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Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015: Life Playlist, Colour Test, Daily Journals, and MEETING HANK FREAKING GREEN

Someone on Tumblr sent me a life playlist! So cool.
I'm definitely playing American Beauty/American Psycho at my wedding. Consider this your invitation. And I See the Light is going on my birth playlist, for sure.
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Deep breath.
In, out, in, out.
I am having a moment of panic. PANIC. 
I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MYSELF AND IT IS MAJORLY FREAKING ME OUT.
I'm on these "accepted student" boards for the schools that I got into, and they're all full of ambitious, intelligent, articulate students who are committing to schools and sure of their decisions, whereas I'm more in the realm of "if you have to choose a school and it's making you rethink your life and pushing you into a major existential crisis clap your hands," which isn't really a great place to be. All of these people are incisive and decided, whereas I'm a noncommittal, wiggly hand gesture paired with a vague "ehhh" sound. Which is stressful and intimidating to me. 
And Minerva. MINERVA. Like, WHAT DO I EVEN DO ABOUT THAT? IT'S FANCY? IT'S NEW? Shouldn't I want to take a risk, to do new things, to be a part of history? If I don't join Minerva, will I regret it for the rest of my life? Will these people go on to conquer the world, while I wait at the sidelines? And...is waiting at the sidelines even such a bad thing? Minerva seems like an intentional community, which I love. But it also seems sketchy as ever, and I'm kind of skeptical on their whole "new twist" on education. I just don't know if it's a good idea. And I'm scared, because I don't know what I want to choose, or how to make the right decision. But...I don't need to be. Everything is going to be all right. I will make a good decision. And this seemingly momentous choice, this huge decision: it's making me reconsider what I value in life, what I want for my future. It's forcing me to delve into myself and to analyze what I find. And this kind of hurts. It's kind of overwhelming. But I think that it's really, really good. Good will come of this. For now, it makes my head hurt, and my heart ache, and every part of me scream, "STOP OVER-THINKING THIS" one second, and "WHY AREN'T YOU THINKING THIS THROUGH MORE DEEPLY?" the next. But I am learning more about myself than I ever would have without these choices, and what I am learning will help me in the future
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Me: I bought us matching My So-Called Life buttons on Etsy last night!
Mom: *Laughs hysterically* You're such a NERD.
Well...I kind of am.
UPDATE: They came, and they're amazing. Who's laughing now?
...Still her. I'm still a nerd. 
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JC: "What's your favorite animal? Other than baby humans." 
...I do love baby humans. 
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I took The Colour Quiz, and my results are scarily accurate. Like, not all of them are perfect, but daaang:

Your Existing Situation

"Creative and emotional, looking for ways to further expand those qualities. Looking for a partner who enjoys the same activities. Seeking adventure and new and unusual activities."

Your Stress Sources

"Needs to meet people who have the same high principals and values as himself, but finds the need unfulfilled. her need to feel dominate and superior leaves her feeling isolated and does not allow for her to give freely of himself. she would like to surrender and let go, but sees that as a weakness she must not give in to. Holding back will allow her to stand out for the crowd and earn a higher status, recognized by others as unique and important."

Your Restrained Characteristics

Current events leave her feeling forced into compromise in order to avoid being cut off from affection or future cooperation.
Has strong emotional demands and is picky when it comes to choosing a partner. she chooses to remain emotionally distant and uninvolved in relationships.
Giving more than she is getting back and feels misunderstood and unappreciated. Feels she is being forced into compromising and even her close relationships leave her feeling emotional distant.
Is feeling emotionally drained from stressful and tense situations. she is in need of peace and quiet in order to overcome her lack of energy and may become irritable if she does not recover.

Your Desired Objective
"Wants interesting and exciting things to happen in her life. she is able to make others like her, because of her genuine concern for them. she is charming and open and makes friends easily. she can have an over-active imagination, which leads her to fantasize and daydream."

Your Actual Problem

"Impressed by unique and one of a kind things, and by people with exceptional personalities. Tries to takes the characteristics she likes in other people and apply it to herself as well as coming across as a unique individual."
Like, almost every single one of these is accurate.
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So I have a friend who is a crazy hypochondriac (like, legit crazy), and I had a dream last night that I kind of bumped into her (like, backed into her by accident and accidentally brushed her lightly), and she then threw herself down onto the floor and screamed, "OH MY GOD, I'M IN AGONY! I'M DYING. EVERYTHING HURTS. I'M IN SO MUCH PAIN," and I was just like, "Seriously? I barely touched you. Get over yourself," and she turned to the girl who was with her and was like, "Erin's such a b**ch," and I let it go. But then later, her Mom called me out about it in front of a bunch of people (and was like, "YOU INJURED MY CHILD! YOU HAVE SCARRED HER FOR LIFE), and I was like(apparently completely missing the point of what she was saying and instead responding to something said much earlier, so that's fairly true to life), "Well, you know, I don't appreciate being called a b**ch.Women are supposed to support one another! If we don't support each other, how are we supposed to overthrow the patriarchy and create a world in which people of all genders are equal?" And, I basically channeled my inner Alaska for a while and ranted her into oblivion. So, we've learned some things here:
1. I even feminist rant in my dreams
2. My dreams are apparently shockingly close to real life?
Who knew.
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My Mom spent a really long time debating Ben and I on the correct definition of the word "meme." Sorry, Mom, I'm a full time internet trashbag, I'm pretty sure you're going to lose this one.
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I had to explain the concept of "420" to my Mom today.
"....But like, WHY is it a thing that people day?"
"I don't even know, Mom, they just do."
"At my high school, everybody went out and smoked pot at 5:15. Like, in the Who song. So, where does 4:20 come from?"
She makes a valid point.
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(Trying to deal with my feelings. Poetry can help, right?)

