Tuesday, February 27, 2007


So its that time of year again! Sumo season! We didn't go last year and I really regretted it, but we were just too busy. This year we're going to go with a bunch of other peeps. Reserve some box seats, bring some food and drink, and absorb some Japanese culture. I'm really excited about it! The tickets are a little expensive, but I think they're worth it. We'll probably never go again and its something we can talk about for years. SUMO!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Becs!!

I can't remember exactly what day it is - I'm a bad friend I know! - but I know you're a pisces and thats now!! So Happy Birthday!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Hiroshima, Part 2

Though it wasn't my intention, most of these pictures have hardly any people in them. This was purely chance. The memorial was crowded with people from around the world.

As we all know, Hiroshima has a tragic past, one that we must never forget. These pictures speak for themselves.

hese trees were 1800 metres from the hypocentre of the explosion. They were exposed to the same heatblast and radiation as the other surviviors. At the time, people thought it would take over 75 years before life would grow back. These trees began to bloom within a few years, and so they were transplanted here to serve as a reminder of hope for the people at that time.

This is a memorial to one of the survivors. She was only two years old when she was exposed to the radiation, but seemed unharmed. She grew up a healthly girl until she was diagnosed with cancer at age 11. In hospital, she made paper cranes and wanted to make up to 1000, but never got the chance to finish them... To this day, people make paper cranes and offer them as a prayer of peace.

This place doesn't pull any punches. It exposes you to the horror of atomic weapons and the continuing tragedy to this very day.

Okay folks, this post has kind of been a little down. But it was important to share it with you; it's left a permanent impression on me. In an age where we all live behind the comfort of sanctioned TV and radio news reporting, it becomes too easy to forget about the victims of conflict, regardless of the weapons used. Even to this day, have we learnt the lessons of Hiroshima?


Employees on the Osaka Subway carry special spitting fish to discourage people from smoking. It's a shame then they didn't invest in the Babel Fish species to help with translation problems.

That's discrimination against non-stuff! Stop this crime people, only buy stuff from stores that stock both varieties; STUFF and NON-STUFF.



I'm a member of a group known as Fight Club. No, we don't feel the need to punch each other senseless, but using swords...that's a different story. One day, Jessi came up with the idea to travel somewhere new, so off we went to Hiroshima and Miyajima for some new adventures.

Look, I know it's pronounced AHSE, but that still didn't stop the jokes coming thick and fast.
Going into the ASS. Eating out of the ASS. Entering the ASS store. Etc...

I'd like to introduce Mr Conehead: "We come from France."
Hello Kitty seems to work in many locations throughout Japan. I hope the pay's worth it.

Spank! Behold, the world's biggest paddle. That'll leave a red mark.

And here it is, an icon that defines this World Heritage site; the giant red torii. It's much bigger than it looks. A hell of a lot bigger!

Now let's play a new game:Autobot or Decepticon?

Man versus wild beast!
Anpaman lies on the path to salvation. Especially on the way to a Temple.

And here's the Torii with the tide out. Notice the 2 people on the bottom right corner; you'll get an idea of the size!

I guess he liked the salty taste...

Welcome to the school for the study of ESP. I guess you have to be able to read Japanese to get the joke...


So I crawled out of my bed today. Feeling better than yesterday. I caught a cold last week - but just a small one I thought. A little bit of a runny nose, a little cough and sore throat and then it went away. For 3 days. Then WHAM! Full blown cold. Plus a migraine. Just for fun. So not only is my nose running (but can't blow it cause I'm too congested), I'm coughing, and every time I cough, I feel like my head is going to explode. Uuuuuugh. Luckily today, the migraine is gone - just a mild headache at this point. Still can't breathe due to the congestion and whatnot. Thank god!

My otaku was fabulous to me. He brought in the darker curtains and set them up, gave me my bottle of ibuprophen to take the edge off and a bottle of water before he left for work yesterday. I love you baby!!

You men may want to stop reading here if you are sensitive to those women like things.

So I think the reason I have the migraine is related to me stopping the pill. Remember we're trying to have a baby? I quit it mid November (just didn't buy anymore). I got my usual visit right after and one more in December. Then......nothing. Until yesterday. My hormones are all whack!! And my boobs shrunk a little. That's just mean. They say it can take up to a year for you to balance out completely after taking the pill for a long time. (9 years - pretty long time) I really hope this is a one time deal and I don't have to deal with this next month....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My new furry imaginary friend

Check out my new cat. Her name is neko (japanese for cat). If you click on her, you can play with her. And if you click the 'more' button you can feed her etc.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Kobe - a rather large post - Part 1

So we went to Kobe for a little sightseeing and a little Jamaican food. Apparently, the only place in Kansai you can get Jamaican is in Kobe. Luckily for us Osaka folk, its only a 20 minute right on the super rapid. Yah! Our first leg of the trip was mostly us goofing off and wandering around Kobe. We had a coffee in a little cafe and then were going to find some cool sights to see. Here are some pics from part 1. We passed some cool new buildings *the city is very new as it fell down in the 90s during the big quake* and a cool little asian temple gate. The fountain was really neat. Carved dragons that spouted water. AND there are flowers on the street. Reminded me of Vancouver actually.

