Although my job isn’t bad, I would like to take some time to ramble on about how absolutely horrible Saturdays are for me. I suppose not necessarily because of the teaching or working part, but because I have to wake up so freaking early. As a rule of thumb, I generally try to set my alarm clock for 2 hours before I need to be at work. Almost every day, I have to be at work at 1PM, so I set my alarm clock for a healthy 11AM. This usually means I hit the snooze button a few times, and generally wake up “for real” by noon. I then check any AIM messages, e-mail, Facebook, mixi, all in that order. My routine is then to get in the shower by 12:15, out of the shower by 12:25, do post shower things (contacts, deodorant, hair gel) by 12:30, be dressed by 12:40, and out the door shortly after that. It takes approximately 3 minutes for me to get from my apartment to my school, and I am supposed to be at work at least 10 minutes early when students might be waiting, which is almost all the time. As you can see, I have my mornings finely tuned to near-OCD-levels of routine. My body likes this. I like this. I do not like surprises. I go to bed on average at 3AM, meaning I get around 8 hours of sleep every night. So nothing really goes and screws things up quite like…
THE DREADED SATURDAY MORNING WAKE UP ALARM
Since AEON has more students who want to come in on Saturdays, and I guess students are too preoccupied with the Japanese habit of maintaining social relationships (meaning they go out and get plastered) on weekend nights, AEON decided long ago that instead of the comfortable 12-9PM hours they keep every other day of the week, Saturdays are open from 10AM-7. My perfect system of waking up at 11 and snoozing in until almost noon is ruined by this once a week 8AM alarm clock. It seriously feels like death every Saturday morning, especially since after 5 days or more of sleeping at 3AM-ish, it is pretty hard to fall asleep early on Friday nights. And now that the new season of Tadano Hitoshi has started, I’m guaranteed to be up at least until 1ish. It is pretty inevitable that I will get around 5 hours of sleep on Friday nights, then feel like a zombie all Saturday.
I woke up this morning, feeling in pain as usual, but forced myself through my morning routine that is shifted 3 hours earlier than the rest of the week. Instead of the normal news, cooking, or Tamori shows on TV while I’m getting ready, I was greeted by Saturday morning cartoons. There was a crazy Megaman show where his arm talks to him, and then the gayest show I have ever seen, even for Japan. It was called Fairy Musketeers, and had a bunch of little anime kids running around and fighitng with +7 swords and maces and stuff like that. After getting out the door a little bit early, I decided to grab some Matsuya, the gyudon place, for breakfast. They have a 390 yen breakfast set, which has rice, miso soup, seaweed, an egg, a sausage, some cabbage salad, and your choice of a side. Although the natto was tempting because it is so delicious and doesn’t smell like a dead body, I decided to go with a small bowl of pork and onions as my side. Overall, it was a ton of food for way cheap, but I had to scarf it all down in about 5 minutes or so. Then I went to school and taught on a full stomach. I don’t really feel like going much into the actual details of school, but I probably will talk about AEON school in general at some point eventually.
Met up with Mike today, a fellow IES-alum but from the Fall semester after me, since he has recently moved into Goi and will be working at a Nova school up near Chiba somewhere. After work ended at 7, I went with him and Blanchard to JJ Club 100, this arcade/amusement place 2 stations away from Goi that one of my high school students had told me about. It is a pretty big place, with lots of random stuff to do. Kind of like a ghetto arcade/carnival/amusement park all rolled into 1 big building with a character mascot who looks like a cartoon sperm, or the mascot from the old Quisp cereal. You get a membership card, then are charged by the time you are in the facilities. It’s 105 yen per 15 minutes, so about a buck. After that you can pretty much do everything for free. The only things that seemed to cost money were some crane games and vending machines. They had a decent amount of arcade games, although nothing brand new (and some that were right ancient), miniature golf, ping pong, batting cages, billiards, karaoke, darts, slot machines that you don’t win anything on, and other random stuff. It was fun just because you could do a bunch of random activities that you probably wouldn’t do otherwise. For the record, I am the world’s worst batter, possibly equally terrible at DDR, but surprisingly not too bad at the shameful Para-Para Dancing motion sensing game. The horse racing game was also pretty fun, although tiring. I rode that horse hard.
They also had these ropes hooked up to zip lines, and you fly across a little alley into some padding. Although it looks stupid, it was way fun and I laughed like a little kid. JJ’s did provide some pretty good entertainment for the night, and it was good to do anything of entertainment value after waking up early to teach pretty much straight classes from 10-7. Tomorrow I think I am going to hit up the World Hobby Fair, a free games and stuff convention at Makuhari, and will likely blog about that at some point. I will also then fit in the Tokyo Auto Salon, which was a convention I went to at the Messe last week. It’s convenient that all these shows happen only 30 minutes away from me. I suspect there will be much ranting about nerds, because even at a car show there was a seriously high percentage of nerds taking pictures of booth girls.