I'm done with liking people
Because crushes are a waste of time
And I tell myself
To "stop thinking about her, stupid,"
Because when you like someone
There's so much uncertainty
And I don't want
To get hurt

But
I like the way her voice sounds when she laughs
I like the way her mind works
I like the way she cares about others
I like how her cheek feels against mine
And I don't know
How to stop
Liking it.
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From Tumblr:
You are not just studying for your future.
You are studying to save those patients.
You are studying to save that family’s mother from a lengthy jail sentence.
You are studying to teach us all.
You are studying to improve global communication.
You are studying to improve the environment.
You are studying so we learn from the past.
You are studying so technology progresses.
Who ever you are and whatever your goals are.
Your decision to study will change the world. 
Literally.
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JC just told me that she saw a picture of someone babywearing, and it made her think of me. It totally made my day <3
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Watched My So-Called Life with JC today, and she was totally into it. Yay!
Her: "This show is a wild ride."

Her: "Did they kick him out because he's gay?"
Me: "Yeah.."
Her:"Oh, poor baby."
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I can't stop listening to this song. I KNOW. I'm such a loser. Like, PLEASE JUST HEAR THEIR BEAUTIFUL VOICES. And ignore the weird shipping. Please. For me.
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My So Called Life is my favourite thing ever. Time for this post to get Ricky-ified:
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What if I actually blogged every day? That would be rad. For the rest of April (It's already the 19'th, I'm such a success), I'm going to write something every day. Format:
Date
Day of the Week
Weather
What song have you listened to the most times today?
Add a YouTube video that you watched today.
What were some good things that happened today?
What are you working on improving?
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April 19'th
Sunday
Sunny and warm!
What song have you listened to the most times today?
Probably Tokyo by Owl City (don't judge).
Add a YouTube video that you watched today.
Hank Green is always amazing! 
What were some good things that happened today?
Worked on cleaning the disaster zone that is my room and found a lot of cool books and magazines that I bought in Japan, as well as a lot of sweet notes from my classmates. I miss Japan so much, my heart hurts </3 Japhan is killing me right now, because I'm like, "BUT...I WANT TO GO TO JAPAN, TOO?"
Finally organized my vinyl! It looks pretty legit, sitting on my desk.
Got to hold a friend's baby today, she was such a sweet kiddo! I love me some babies.
Ate tacos from a  local taco truck -- yum!
Finished reading Looking for Alaska today! Oh my gosh, it was so, so good <3 It made a lot of really interesting points. Thanks, as always, John Green, for being amazing.
What are you working on improving?
I need to make a freaking college decision already, this is getting insane.
Need to have patience with my coworkers, and learn how to keep using my AP tactics, even though I am in an unsupportive environment.
"I need to spend less time online," she typed into her online journal.
I really, really miss Japan.
.....The college thing is really getting out of hand.
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April 20'th
Monday
Thunderstorms and tornado warnings!
......I almost forgot to do this. How awkward would that have been? Like, man, get it together, me, it's the second day of the challenge.
What song have you listened to the most times today?
Hallelujah -- Panic! at the Disco
This came out today, and I'm a little bit obsessed.
Add a YouTube video that you watched today.
...I don't think I did? Dangit, me! Get it together.
What were some good things that happened today?
Lauren wrote this absolutely amazing post today, and I really, really loved it. I always love reading her opinions and thoughts, but I just thought that she was particularly amazing and eloquent in this post. Like, she was slaying it.
My kiddos were so, so sweet and cuddly and lovable today, as they always are. I adore them so much.
My coworkers were being nice and friendly today, which was lovely.
Daycare owner asked me about my college decision and was super nice about that whole situation. I kind of love her.
Watched My So-Called Life! The dance episode. It was amazing. Ricky is my hero. I love him so much.
Had a picnic by the river with my family! My Mum made sandwiches, and we all talked, and it was lovely.
Wore legging that I dyed myself. They make me happy <3
Talked to Lamby, which is always lovely.
HANK GREEN ON FRIDAY!! <3
What are you working on improving?
MAKE A COLLEGE DECISION ALREADY, PLEASE.
Be patient with your kiddos at school.
Pull yourself together. It doesn't matter what your coworkers think of you, you need to remember to be AP, no matter what.
Their opinion of you/anger at you does not matter.
They aren't angry at you? You're imagining things. Like, honestly. You're okay. Sing your calm song, take a deep breath, and AP on.
STUDY JAPANESE AND WATCH CRASH COURSE EVERYDAY.
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I came home late a bunch of days in a row and was just like, "Ehhh, not feeling journaling. So, here we are.
April 24'th
I WENT TO SEE HANK GREEEEEEEEEN IN CONCERT! More about this later!
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I WENT TO SEE HANK FREAKING GREEN AND IT WAS SO, SO WONDERFUL AND AMAZING. It was honestly so cool. We were really, really close to the stage, so I was, maybe, 15 feet away from Hank Green for most of the concert? Which was absolutely amazing. It's kind of mindblowing, like, I watch Hank's videos every day, and he has made my life so much better, and it was insane to be like, "Wow, he's actually right here right now." And so close! It was so, so cool and special and awesome.
Five bands played:
Andrew Huang
Rob Scallion
Harry and the Potters
Driftless Pony Club (WHEEZYWAITER)
HANK GREEN
They were all amazing! And everyone there was really super into it, and jumping around, and yelling and having so much fun, which made it even better. And Hank came out in between each act and talked about random things, and it all felt really natural and conversational, and it was so, so cool.
Harry and the Potters were really fun. I had never seen them live, but they're juts so energetic and lively,and it's all just really cool. They had a pledge at the beginning of their act (you know, we all pledged to contribute to the rocking factor of the concert. Normal), and it REALLY reminded me of the pledge scene from School of Rock, and it was hysterical, and really fun.
And then, Hank Green. HANK GREEN. He came out, and sang, and went out into the crown, and encouraged us all to dance and have fun, and it was AH. MA. ZING. He's just the coolest. He covered Shake It Off, which kind of made my life. And he sang a ton of his songs, and it just made me so inexpressibly happy. Oh, my goodness <3 It was so amazing. Hanklerfish, and I Love Science, and The Universe is Weird, and T Shirt and Jeans, and so many other songs. GAH, IT WAS JUST SO LOVELY.
And the stage was so low, and we could get so close to it! It was just so, so perfect.
I met a lot of amazingly awesome nerdfighters while I was there! My Dad and I stood next to a really friendly nerdfighter couple and chatted them up before the concert, which was lovely, and they were really nice (and so NERDFIGHTER-Y!). I talked to the girl for a while, she was all dressed up in her Harry Potter garb, and we were talking like lightning, and there was a lot of us saying "I LIKE THIS," and it was just fantastic.
Then during the actual concert, I stood next to a girl who also knew all of Hank's songs, and it was so cool to be able to sing them all together, and to have someone there who was screaming loud, and jumping high, and freaking out, just as I was. We were both screaming at each other, and it was really awesome.
And after the concert, when I was waiting to meet Hank, I met a bunch of other cool nerdfighters, one of whom was an adorable little baby who was dressed like Batman, so that was pretty magical, as well.
Also, I got to meet Hank!! This was amazing, and fairly unexpected, and I am honestly still in awe over it. It was so, so amazing and special to be able to meet someone who has influenced and improved my life drastically.
I gave Hank a flower crown and some markers, and he seemed kind of into both things, and he graciously took a picture with me, and he was just so nice to me, and to my father ("I liked your Ghostbusters cover," my Dad commented. "Yup, I did that just for you!" Hank quipped back), and it was just so amazing to be able to see him in person.
And he touched my shoulder, and I was like, "IS THIS REAL LIFE." It was.
ACTUAL HANK GREEN

