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Hello Garrett, I bought a DS

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Overall the trip back home to St. Louis has been productive. And by productive, I mean a good amount of playing video games, sleeping, watching TV, and reading. It’s been a lot of the same stuff I would be doing back in Indiana, except I don’t have to make or buy food, and I don’t really leave the house that much here. I should probably get on that this week, since there are a good number of people in town that I should hang out with.

My parents are pretty into video games, but only of the puzzle variety. When I got home, the Super Nintendo was brought up from the basement and sitting in the living room, all set up to play Kirby’s Avalanche, which is pretty much the same as Puyo Puyo, but with Kirby characters instead of the weird Japanese monsters. I’ve also been playing a good amount of Puzzle Fighter on Playstation with the fam, which is an awesome game except for the slight problem that I am a bit colorblind (or something), and can’t tell the difference between the green and yellow jewels that well. Either way, I am able to destroy my parents and I’m working more and more on regularly beating my younger brother Joe. Both my mom and dad only play as Sakura on Puzzle Fighter, since they say she’s cute. They of course don’t know any Japanese either, so all the things that the characters say when you’re playing get misinterpreted into something weird. They’re convinced that “Hadouken” is “Hello Garrett.” Haha.

Speaking of video games, I cracked this afternoon and decided to purchase a DS Lite. After the fact, I have to say that it is a beautiful system, and I’m glad I bought it. I didn’t have a regular DS, so it was about time to buy one. This of course is all part of how I am justifying dropping $130 on another toy. There’s also some kind of massive Pokemon game coming out in the future (Diamond?), which I would most likely want to play pretty bad, so I figure might as well buy one now, and enjoy it in the meantime. There are a good number of other games that I want to play, or would want to play later, so I guess this isn’t a complete waste of money. I also realized that for how much I play video games, I haven’t really purchased any games or systems for the past year and a half (thanks to modern technology, haha), so this isn’t so bad. Yes, I am over justifying this, but oh well. It’s a fine system and a lot of fun; I’d recommend it to anyone who likes sweet stuff.

Luckily, I was browsing online this morning before I went out to buy the DS Lite. Kotaku posted an article that had coupons to get a free copy of Brain Age along with the DS Lite, so that’s like a bonus $20 there since I was planning on buying Brain Age anyway. Oh, and if you’re going to buy a DS Lite, here are the coupons (Best Buy and Circuit City). I also went ahead and bought the New Super Mario Bros, and it is a great game. I went to Circuit City first, since they also had a deal in their weekly ad to get a free carrying case or something, but they were out of Brain Age so I went to Best Buy instead. There were a lot more DS Lites than I would have thought (there were at least 15 still on the shelves), so maybe the predictions of DS Lite being sold out on release day were pretty off.

I haven’t been completely (only mostly) unproductive this trip home. I interviewed with a company here in St. Louis last Thursday, for the prospect of getting a summer internship/job doing some market research and stuff. The company is looking to start distributing their products in Japan, so they need someone to start doing research and translating online, then possibly heading over there later this summer to do some first-hand research and looking for distributors, etc. Free trip to Japan, plus the possibility of getting paid? Hell yes. Sounds like I might actually have a “summer job” now, so get off my back about being so lazy. I’ll find out the details and everything for sure tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have it though, so I’ll likely do it.

Back to Bloomington probably Friday, give or take a day or two (yes I realize that is a very vague estimate).

SUNDAY Sunday sunday

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I always seem to do a lot more on my weekends here in Japan than I do back home.

Today, went to Tokyo Big Site (huge convention center that looks like a robot) for the Nintendo World “Touch DS” event. Basically, you get to go there for free, wait in lines, and play different DS games. It was a lot of fun. I got to play (lets see if I can remember): Sawaru Made in Wario, NintenDogs, Ganbare Goemon, Yoshi’s Balloon Trip, and Pac-Pix. Oh, and on Cube, I played Naruto 3. Anyways, the DS is a really awesome system: has a touch screen, a second screen, wireless capabilities, a mic, and is a lot smaller than I had imagined from the pictures. I really want to get one, but I’m sure that’s mostly hype. I wouldn’t really play it enough to justify the cost. Although, 8 player wireless Mario Kart sounds pretty sweet.

After that, went with Mikey and Ari to an event in Funabashi called “The Search for Rhythm.” Basically it was a bunch of “bands” playing songs, with concentration on drums, I guess. Our friend Yoko was playing, so that’s why we went. A few of the acts were decent, but there were no real instuments except for tamborines, drums, pianos, and a synthesizer. As Ari said about the performance of Orange Range’s “Viva Rock”: “It’s amazing how little kids and a synthesizer can ruin my favorite song.”

After that, we went with Yoko and Kanako to Shirokiya for dinner, etc. Fun times. Instead of the hole in the wall I usually expect out of izakaya, this was a really nice place. Will have to go there again. On the way back, ran into a huge herd of NOVA teachers, all really really drunk. Talked to a few on the train, they were going to karaoke in Gyotoku. They invited me, but no thanks. That was my night.

Oh, and since I stayed out later than planned, didn’t have a chance to take my DVDs back to Tsutaya. So I get to pay a little late fee tomorrow. Yay!

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