Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Final Exams :(

Well there were a few changes to last weekend's plans, but in the end, it ended up being a decent weekend.

I was originally planning on going to Nara for the weekend, but unfortunately due to the peak season, many of the hotels and hostels were booked full. Luckily, there were still some places in the local area that I hadn't seen, so it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of being stuck here on the mountain and going down to Oita to see the Sex Museum.

Yes, the Sex Museum.

It was a very interesting experience, and I recommend people to go to the Beppu Hihokan if they get the chance. It is incredibly small, and only two stories high with not a lot to show for, but it was interesting none the less. I ended up going with three other girls and we turned it into a girls day out I guess. I won't go into too much detail since I think some younger people may be reading this (*cough my sister *cough)but there were some interesting and vivid statues, wax models, pictures, more statues, prints of people in various positions that made one of my friends very appalled and blushing red. There was even a small theater that was showing an old, old, porn movie that we all agreed was rather humorous. Afterwords, we walked around Oita and bought some snacks, ate dinner, and discussed how glad we were that none of our guy friends decided to join us on our excursion.

Yes, there's nothing like a good girls day out with ice cream and porn.

Sunday was dedicated to homework and picking up the room, watching the episodes of Grey's Anatomy that I've missed, and being my normal lazy self. I also made a poster for an event one of my friends was hosting. It was an Earth Day of sorts, and so I helped them out once they got wind that I was an art major. Nothing too fancy, the only color utensils I had were watercolor, and the paper did not handle that too well, so I had to use minimal color. The banner was small only because they had people who came to the event sign the poster.

It was a relaxing day, and I definitely am going to miss it now that exams are on the way and I've got to buckle down for serious study time.

Apart from the craziness of final exams, I am very excited to announce that we are going to OKINAWA for the quarter break. Its going to be a short trip, but a much needed one for the most part. 5 days and 4 nights at the white sandy beaches of paradise, and I haven't been this excited since I went to Mexico for my senior spring break.

However, this time, I won't have a curfew, right mom?

I'm really excited and I just hope that the weather is absolutely perfect for this trip!

Anyway, this week has been going rather slow, but I think its because I'm looking so forward to quarter break in two weeks. I've been having some headaches for the past few days, but those are also going away.

By the way, I just want all my friends back home to know how proud of you guys I am for your hard work on all of your finals and portfolios! I've seen some of everyone's work, and I'm so inspired by you! Keep it up!!

With that, I shall leave everyone with this!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Short update

Hey everyone,

Friday night a few friends and I went down to Beppu for some food and karaoke. We ended up going to a wonderful little gyoza (fried dumpling) bar that was inside the house of some older lady. She was one of the nicest people I've met, and her food was delicious. She was just about to close the shop as we walked over, but luckily she recognized one of the other people we were with and was more than happy to let us in.

It was a really intimate place. It was practically the first room in her tiny little house, with a nice kitchen area and a makeshift bar in front. It was really cramped and small, but somehow all seven of us were able to fit comfortably. For 550 yen, we got a set with 8 pieces of gyoza, a bowl of miso soup and rice. To me, it was more of a lighter snack/meal rather than a dinner, so we were a little worried that we were going to be hungry.

However she was so happy that the person she recognized brought more students from APU that she gave us a second helping of gyoza - free of charge. Then after that was done, she gave us dessert, which consisted of dango (mochi, er, chewy rice/flour/doughy balls with some sweet syrup on top?) and THEN, she gave us snacks of all different kinds of chips and Japanese munchies. I think some Cheetos were thrown in there as well. All free of charge. Like I said, she was a sweet, sweet lady.

We met her seven year old grandson, who came waltzing down the tiny steps to peek out at all of the foreign people in his house, and then he eventually mustered up the courage to introduce himself, with the permission of his grandmother. He sure was a cutie.

After that, karaoke was fun although nothing of a spectacular time. I was pretty much wiped out from the rest of the week and the day seemed to be really long to me. I was ready for bed the moment I was done with the gyoza.

On another note.

Well I decided that I really do want to go to Nara with Carlos next weekend. I was really unsure about it because of financial issues, but now that I've talked it over with the parents and done a little bit of research, its one of the places that I am interested in going to and investing my money in.

Pictures will come with this trip, rest assured.

Aside from that, school has still been busy and I've been itching to do some drawing lately. However Ecotourism papers come first I suppose. I guess I shall get started on that rather than stalling with the blog and other successfully stalling things.

Ja (see you)~

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

By Request

Well its been quite an eventful week, but a good one.

To start off, a couple of my friends and I went out to Oita last weekend and on a completely spontaneous whim, we all got our hair cut and colored. It was quite the experience, trying to communicate with the hairdressers and explain what it was I was trying to get done.

Pierre dyed his natural Swedish blond hair black. That was interesting. Carlos told them to cut it any way they saw fit, and got some brownish highlights to his already black hair. I just got a little bit of a cut and blond highlights in mine. It was actually pretty cheap for me, considering I took the longest time out of the three of us. I must say, I am really satisfied with the outcome, and I think the three of us started a new trend for the rest of our friends. Two of them are planning on going to Oita this weekend to get their hair cut and colored. Posers.

Anyway, here's what I look like now.

I think in a month, Carlos and I are going again, and next time I'm going to go more blond. The parents told me to do it, so I will be the obedient child I am and do it.

As for classes, its been going pretty steady, and I've been working really hard in my Japanese class. I'm practicing my kanji every night, and I'm working on my personal goal of making my hiragana and katakana neater and prettier. So far, its going well, and my improvement is quite evident.

We still go to the tatami room pretty much every night and "study". Most of the time we are talking and such, but we do get serious when we have to. Here are pictures of the tatami room. And my homework.

As for my quarter break, its been decided that we are going to Okinawa! I'm super pumped for this trip, and we are getting good deals for the hotels and flight. Right now there's a small group going, but we sent out invites to anyone who wants to go. (Plus its cheaper for more people to share a room.) But I'm seriously looking forward to this trip. White sandy beaches and sunshine, palm trees and ice cold beer, bring it on! I believe that our break is four or five days long, but depending on everyone's exam schedule will determine when we leave. I think my exams actually end a few days earlier, and depending on how much money it will cost, perhaps a few of us will leave earlier? It doesn't matter to me, but I can't wait to get to the beach!

I can finally call it "Summer" over here. The weather has been extremely nice, and I'm so happy that the rain has finally died down. I was getting tired of having soaked socks and carrying my umbrella everywhere.

Hope everyone is doing fine back at home. I was fortunate to get a lovely little care package in the mail from my parents a few days ago. Inside was a heavenly light of precious cargo consisting of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, two Hershey Symphony bars, and my favorite flavor of jelly beans. My parents rock.

That night I made the mac and cheese while several of my friends made home cooked meals. A few of my friends had never had mac and cheese before, so I allowed them to taste it when it was done. They were completely and utterly fascinated with it, but I was too determined to be selfish that night and wouldn't share much more of it. As my parents said, it was basically $13 dollar mac and cheese I ate that night, and it was worth every penny.

I was able to skype with my friend Alex who lives down in Georgia yesterday, and it was so good to hear from her. I'm going to miss everyone this summer, especially since there are going to be so many special birthdays this year. But I will make sure to have a drink for them on their birthday, and we can celebrate together in spirit.

Until next time.