Sweet outtake. He's holding the makers that I gave him, so that's cool.

What I wrote on Tumblr:
*****
I met edwardspoonhands yesterday, after his concert in DC, and I’m kind of still in awe. He is amazingly gracious, kind, and friendly (and stayed at the venue long after the concert to talk to all of the nerdfighters there, because he’s the coolest person ever). 
There’s something amazing and humbling about meeting someone who has changed your life in the way that Hank Green has changed mine. It’s kind of interesting, this sense that they have had such an impact on you, that you have this one-sided history together of which only you are truly aware, and it makes it difficult to know exactly what to say in that moment. I, for one, said “thank you so much” at least twelve times, because I am inexpressibly grateful to Hank; Thank you, Hank Green, for existing, for making music and videos and conventions and so many other awesome things, and for sharing them with all of us. Thanks for creating such a cool community in nerdfighteria (through which I have met many of my favourite people), and for organizing events where we can come together and be surrounded by others who share our general love of nerdiness. Thanks for caring about us, and for never forgetting to be awesome. You fill my life, and the lives of many other nerdfighters, with tons of awesome. 
(Also, yes, Hank is rocking a flower crown. I gave it to him, and he instantly placed it on his head and was totally down with it, because, as we’ve established, he’s kind of the coolest). 
PS: I met, and gave a flower crown to, the Katherine, too (or to a random woman who looks exceptionally similar to the Katherine), I hope she likes it! She was very friendly and super nice.
*******
I'm just so content right now. It was honestly so amazing. 
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UPDATE: WHEEZYWAITER POSTED A PICTURE IN WHICH HE IS WEARING THE FLOWERCROWN THAT I MADE FOR THE KATHERINE THIS IS NOT A DRILL
And someone reblogged it and commented:
 Hey. I saw the lovely lady who gave you that coronet last night. She was very nice.
Well, thank you! You just made my day, random person.

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It's almost a week later, and my Dad and I keep talking about the concert randomly, in passing. It's honestly such a cool memory for both of us. He told me he'd never forget it XD
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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Japan Journal Ten: I Startle a Random Dude Who is Making a Campfire, and Other Adventures

