Me as a Mii(Yes, I love that pun.) This past week was pretty much the same as most weeks, with the major exception being the huge purchase I made last Saturday during my lunch break. The Nintendo Wii finally was released in Japan, and I had reserved one at the Goi Laox, a Best Buy kind of store, so I was able to get it no problem. I’m glad I did, since both Laox and the department store Ito-Yokado were completely sold out of the systems by 2PM on launch day. Games don’t seem to be in any short demand though, which is good. I haven’t purchased a video game console in a long time, let alone on launch day, so I was pretty excited about getting home that night and playing this new toy. And yes, it was as fun as expected. Even playing it at E3 last May, and seeing commercials, displays, etc for it since then, having it in my apartment and being able to play it all I want was really way more fun than I even expected. The controls, despite being wireless and everything, are more accurate than you would expect as well. I bought Wii Sports and Zelda, both of which are awesome. Blanchard bought an extra controller that came with Hajimete no Wii (Wii Play in the US), so with all those games I’ve had something to further take away from my free time. I’ve played Zelda the most, and it really is a good way to kill 2 or 3 hours of your evening at a time, even when you don’t mean to. Well, I think that’s enough of a nerdy video game rant. If you like video games, I definitely recommend getting a Wii. It’s fun and cheaper than a PS3, and there are at least good games for it right now. I might end up getting a PS3 in a few years, but for right now, there aren’t hardly any games I’d want to play for it. That and it costs more than like 500 cans of Boss coffee.

Last night my entire school’s staff had a year-end/Christmas party in Chiba, which was fun because it was a good chance to hang out with my staff outside of work. We went to this Korean restaurant named Kim-chan which was really good. There was some Korean okonomiyaki/pancake type thing full of vegetables and seafood that was served on a hot iron plate that was absolutely amazing. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was definitely worth ordering again. The restaurant wasn’t super cheap, but it was way good. After that we went to Uta-Hiroba near Chiba-Chuo station for all night karaoke, which was awesome, but we were all exhausted by like 4AM. It was a painful walk back to the station and back home in the morning after the trains were running again. I came home and slept pretty much the entire day, and it felt great. Also finally figured out what I’m doing over winter break. I have a decent amount of time off (Dec 23-25, then Dec 28-Jan 4), but am not going back to the States this time. I wanted to at least do something, though, so I’m going with Blanchard down to kansai, the western part of Japan, for a few days. I haven’t been down there for a few years so it should be really cool. Definitely want to check out Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara. Shinkansen tickets are decently priced and I think it’s less hassle than getting a plane ticket, but I can’t help feeling strange about paying so much money to go halfway down an island that is about the size of California. Ah well; it should be fun.

This blog post has been a work in process for over three hours. I obviously didn’t write for that long, but I spent most of the past few hours watching a Japanese movie called Always: 三丁目の夕日 (English title: Always Sunset on Third Street) which is set in the late 1950’s in Japan. The film does a really nice job of recreating the look of what I guess that period in time looked like, and it was nice dramatic film that just showed the life of a bunch of people. I would definitely recommend watching it. Apparently it won a bunch of Japanese Academy Awards and did pretty well in international film festivals and such. Find it at your local Tsutaya, or on the bit torrent site of your liking.

Look for the next edition of SKAT at your local bookstore!And I leave you tonight with a nice bit of Engrish, found at a store in the Soga Ario mall. And no, it’s not really some dirty book, just whatever in the world the “Sendenkaigi Award Text” is. Still, it’s funny.