do so, since Kyle and I wanted to have a beer or two on the way.  We left around 6:30am since the first meeting started at 12:15.  Kyle had the ‘wonderful’ idea of mixing shochu with our coffee and it definitely woke me up.  A highball, schochu, some donuts and we were ready for the ferry ride across the bay. 
Kyle admiring the shrubbery on our pit-stop

Kyle and I met up with some other JETs at a building where they allow re-entry permits for internationals.  We got that business taken care of and headed to our first meeting.  Shortly after, everyone was ready to be done for the day and we found a beer vending machine on the 6th floor.  It only had two beers left, so we split them among the 5 of us.  After the meetings, Kyle and I met with Lily, who was letting us stay in her cute little apartment.  We went to dinner with other JETs at an American food place.  They had hamburgers, tacos, and burritos…definitely an American food menu.  The burgers actually tasted like home, so that brought some joy.  

They had also decorated the place with an American theme.  Original action figures from ET were in the bathroom (which creeped me out a bit), they had Newport Beach, Malibu, and other popular destinations drawn on the walls, and even hard to find vinyls of the Beastie Boys were hung on the walls.  
Random restaurant that advertises their heimlich skills...and steak and beer

We soon found our little group in a karaoke place, singing our hearts out.  Somehow, we managed to sing for 2 or 3 hours.  Around 3:30am, Kyle and I were walking back to Lily’s.  Taking a look at our gps, it looked close enough to reach in 15 minutes by foot.  After 30 minutes, we caught a taxi ride and were there shortly. 
November 25th
We woke up to the sound of a nuclear power plant siren, which turned out to be Lily’s alarm clock.  Kyle and I found ourselves lying on futons in the kitchen.  I think we felt as good as a 3 hour sleep could feel.  Drank too much coffee, and survived the first few lectures.  My favorite lecture, though, was hosted by Asher and Badillo.  They gave a full demo of filleting a mackerel and de-boning it, literally saying, “Take the bones out with your boner.”  Epic. 
The day finished slower than hoped, but we were all hanging in there.  We went to Amu Plaza, a huge mall that has been decorated in Christmas fashion, and spent too much money at an international food shop.  
Welcome to the "Winter Heartland"

I found 3 different types of TimTams, Haribo candy, and Advent calendars for some of the people back in Osaki. 
Our ride home was filled with jokes and personal criticisms, but we had a great laugh and enjoyed each-others’ company.  Upon reaching my own home, I found a letter in my mailbox that said I had 5 classes to teach the next day.  Not what I was hoping for, but at least I’d get more than 3 hours of sleep.

November 26th
The first lesson was to introduce shopping and the kids did great at picking up the new words.  My second class had the kids exploring the school’s field.  They would find a plant, tree, or shrub and we would teach them the English name for it.  Then they drew pictures and presented them to the class at the end of the period.  During that time, I also showed them how to use blades of grass to make a loud whistle.  All the kids tried, but kept making farting noises.  I thought my teacher was going to die, he was laughing so hard.  The kids were too frustrated to notice, though, and kept making farting noises.  My teacher laughed until he stopped breathing, which caused me to fall on the ground in laughter as well. 
Later in the day, I noticed one of the little boys wearing knee-high socks that said, “Spicy Girl.”  He had found a cat during our plant excursion and held it in the most uncomfortable position I have ever seen a cat held. 
The cat is now seeing his 9 lives flash before his eyes

The kids would throw the cat 6 or 7 feet away from them (in the grass) and it would turn around and run back to them.  The cats here might have 8 or 10 screws loose. 
After school I wanted to sleep so bad, but remembered that I had a bounenkai with my coworkers.  We met at a local Osaki restaurant and had more nabe.  The food wouldn’t quit coming and they seemed a bit disappointed that I only drank non-alcoholic beer tonight.  I had to explain that I was driving later and couldn’t drink.  Three or four of the guys got smashed and began to ask if I had a hairy chest, if I was going to a sex party, and if they could come.  Yes, no, no…but they still asked to come 3 or 4 more times.  Maybe some other time. 
We noticed a group of girls at a table next to ours and went to talk with them.  It turned out to be all school nurses and I remembered one of them from a school of mine.  They said multiple times that they were single and this did nothing but make one of the drunk guys crazier.  He ran to his little man-purse and pulled out candles.  He explained that they are hot burning candles and he likes to drip them on his body.  Then he looked at me and said, “I’m freaky.”  I swear, it has been a pleasure eating nabe and drinking non-alcoholic beer with you all, but I must be on my way.  Have a wonderful evening and good luck with the single ladies. 
I left and headed to Kyle’s house.  I picked up a couple beers and picked up Becca at her house.  We went and drank in Kyle’s house while he, Erin, and Mary Margaret were at taiko.  They came home a bit later and we had a small party among ourselves. 

November 27th
Woke up early and took Becca home.  Got home and slept until 12.  Met up with Kyle and Erin and we got a chance to tour a bell pepper/goya farm.  

The farmer was from Tokyo, spoke wonderful English, and ended the tour with complimentary coffee and sembe. 

From there, we took a drive to a place called “International Wood” and sat to watch the city for a while.  Had a random photo session and then went to buy food for our little Thanksgiving dinner. 

We made deviled eggs in bell peppers, sushi, beef, shrimp, clams, and others brought pork chops, cheese, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a plethora of wine.  We had a really fun group of people at Kyle’s house and ended the night with dancing and fireworks.
Twister starts

Kyle was wearing a mask and snorkel, people were passed out on the bed, but we all managed to sleep by 3am or so. 
Scuba Kyle goes looking for clams

Topher getting down

November 28th
I woke up to my alarm at 6am and headed out the door to get ready for my badminton tournament.  I wasn’t in the best shape, but found some energy after eating eggs and toast.  My partner and I lost all three of our games (for some reason they put me in C class) but we still had fun.  Top finishers won huge boxes of ramen.  The adults were allowed to play janken (rock, paper, scissors) for bottles of booze.  Then the kids started 6 different tickle fights while we were leaving the gym.  I went home and gave my neighbors their Advent calendar, to which they responded with a pot of homemade sweet curry.  I made pasta with oysters and shrimp then had some rice with the curry. Here's a picture of one of the clams, after I steamed it...a little crab had been hiding out in the shell...
A clam with crabs

 I fell asleep at 8pm.  Finally, some rest.

Here are some other random pics from the last couple weeks...

The official book of pooping

Happy Thanksgiving

One of my most prized pictures...