Today was the most magical day <3
It's Halloween, which was so much fun. We had a party in shodoubu, and ate lots of candy, and everyone was in good spirits today, and, in general, it was just a fun and fabulous day. But today, I communicated with so many different people, and so naturally--it was wonderful. At school, I was talking to a lot of people, as I normally do, but after school, while I was waiting for my host mother at Lawson, a dude (who I recognized from school, but to whom I had never spoke) was also waiting, and HE made conversation with ME! Which never happens with Japanese boys, in my experience. They avoid me like I have the plague. So, I was hype. My goal is to practice Japanese as much as possible, with as many different people as possible, so this ROCKED.
And, I know what some of you are thinking--OMG, Japanese husband material! Hehe, maybe. But, he was waiting for someone to get out of soccer practice, so that they could walk home together, and I think that it may have been his boyfriend. So, possibly no dice. No big deal, though, we still got to talk, so I was satisfied.
He is the only other person at my school with brown hair, so I asked after it, and interestingly enough, although he is 100% Japanese, he was born blonde! I was really surprised. I thought he may have dyed it, because he is really into doing hair, but he claims that it's natural.
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Babywearing mama in this video! She TURNS DOWN FOR WHAT, man. Babywearing = hands-free = amazing dancing!
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I saw a foreigner at the station today, and we gave each other the mutual not of agnoledgment. It was beautiful.
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"Remember taking you first survey? It was a pretty big deal."
What the crap, Survey Monkey commerical. No, I don't remember taking my first survey. What kind of question is that? Who remembers taking their first survey?
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Today, we were watching TV, and there was a commericial for a special that was airing on the same channel that night.
All this odd stuff was going on; people skydiving, biking around, it was very dusty and desert-y looking, and basically everyone was shirtless. About 30 seconds in, I was like, this is almost definitely about Burning Man.
Me: "I think this is about Burning Man."
Then, a few minuets later, a title announcing that it was, indeed, about Burning Man, came up, and my family was accurately impressed by my knowledge of American culture.
Yeah, I know things.
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I love The Bloggess.
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I helped a little girl who was lost at the store today! She was so cute.
I was at the grocery store, and I heard a little kid wandering around saying "Jiji...Jiji...," so I knew that someone must have been separated from their Grandfather. I went around the corner and found a little girl (she was no older than five) looking kind of forlorn. I thought she might be kind of freaked about by a strange foreigner offering to help her, but the "ZOMG FOREIGNERS" that plagues pretty much all Japanese people doesn't seem to affect kids at all, because when I said, "Hello, can I help you?" she told me right away that she couldn't find her Grandfather and that she needed help. After quite a bit of wandering around (during which we elicited help from a random store employee and my host sister), we found her Grandfather, and she was SO happy. As she left the store, I yelled "bye bye!" to her, and she gave me the biggest smile! Such a cute little kid. And a smart chika, too--she really kept her head in this situation. So, yay for finding Grandpa!
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When my parents are on Skype and want to meet someone, and then I have to carry my laptop somewhere, I always feel a little bit like I'm dragging around iTeacher from Ned's Declassified.
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People keep asking me when I'm going to get a boyfriend, as if I can fire off a date off the top of my head. I'm going to start answering, like
"When are you going to get a boyfriend?"
"November 25, 2015."
Like man, guys, thanks for constantly reminding me of my inability to attract a mate. Let's be real, I'm 18, I don't NEED a boyfriend. Golly gracious.
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I'm going to slap the next person who tried to translate something for me that I already understand. It's driving me insane. Like, today:
Me: "I went to kotobu (koto club) today!"
Host Dad: "Ahh, koto..(in English) Japanese guitar." (Which it definitely isn't, but whatever, I'm willing to overlook that).
Me: "I know. I'M IN THE CLUB."
It's baffling for me when someone translates a word that I just used. Like, I know what it means, I'M THE ONE WHO BROUGHT IT UP. Just because I am foreign doesn't mean that I can't speak Japanese.
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I guess the YouTube commercial campaign is happening here, too, because I just saw a commercial for Max Murai on TV! And I saw one for Bilingirl the other day, as well. Pretty cool.
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Today on Massan, Ellie was like, "Can you get me some lemon and some honey? I need to make myself some cold medicine," and I was like, "ARE YOU ME?" Oh my goodness. We are the same person. Hippie remedies for life.
....This all occurred while I was assuming that she was going to make herself hot lemonade, flavoured with honey instead of sugar, which is what I always make myself when I am sick. And then she pulled out some whiskey and made a hot toddy. For a small child. Which brings up a few questions/comments, including:
1. Apparently, every time I get sick, I make virgin hot toddies to coax myself back to health? So, that's not weird at all.
2. Although Ellie and I are basically the same person, It's not 1920, so I don't feed whisky to small children. Did they even do that in Scottland in the 1920's? Or in Japan? When was it permissible to feed your children hot toddies? Why didn't she make a virgin one? What are you doing, Ellie?
3. I was just like, "Wait, this show is all about the creation of whisky in Japan, and yet, it's set during prohibition?" And then I realized that prohibition wasn't worldwide, obviously. DUH. I'm tired.
But, despite the questionable judgment involved in this scene, it was legit. Ellie is my spirit animal forever.
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Me, about everything in Japan:

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I could be Sue Heck for Halloween, but then everyone would think that I didn't dress up.
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People at the store always ask me if I want my purchase to be registered as one purchase (like, credit card), and I'm like, "It's a bag of granola. How are you going to split that up?" Next time, I just want to be like, "Yes, I would like it credited as 10 purchases, please. I realize that it costs 3.45. Make it happen. Be creative."
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Yesterday, a girl at school was swooning over the accent that I use while speaking English (like, my normal American accent).
That's right. Someone was swooning over MY accent. OH, HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED.
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Ethics is my absolute favorite class, partially because of the interesting subject material, but mostly because of the speed at which the teacher speaks (it's perfect--I can write down almost all of what he is saying). So, I get really hype when Ethics is coming up, but then, because Japanese scheduling makes exactly zero sense, 85% of the time, we aren't actually having ethics, even though it's on the schedule. I'm like the girl who get all TGIF on Tuesday, except for I get all TGIEthics, and then it's math. Like, legit, this happened today:
Yuti: "I am SO tired!"
Me: "Me, too, but its Ethics next, so yaaay~"
Yuti: "It's not Ethics, it's math."
Me: "But, I thought Ethics and math switched today?"
Yuti: "Yeah, math switched out for Ethics, but Ethics didn't switch with Math. So, we have Math Twice today, and no Ethics."
*CUE DEFEATED MARCH BACK TO DESK*
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My favourite campfire thing that this random old dude spontaneously makes in his backyard on the weekends was back up again, so I went to check it out (AKA, stand at a safe distance so that it is clear that I am not trespassing on this dude's property, and then space out while staring at the fire and thinking about how perfect my Japanese life is), as I am wont to do. But, once I got over there, I realized that there was a random hot dude tending the fire (I hadn't seem him, as he was kneeling), and I was like, "ABORT MISSION, ABORT MISSION," and things were a little bit uncomfortable. I vaguely nodded and greeted him and was like, "hey, campfires are pretty cool" before walking off awkwardly.  But, an enjoyable memory, all the same.
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So, this girl at my school has hardcore resting angry face. Which is a shame, because she's basically the nicest person ever. But at first, I was nervous to talk to her, because I thought she was going to be, like, a super angry/unfriendly person. Biut then it turns out that she's unathletic, and super friendly, so we've bonded now. Yay for ignoring first impressons!
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How am I still getting emails from National Honor Society? I definitely graduated.
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Loving me some Book of Mormon.
.....Why do I enjoy this?
I think we all know why I love this.
(Spoiler alert: It might have something to do with an obsession with irony and satire, and a strong questioning spirit).
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I was doing pretty well re: not listening to Christmas music, but then my classmates were singing Christmas carols, and I broke down and sang with them. It was so much fun! "All I Want for Christmas is You," and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (they taught me how to sing it in Japanese!). It was pretty legit stuff.
And now I'm back to not breaking my regime, and listening to The Book of Mormon, so s'all good :P
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Tumblr Wisdom:
In every painting I've ever seen of Ben Franklin, he looks like someone just stole his parking space.
Google it. Just do it
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I just asked my host Grandmother if she could pass on a message to my host Mom, and she looked at me kind of blankly and responded, "I'm drinking alcohol," so I guess that's a no.
She wrote down the message for me (which is that I needed to meet someone at the station at a certain time today), and said that she would give it to my host Mum. I went downstairs and my host Mum was like, "What?! This is the first that I've heard of it!" I brought the note to her and my host Grandmother. My host Grandmother stared at it for a second before saying, "I don't even remember writing that."
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""Yo it’s your boy! You already know who it is!"
Every rapper that is not your boy and who you do not know at all.