Part 2 tomorrow.....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Steve!!!

Here's a very Happy Birthday to our favourite Scottish guy!

Chilli Night at Sarah's

Real Texas Chilli. With a real Texan. Then some real karaoke and drinking!

Fun Fun!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Koujis Bday!!

And there goes another one. This one is our dear friend Kouji (who is obviously Japanese) and the old owner of Dunk.

Here we are living it up at his new gig Soire.

Hope it was a great bday Kouj!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Birthday Russ!

We went out for Russ's Bday end of January and finally here are the pics!

We kicked it at Sazae (a dance club) and then went to another club because the one we were at closed. Hehe. It was like being in a movie - there was an impromptu dance contest happening as we arrived. It was so 'You Got Served' but with Japanese people. I took alot of video but wont post it as I am struggling with the 10 hours it takes to even load a picture with our ..uh..community internet. Then we hit Matsuya (yellow place) for some crap on rice. Russ and his friend pretty much passed out in their bowls. Russ was incredibly drunk - it WAS his birthday and his mates were forcing liquor down his throat like it was water. Anyway, enjoy the collage.


If you are unaware, I am a complete totoro nutjob. For those of you who don't know what totoro is - shame shame. Its only one of the most famous animes ever made by the most famous Miyazaki Hayao who directs for Studi Ghibli. Most people in North America probably know him for Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. But, he made lots of films before that. Now his son is moving into the field as well with Tales of Earth Sea which is based on a book by Ursula K. Le Guin. Click here if you want to see the main site for that film. The trailer is the 8th one!

Totoro is a little classic about a family that moves to the countryside because their mom is sick in the hospital. The children explore their cool old house and the woods nearby to discover that forest spirits called totoro live there. Its a heartwarming story. I love it. The totoros are so cool. I also love the catbus. Yes, the catbus. Just watch it! Subtitled is of course best for translation although I have to admit the dubbing on this one is pretty good.

So I bought a puzzle! And here it is! I think I'm gonna frame it :D

Monday, February 12, 2007

A guessing game

One of my favourite things to do here in Japan is play the game - 'what is it??' Many things here are just so silly or ridiculous that its a very entertaining past time. Here are a few things I found after visiting the candy shop.

Chocolate - in a toothpaste like tube.

Actually - err - I'm not sure what these are. But they must be cool because there's some awesome guy on the front giving it the Japanese peace sign! Oh yeah!

We all remember there don't we? Banned now in North America (and most other 1st world countries) to prevent our children from getting the idea that smoking is cool, here in Japan its A-OK. Mmmmm. Orange and Cocoa candy cigarettes. I have no idea whats in the pipe.

This was was just too awesome not to post. A squid with a gun. You better watch out sucka! HAHAHAHA I kill me! Apparently dried squid is quite popular here.

There are pancakes. But super mini size! And with An bean paste inside them. Mmmmmmm.

I don't really know what to say about this one. I laughed alot when I read the name of the 'company' on the side.

This is the front of a gummy candy package. What does it look like guys? Hehe

Yep - there it is! Its even brown! Tastes like rootbeer though.

And thats all for today folks. Enjoy!!

New beginnings

So I have decided to switch jobs again. I really enjoy working at the real estate office, but my husband and I have started talking about having a little family of our own. At my current job, my hours are never predictable and some days I don't work at all, while other days I end up working 14 hours or something ridiculous like that. There were seriously days where I would start at 930 and not finish until 11pm at night. It took me awhile, but I decided that if I wanted to have a baby, the first thing I would have to do is get some kind of regular schedule going. So while I love the challenge of my job right now, I need something that fits a little nicer into my calender. Sooooo, I've decided to take a job at a preschool. I know. Me. Working at a preschool. If you'd asked me 5 years ago I would have said 'no way', but this recent trip back to Canada has made me realise I am ready for some little ones and the trouble they can come up with.

Now, not only will I be working at the preschool, I will be the head teacher. Its a new school and they need someone to write the curriculum and come up with some lesson plans for each thematic unit. The school opens in April but there is still alot of work to be done before that. So starting today, I will be working my little buns off writing lessons for 3-5 year olds. I am kind of looking forward to it, but I'm scared as hell too! I've never had a project this big before. I know the concepts and what I SHOULD be doing, but we'll see how it actually works in application! I've already themed the 12 months. So, now I just need a daily schedule (half done) and some lessons to teach. I also need to plan what supplies the school will need to buy and books etc. I have been researching online for materials and there's quite alot actually. I've found a couple of websites selling materials that I will recommend that my boss buys. On the plus side, he is not lacking in cash in any way, so there is no problems with startup costs. I just need to tell him what to buy. Mwa hahaha! The power!!! Just kidding - I'm actually crapping my pants as its all up to me to decide what these kids learn! Yikes! Any suggestions welcome!

