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Browsing Posts published on March 20, 2007

Hello Clarice

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As I am blessed with such natural beauty, I must admit I’m not really up to date on modern Japanese beauty care products. However, I saw this one in the Kaihim Makuhari Carrefour that just made me laugh and worry about the future of the planet at the same time. Behold:

Be afraid

Your guess is as good as mine. Well, I suppose I actually looked at the product long enough to snap a picture so maybe my guess is actually better than yours. From what I gather, these KOGAO masks are for people to wear and shrink their faces. Why shrink your face? Because then of course you will be more beautiful, you fathead. I suppose this could maybe possibly perhaps work, but come on. I’m sure results aren’t dramatic. Also note that these aren’t only for womenfolk; the gray one on the far right is for men. I imagine this is something so ridiculous you could only find in Japan.

Here’s a closeup of the pink sauna mask. It’s okay to be scared.

Past Halfway

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It’s been a busy past few weeks, although strangely full of nothing. I haven’t fully decided if time is going by fast or slow, since it seems to change depending on what I’m doing, either sitting at work bored, teaching several classes in a row, or sitting at home watching Seinfeld on my computer. Either way life is enjoyable. Speaking of the passage of time, it has come to my attention that I have finished half of my 1-year contract with AEON, meaning I’ve been here for over 6 months. It really doesn’t feel like I’ve been living here for that long, but 6 months is a lot of time. Things can change a lot. I, however, feel like the past 6 months haven’t changed me a whole lot. Again, not sure if this is good or bad, just pretty neutral overall. I try thinking about something substantial that I’ve accomplished over the past few months. I bought a Wii. I went on a sweet vacation to Kansai. I’ve met a lot of people. But that’s about it. Nothing super duper.

I think that was one of the main things that made me decide to not renew my contract with AEON. I don’t exactly mind working long days, or just working period. Yes, this job is pretty easy and my hours, co-workers, etc, are great. Actually, my co-workers are one of the main reasons I would consider staying because they’re pretty sweet and I get along well with all of them. But I don’t feel like I’m getting much fulfillment out of this job overall. There are no projects or goals. There’s very little reward or motivation for me. I suppose some people gain satisfaction from helping people learn or grow. Real teachers. I’m too selfish for that. I’m not myself for most of the day, specifically when I’m in the presence of almost any of my school’s students. I’m not as fake-cheery as I appear, I don’t care how your weekend was, and yes I can speak Japanese. Money and small contract details are another factor, although not as important as I would have thought. In short, I like this job and my overall situation more than I might have expected, but after my agreed upon 1 year is up, I’ll be ready for a change.

Well that was deeper than I was planning. Anyways yeah, I’m planning on finishing out the rest of the AEON contract then who knows what I’ll be doing afterwards. I don’t have a very solid idea of what type of job I’ll be doing next or even which side of the Pacific I’ll be on. I do, however, want a job where I can feel a sense of accomplishment. Being able to buy stuff like food is also a high priority. In one way I would really like to stay in Japan and work but at the same time it would be nice to be back in the US. I suppose it’s time to start looking for jobs again, and time to update the old resume.

In other news… what have I been doing these past few weeks? Last weekend I saw 2 movies at the Soga XYZ Theatre: どろろ (Dororo) and 龍が如く (Ryu ga Gotoku). The former was disappointing while the latter was awesome. Dororo (Apple trailers page) is a live-action movie based on a really old Tezuka comic. It’s about this guy who has to kill monsters to get his body parts back. His arms, before he gets them back, are swords. His sidekick is a thief named Dororo, played by super-hot Kou Shibasaki. Sounds sweet, right? Too bad they tried to fit too much story into what otherwise could have been a good fantasy-monster fighting movie. The last straw was when they would spend long scenes on boring dialogue, then only show clips of various fights. Just random fight scenes to music! You can’t do that! Montages were outlawed in movies back in 1990 I thought. Anyways yeah, the theme song and trailer was awesome but the movie was sub-par. I actually fell asleep a few times. Ryu ga Gotoku (official site, with trailer) is based on the PS2 video game series of the same name (called Yakuza in the US). It was directed by weirdo Japanese director Takeshi Miike, which automatically tells you that the movie will be amazing and/or super weird. This one was pretty much just amazing. Nothing super weird or strange. It was actually a hilarious action movie about a yakuza’s life. Lots of good fight scenes and a really good bad guy. I’ve never played the video games, but this movie really makes we want to.

This Wednesday is a national holiday, and since it doesn’t fall on a Monday, I actually get to take advantage of it. The “holiday” is 春分の日 (Shunbun no Hi), or “Spring Equinox Day.” Thank goodness these people love the seasons. I’m planning a day full of absolutely nothing but relaxing. Yay spring.

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