Japan Journal Nine: Taiyaki is the Work of the Gods, and Other Observations

When I find myself in times of trouble
My Australian comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
"Just roll with it...the Aussie way, just turn around and say, "I am giving no f**ks today."
Wide advice courtesy of Sarah.
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Today, I went to talk to YuTi after school, and she said, "I have to go, Sam and Dean are waiting."
This is why we get along so well. Because she is me.
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My class schedule makes absolutely no sense. Like, I have a list of what classes occur at which times, but, not only are the times different every day even when we DO follow the schedule, we randomly don't follow the schedule like 60% of the time. I'm just like, "Go home, Japan scheduling. You are drunk."
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I had a seminar about college today, and the teacher was legit. He was an old Japanese dude with a long beard and a ponytail. My new favourite person.
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Today, I walked into geography (which is held in a different classroom), and there was only one kid in there, as I had arrived early. The kid in question was just looking out the window and whistling. He seemed rather startled by the fact that I had come into the room, as if he wasn't in a shared classroom in which geography was going to start in two minuets. Sorry for disrupting your moment, bro.
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Remember when I used to call Kristian by her full name all of the time, for some unknown and baffling reason? Because she probably does.
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So, apparently I'm a part of some book club thing, and me and some girls in my class were supposed to meet with the librarian to discuss preparations for the club. I admitted to Mayurin (one of the other girls) that I hadn't read the book at all, and she was like, "Dude, neither did I," so we went into the meeting and just nodded and smiled, as did the other girl. The other girl is very studious, so I was certain that she was on top of things and had read the book. Nope, she didn't, apparently she's just a boss faker. We all just faked it till we made it, to be honest.
....Maybe I should actually read the book before the book club..I want to do so, but I am just so TIREDDD, and busy...mreh.
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I am laughing so hard at this. I don't even know why.
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Apparently, they said "Hershey" on yesterday's episode of Supernatural, and Yu-Ti was hype. "You live near Hershey!" I do indeed.
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Happy Halloween from Japan!
I'll be dressing up as Hazel Grace (which I do all of the time, anyway), and listening to this song. Quite the celebration, indeed.
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When I was eight years old, my Mom gave me five dollars to buy myself lunch, and I chose to go hungry and bought a book instead. I think that probably tells you all that you need to know about me. 
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Yesterday, I pulled out my pencil box to write something, and one of the ichinensei at my school was like, "Man, pencils, that brings me back," as if she didn't use pencils like two years ago. You're not old enough to be nostalgic about pencils, what is this.
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The sound of the wind rustling tree leaves, of a campfire burning in the silent dusk, of announcements in the classroom, of the streets of merchants welcoming me to their shops, of the clamour and bustle and life of Japan--all thrill and excite me, all leave me feeling full and content.
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Winter taiyaki taste like what would happen if all of the gods came down from Mount Olympus and said, "Let's make Erin very happy today." I went to the station with Risa and had pumpkin cream and cheese taiyaki, and by George, they tasted like a party in my mouth. Oh my goodness. So wonderful.
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All I have written as a prompt is "Chad Michael Murrey."
Goodness knows with what my brain randomly came up in the middle of English class. I've got nothing.
...Was he in Freaky Friday? Was it about that? Probably. That, or Gilmore Girls. Or "A Cinderella Story." Man, he was really popular circa 2005.
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I heard this song on the radio at the convenience store, and man, it brought back some repressed memories, for sure.
I was like, "...How do I know this..? Why is the familiar to me?" I don't think that I had heard it since I was in sixth or seventh grade...man, memories. I could sing almost the entire thing, too? It was surprising how fast it came back to me. It was a cool moment, for sure.
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A guy at a store complimented my Japanese today! It made me very happy. I'm guessing he doesn't see foreigners very often, because he seemed really excited about me being able to speak Japanese.
Also, my Japanese wasn't great at that particular moment; I hadn't eaten at all that day, due to various factors, and it was almost three in the afternoon, so I was on "speak only as much as is absolutely necessary until you can cram some food in your mouth" mode. But hey, thanks, man. It made my day.

Japan Journal Eight: I Get Free Babywearing Gear, and Other Magical Moments

Me: "My brother is a Junior in high school."
Everyone: "Oh, so you're the same age?"
NO, I'm just abroad studying as a Junior, because I am a weirdo. I'm too old for grades now. I don't even know. Don't try to understand it.
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Guess who got herself some free suck pads that came with a magazine? THIS GIRL. Disney-themed! I am pretty hype. I wonder if I can dye them aqua....
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I went into a store today and only came out with one thing that wasn't on my list.
Do I get some kind of award? I think I deserve one, honestly. A medal would be ideal.
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So, YouTube recommended a video for me that was titled "What Should You Do With your Life?"
Well, excuse you, YouTube. I clearly have my life together.
Just kidding. In reality, I'm just like


And YouTube is like

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When people are asking me a question and I'm confused:

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We had a new teacher in Shodou, and she was BUTCHERING the kanji readings of everyone's names while she took attendance. And of course, my entire class was snickering when she mispronounced people's names, yet another reminder that kids are alike the world over, as we did the same thing in high school.
There was a girl in my class with a kind of complicated first name, and when we had a sub who was taking attendance, the girl in question would just have this "God help us all" expression on her face, because she knew someone was about to kill her name. And we all laughed, every time, because we are horrible people.
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I'm about to go shopping; will I keep the crud-buying to a minimum? WAIT AND FIND OUT.
I probably won't.Yesterday, I bought erasable hilighters, and you can't tell me that's not magical. Random crap is worth every penny, yo.
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I'm eating the mother of all Halloween cookies right now. It takes like magic, and fulfilled dreams. And a little bit like diabetes, but I'm willing to overlook that. Thanks God for Haloween in Japan, which is basically just a time to eat baked goods.
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Someone: *Says something that I don't understand*
Me: *Nods because I'm tired and I don't feel like spending the next ten minuets trying to figure out what they're saying* (Sometimes moving on is just the best option)
Them: "Do you understand?"
Me (in an overly confident voice?): "Yeah!"
Them: "Oh, awesome, can you tell me how to say it in English?"
CRAP.
Then I'm just like, "No, I lied, I don't understand at all," and then it's uncomfortable.
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It's 11:30 at night, and I was just down trying to converse with my host family, and things got awkward and vaguely offensive really fast.
Everyone was drunk except for me, so that may have played a part in what happened, and I was insanely tired, so following conversation was kind of a chore, but man. 
At some point, my host Grandmother called me a Goddess, apparently, unless I heard the word incorrectly, so that was weird. I'm not sure how much alcohol she's imbibed, but I assume it was quite a bit if I suddenly became Goddess material.
A lot was said about me working hard to learn Japanese, and to become good at Japanese, but it was said in a way that left me feeling like I'm really crappy and I don't try hard enough, which is kind of hard to explain. Earlier, my adviser came and visited the house, and she said that she had just visited an Australian boy who has been here since March, and will be here for a total of ten months. She bragged about his Japanese skills a little bit and stuff, and I was like, "An Australian who speaks Japanese? And he wants to be a translator? My ovaries just exploded." BUT then, for some reason, I guess my host family decided it would be fun to bring up the fact that I really could be better at Japanese if I stayed for ten months, and that I ought to have stayed for ten months, which was mega frustrating, because I tried SO HARD to be able to come here for ten months, and I want with all of my soul to stay for longer, and they don't know how many tears, and how much effort, I put into trying to stay for longer. So, the whole thing was ridiculous, and made me feel extremely upset. And it wasn't helped by the fact that, although I clearly understood the Japanese, my family kept randomly translating words into English ( "I am here for three months," I said. "Yeah, only three months," said my host mother. "THREE," my host grandmother translated into English, which is baffling, as I had JUST SAID IT in Japanese). I am definitely overreacting, but man, it sucked a lot. 
I don't really know how the goddess part of the conversation started up, but whatever. It doesn't really make up for the other, more frustrating parts, most of which I'm not going to describe here, because I don't want to remember that they have happened. 
I love Japan. So, so much <3 And my host family is pretty fabulous. But man, this was not a great moment.
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I think that you might need this today.
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I got to help my host Grandmother at the farm today! It was so wonderful. Usually, if I ask her if I can help, she says no, but I think that Hosoya Sensei said something yesterday about how the rules of JFIE say that I am so be helpful, because she allowed me to do so! It was really enjoyable--we chatted while we picked vegetables, and it all felt very natural and awesome. 
Also, I picked up some more pretty leaves to press--I'm excited to see how these will turn out. I think it will be really cool to have them when I go back, something natural and tangible with which to remember my first trip to Japan.
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Japanese people wear Crocs without a hint of irony. It amuses me greatly. Like, today I saw a scene-style couple at a restaurant, and the dude was sitting there, defying societal standards and sticking it to the man, in his Mickey Mouse Crocs. Good for you guys, rock on with your bad selves.
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I totally ship Lards/Sadie (from Steven Universe).
Last night, I watched "Island Adventure" and was like, "OMG, MY OTP IS CANON," and then I realized that I was shipping characters on a children's cartoon.
Like, so this is what it's come to.
Seriously, though, Steven Universe is legit. All of the representation, and the different body types, and the gobs of strong female characters, and the fact that many of the secondary characters are also female, and the fact that it's quite possibly the ONLY children's show currently airing that isn't aimed at a particular gender (TV is for everyone--woot woot!), and also the fact that it's the first Cartoon Network show headed by a female animator (Rebecca Sugar); I basically love it. It's like a feminist's dream show. 
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Wise Tumblr words:
I'm alive, but only ironically.
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Today, I had to fill out a survey about my athletic activity (LOL), which was pretty fun.
At one point, there was a bank of sports, and I was supposed to choose the owns in which I participate, which is hysterical, because I do nothing at all. So, I checked swimming because it was the only thing I had done at all recently (if by recently, you mean three months ago), and was instantly reminded of this:
*Someone compliments Spencer's muscularness*
Specer: "Well, you know, I swim."
Carly: "Since when do you swim?"
Spencer: "I swam once."
Literally me.
Also, I was trying to find video of this, but instead I found this gem:
 Carly: Come on! You don't really want Spencer!
Spencer: I'm a mess!
Carly: Such a mess!
Sam: He has no job!
Spencer: Who would hire me?
Freddie: He doesn't hang out with anyone his own age!
Spencer: I've never been popular!
Carly: He drinks milk in the shower!
Spencer: All naked and wet!
Carly: Oh, and he hasn't had a steady girlfriend since high school!
Spencer: Ok, well maybe not a steady girlfriend per se---!
Sam: And look at his flat butt!
Spencer: TOO FAR! [grabs her fishstick and throws it into the air]
Spencer, honest to goodness.