The pay at this job is quite comparable to what Rich is making as well, so we will be pulling in a decent amount of cash for the next year or so as well. I'm hoping that we will make enough for us to save, and send back to Canada to save. Having a baby here can be a little costly at first as here you pay the hospital to have your baby there. But you can get the equivalent of maternity leave here in Japan as well, you just have to apply for the right insurance. So apply I will! Then I get paid for the next 12 months even if I can't work. Yah!

So here is what I have so far for Themes. Some of them may be unfamiliar as they are Japanese holidays.

Since we start in April, I thought we should start with

April - School Rules/About me
May - My Family (Mothers Day/Boys Day)
June - Summer/The Beach
July - Ocean animals - maybe an aquarium trip?
August - Obon (Fireworks)/Transportation
September - Fall/The weather
October - Halloween/?
November - Thanksgiving/Grandparents Day
December - Christmas/New Years - this month only has 2 weeks of class so I think this should be plenty
January - Winter Fun/?
February - Valentines/?
March - Spring (hanami)/Girls Day

I've also roughed out a schedule for the day based on what I remember of preschool, what I've researched about other schoolds and what I think would work as the lone teacher at a new school.

930-1000 Circle Time - all preschools here seem to have this. I think its basically a OK - adjustment to being at school time. Lets all relax and get into English time. Lets not be scared of the teacher and being away from your parents. Maybe we sing our ABC's. Play a little hokey pokey.
1000-1030 - Learning Activity/Game 1. I know 30 minutes is a long time, so I have to switch up the activities, but here is where I want to introduce our 'topic' or theme. I have to plan at least 2-3 things to do here.
1030-1045 - Snack time/toilet time! Kids get a quick break to charge their batteries and hit the toilet. Important I've heard.
1045-1115 - Learning Activity/Game 2. Review of what we just learned. Lets learn it again. A different way.
1115-1130 - Read a story. This was my favourite time of day when I went to kindergarden.
1130-1145 - Work books. I plan on having them do a little bit of colouring/writing everyday. For the really little ones, maybe just colouring in a picture of whatever vocab/letter we learned that day. The older ones can try and practice writing.
1145-1230 - Lunch! And of course the toilet. I will help them eat and they can play with their friends freely. Do whatever they want as long as they eat.
1230-100 - Take a quick nap. Hey, I know I'm cranky if I don't get a nap. Here the Japanese staff can help me out - and I can plan for the afternoon program.
100-230 - This will be our fun afternoon craft/activity/outing time. Could be finger painting, or maybe taking a short trip in the neighborhood. Longer outings will require special planning.
230-330 is my lunch. It will be more like daycare from this point on for the little kids. The short day finishes at 230 when their parents can pick them up. Or they can choose to stay until 530 where they receive just regular daycare.
330-530 - Elementary kids after school program. It will be like cram school.

Any suggestions? Improvements? Please let me know!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Florida Disaster

I just read the article on the hurricanes in Florida and all the damage they have caused. Our hearts go out to those over there. Gambatte!! Please send a little love/prayer/whatever it is you believe in for those poor folks whose houses were blown down and perhaps whose family members who have died.

Michiko - the ultimate host!

So a thanks goes out to Ced

and Michiko for hosting us last night.

It was really freaking cold outside and we were procrastinating going home as we eyed the cold windy night through the window.

Michiko suggested we just camp out at the house on the spare futon. Yah!! This is after feeding my husband dinner

and endless cups of yummy tea and other little snackies. This morning we got coffee and little toasted buns. Mmmmmm.

Did I mention that her bathtub rocks! You just push this button and it fills itself with whatever temperature water you choose. Sweet!

Thankyou Michiko!

Friday, February 02, 2007


For those of you who regularly read the blog from the beginning, you know I have a penchant for snapping pics of people sleeping here. This one was taken by Otaku, but I'm posting it anyways :D

"This one I got after a hard night of partying. I can't remember the exact event, but I can recall I was with Russ at God know's what time in the morning and we had decided to ditch the girls for some Yoshinoya. We saw these two laying about and had to have a picture. It's true that Japanese people can sleep anywhere."

I love that there's 2 of them. Lets go for din din together, then some shopping together, then go partying together and THEN lets pass out on the street together! BFF's!!! Just like Paris and Britney!

Another funny pic. Otaku and I went for dinner at good old Saizeriya.

There's me! And some lady passed out at her table. Unlike in Western countries when people are so drunk they pass out/so tired they fall asleep in a public place and are summarily asked to leave - immediately - with help if unable to do so by ones self, in Japan everyone just politely steps around them/lets them lay there happily in their own drool until they wake up on their own. Unless its the last train or the restaurant/bar is actually closing. Even then sometimes if they know the person, they may let them lay there until they finish cleaning up and THEN wake them up to ask them politely to leave. Aaaaah what a country!