..I think I AM Spencer.
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Again with the sport survey, I was just like.....
......Is fangirling a sport?

Destroying the patriarchy is my cardio, what now?
Yeah, I had nothing.
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 Then it asked if I do any sports clubs outside of school, and I was just like, "What do you think?"
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It got worse. It was like, "How many hours per day do you spend online?"
...And I was like, "I don't want to talk about it."
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I wrote hark at some point today in place of Hank.
"Hank the Herald Angels Sing" could be a heck of a Nerdfigher Christmas song.
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Every time I see a foreigner (which is almost never), I wonder if I should go and talk to them. And then I realize, and say what? Like, "Hey, I noticed that you, too, are white, Should we become friends?"
Or like, "hey, we have something in common. It's that we're both foreign."
So, I say nothing.
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I don't know if I get started at more when I'm alone, or if I just don't notice people staring at me when I'm focused on speaking Japanese, but man, I was at the station today alone (yay for shopping without anyone rushing me~), and SO many people stared at me. It was a little bit over the top, like, c'mon guys, I know you see foreigners on TV.
It's funny, though, not weird/isolating. We need tone phonts or something, for pete's sakes. If you don't know me and you read things like this, I probably sound clinically depressed, when, in reality, my reaction to stares is something like this:

Japan Journal Seven: A Japanese Lady's Haircut Gives me Middle School-Related Cringe Attacks, and Other Occurrences

Petition for Zoella to voice the next Disney Princess.
Oh, no wait, it got better. I want Zoella to voice the next princess, and I want her character to be betrothed to a prince (played by Tyler Oakley); but she totally isn't into it, and she doesn't want to get married, because she wants to travel and see the world, go on adventures, and explore. He's also iffy about it, but it's never said why. Then, for some reason, they have to go and save the kingdom from imminent danger, so, off they go with Zoella's quirky BFFs (played by Hannah Hart and Troye Sivan, because I love them both). And, the entire movie, you THINK that Zoella and Tyler are going to fall in love, and then their betrothal will all work out, but--plot twist--Tyler's character falls in love with Troye's character, because it turns out that he's gay. And then Zoella gets to go off and travel the world in the end, just as she wanted to do. And Hannah's character makes funny puns, because that's how she rolls.
Oh my gosh, and can there be, like, a sassy fairy Godmother, played by Mamrie? And they're like, 'Dude, can you help us out?" and she's like, "Man, I don't know what's going on. I'm gonna go have a margarita."
And can Jon Cozart just play, like, every other character in the movie? I don't even know whom he should play, but I feel like at some point, he shout form a quartet with himself, seeing as he's shown a remarkable talent for that.  
I would pay so much money to see this movie.
Maybe we should just dial it down to step one, where Zoella is the voice of a Disney princess. But, I'm just saying, Disney execs, you're welcome to any of this information. Free blockbuster material at your fingertips.
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So, in a stunning turn of events, I watched Massan this morning, and Ellie was using a notebook to write down new phrases that those around her used! And then, using them incorrectly because she didn't understand them completely. Did I mention that we are basically twins? Oh my word.
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This guy tripped today, and knocked over an entire stack of books, and I failed at repressing a laugh and snorted loudly, because I'm a terrible person.
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Girl in my club: "You should get married to a Japanese guy!"
Other girl: "Yeah, you can have cute half-Japanese, half-American kids."
Thanks for the tip, guys. I had no idea that that was even an option.

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I made friends with a kid on the baseball team, so that officially makes me the coolest.
Today, the entire team came in to the genkan, because they were done with practice, and I was like, "How was practice?," and ALL of the other players looked over, and I was just like, "THAT'S RIGHT, I KNOW HIM, WHAT NOW?." You know, with my eyes.
The baseball team is living that strug life. They all have to shave their heads and wear suits to school. Why? I don't even know.
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A belated thank you to the random girl at LAX who let me call my parents on her phone. You the real MVP.
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People in Japan are always so impressed to hear that I do my own hair, and they haven't even seen me put it up with a pen yet! It gets better, you guys.
I don't know why they find it so impressive, but I'm just rolling with it.
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I saw a Japanese Lady rocking the Kate Gosselin today.
Understanding this joke, I now realizes, will take general knowledge of 2008 pop culture, so I will laugh if someone is reading this years from now, and somehow doesn't get it at all.
No worries, GIFs are here for you:

I was just looking through GIFs and was having these cringe attacks, like, "Why on earth did I even watch this show?", and then I saw this GIF and remembered why:

AWWWW.
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English teacher: "Erin, can you tell us why Americans use the same word for bodily organs, and organ, as in the instrument?"
Me: They're homonyms?
I had no decent answer. Sorry.
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I went to a taiyaki store with Risa the other day (one to which we have been many, many times), and they gave us a free gift with our taiyaki, because they remembered me! It was so sweet. I love this little shop at the station; it's run by a bunch of sweet grandmas and grandpas, and the taiyaki are so delicious! The free gift was so kind--it made my day.
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I was feeling kind of iffy-ish yesterday (the ususal struggle of "my host sister won't talk to me" was raging, and was added to by the fact that I found out that I'm not allowed to travel to Tokyo, to which I was REALLY looking forward. So, that all sucked), but today, after school, I got to talk to Risa, and then we walked to the station and went shopping, and it was SO awesome. So much time to talk to Risa, who is fun, sweet, and awesomesauce, and lots and lots of Japanese practice. I was so happy! And she agreed to go to Karaoke with me sometime soon!! Yay. I miss her and her family, they were so amazing. My new family rocks, too, but the whole no talking thing is not fab. So, being able to go to the station today and hang out with Risa just made me feel so much better about the whole situation.
Also, I bought Kristian the most legit necklace of all time. We both have a lot of TFiOS themes clothing, and galaxy-themes stuff in general, and Kristian digs steampunk a lot, so when I saw this legit steampunk-galaxy necklace, I was like, "DUDE. HOW CAN I LEAVE THIS?" I hope she likes it. I loved it, too, but I don't wear a lot of jewelry. I was debating whether or not I should grab it just because I loved the design, when--lo and behold--they had a hairtie of the same thing. What? I know. I was hype.
We will be unabashed, steampunk, TFiOS/Galexy twins, and we will love it.
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Me: Ben, I got you a really cool hat.
Ben: Is it like the pointy ones that Japanese people where while they are farming?
Yes, Ben, in fact, it is. And I'm somehow going to fit that into my suitcase without it getting crushed, and bring it back to America for you. Because I am dedicated.
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The word "Yo" originated in Philly, so Pennsylvanians are basically the coolest people ever.

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A lot of people have asked me what surprised me the most about Japan/what is surprising me the most about Japan.
I think I mentioned this earlier, but just in case I didn't, it's definitely the fact that people sleep in class. Like, unsubtly and frequently. It's interesting to me, because at my school in America, you would have gotten in trouble for sleeping in class, or at least scolded. But here, most teachers just ignore it. So, that was definitely surprising to me.
Another thing that I find amusing: Japanese people call any store (item sold at store)yasan, which literally means Mr/Mrs (item sold at store) store. For example, panyasan = Mr/Mrs. Bread Store. They say this without a trace of irony or cloying. I love it, 
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Teacher: "How do you say 'Gyuudon' in English?"
Me: "We don't have Gyuudon."
Teacher, "No, but like, what do you call Gyuudon in America."
Me: "We don't call it anything, we don't have it. 
Teacher: "No, (in English) BEEF BOWL." 
Me: "No, I know what you're talking about. I've eaten it before. We just DON'T HAVE IT." 
I feel like, at the end of the conversation, he still didn't completely understand that we don't have gyuudon in America. 
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Today on Massan, Ellie was trying to convince her friend's family to allow her to have a job outside of the home. Rock on with your bad self, Ellie; you rock my socks. Not only is she basically me, she's a feminist, too? And in 1920?! I love her forever,
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Teacher: Who's the tallest in this class?
*Class calls out tallest person's name*
Teacher: Okay, really? How many centimeters?
*Person answers question*
Teacher (with a touch of benevolent envy): Ahh, really? That must be nice. (Literally, he said, "Aaaa, ii naa~ in the voice that one might use when one hears that one's friend is going on vacation to Disneyland. It was hysterical).
He's like 5'3". It made my day.
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The cover of my Ethics book is Aristotle/Plato, universals vs. particulars. I think the real name is "The School of Athens," but I am doomed forever to think of it in the way in which it is discussed in "How Should We Then Live," which we read and analyzed extensively in my sociology class. Thanks to this class, I look like I know what I am talking about in Ethics, so woot!
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Today, my teacher made a reference to Giant Baba, and I understood it only because I used to read "Love Com" in middle school, and there was a character who was nicknamed "Giant Baba" in the comic (you know, due to his gargantuan height), so, to whomever suggests that manga aren't educational....there you go.
I was just like,

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I like that the YouTube ad campaign means that I get cool ads for Japanese YouTube channels on my sidebar. Yay, lucky me!
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Of course, SciShow commercials start coming on TV when I'm out of the country :/
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I have no idea from whence this madness came, but I had a cringe attack/flashback back to eight grade Study Skills class today.
Shout out to the girl who, every time we had to watch the bizarre study skills videos that were made in the 80's and featured horrible hair and such useful pieces of advice as "You need to get an assignment book. That's a book where you keep your assignments," complained about the fact that she was seated directly in front of the screen. 
"It feels like she's staring into my soul!" she said of the creepy women featured in the videos. She gave an almost constant and completely irrelevant commentary throughout the videos about how irked she was about her placement, until, out of desperation, the teacher made her switch seats with me. And then I had to deal with the creepiness. So, lucky me. 
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I'm pretty sure that Avril Lavigne is a vampire, that chick is eternally youthful.
And insanely popular in Japan. LET THEM KNOW THAT WE'RE STILL ROCK AND ROLL! 
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Today, when this one kid was asked a question, he randomly got up, walked across the room, and looked out the window before answering Whatever works, I guess, dude.
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His accent. C'mon.
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Today, I was on Tumblr, and someone reblogged  something in Japanese I didn't even notice that anything was different about it, until a few seconds after seeing it, when I was like, "hold up, that was Japanese." Immersion rocks!
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So, I just introduced my homegirl to Zoella, and she messaged me and was like, "Who's that guy that Zoella was dating? He's definitely gay." And I was like, "Alfie..? Alfie's NOT gay, what's she talking about....OMG, SHE MEANS TYLER OAKLEY, SHE WATCHED THEIR FAKE BOYFRIEND TAG."
I die. I was laughing so hard.
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My homegirls are the best.
Yesterday, I talked to Kristian for a  long time about her new book--which sounds absolutely FANTASTIC. I can't wait to read it. Guess who is a character? That would be yours truly. I AM PRETTY EXCITED ABOUT IT (I hadn't meant for this to be in CAPS, but I decide to keep it, since I feel it accurately describes my feelings about this situation). The book sounds great, and Kristian is mega talented, so I know that it will be fabulous. And we had our normal amount of nerdy banter, which is always enjoyable.
And then this morning, I talked to Liss for a while about YouTube, which was AWESOME, as YouTube is my passion/addiction. I introduced her to Zoella and she's totally into it, which pleases me, because I adore Zoella.
Yay for positive interaction!
BOO for too much English. I need to go and speak Japanese now. No more internet. 
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Yesterday, I went to the bookstore and bought a bunch of books that I didn't need, which is always fun. I stuck them all in my backpack, and then had to wait while the employee processed my card, and somehow, during the three minuets that it took to do this, I completely forgot that they were in there. I hoisted my backpack onto my back and was like, "Oh my gosh, why on EARTH is this thing so heavy and lumpy?! What did I put in....OH, DUH."
Mistakes made.