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ゥ2001 stephanie fullbright
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i did a very stupid thing (in hindsight) today. oh, but wait, that comes after school events chronologically, so it'll have to wait for the moment.

during the third period today, our host families were allowed to come in and observe our classes in action. how embarassing! my host mom came, and i just felt like any japanese i had learned so far flew out the window. okay, i wasn't really that bad, in all honestly, but it sure felt like it.

this afternoon was the speech contest. no, i did not participate, but i gladly cheered on my friends that were participating. one of the girls from my class, michelle, won the intermediate division - i think because she talked about qoo (which is her favorite japanese drink that we always use in our example sentences in class) and that she started studying japanese because she wanted to understand the sailor moon movies. the upper level winner was ashley (boy 男), who i personally like to call 熊 (kuma) because he is very tall and just seems very gigantic to me. his speech had me in tears, i was laughing so hard. the title was "小さ過ぎる日本" (chiisasugiru nihon) which pretty much translates to "japan is too small" - ashley began by saying that perhaps his title should be "大き過ぎるアシュリ-" (ookisugiru ashurii) or "ashley is too big". poor guy. in his speech, he talked about how he hits his head all the time on the low doorways and how his umbrella is too small. apparently, when it rains, one of his shoulders will inevitably get wet, so he apologizes to it by saying ごめんなさい. maybe you just had to be there, but i thought he was hilarious!

on my way back home, i stopped by the shore and sat on a nearby wall in order to eat my lunch and watch the tide come in. and i was having a wonderful time, too. watching the birds, watching the waves... and then i noticed a large seagull that had landed on the wall beside me. being the loving girl that i am, i tossed the gull a piece of the bread i was eating. so he gratefully ate it, then started squaking. no big deal, right? yeah, well apparently he was alerting all of his friends to the fact that i had food. before i knew it, a flock of seagulls were hovering over me, with some black ravens mixed in for good measure. so they all squaked at me as i sat and watched them in amazement. it looked like someone had come along and started flying a bunch of seagull shaped kites over me as i watched them hover on the wind. yeah, and that's about the time that i realized that the gulls were hovering over me. and then i thought "oh crap" - not the, oh-no kind, but the i'm-gonna-get-crapped-on kind. at which point, i got up and slowly tried to walk out from under the flock. they were having none of that - would you believe that the flock followed me? can you picture this? i'm trying to manuever out from under them, and they just continue to follow me! i was pissed! and i knew that the longer i was under them, the more likely it became that i would get crapped on! well, that's when the sh** hit the fan, or more approximately, my foot. the actually product landed about a couple of inches away, but managed to splatter on my sandal. that's all the motivation i needed - i gave up hope on enjoying the rest of my meal, hopped on my jitensha, and went home.

after going to see a history play at the park with my host mom, i am now at home, where i just had my first drink since arriving in japan. geez, it was good though. apparently, my host parents make some sort of something from gooseberries, lemons, and white liquor godo. this year's batch is sitting across the table from me, but my host dad gave me some from last year's - apparently they let it ferment for a month or so.

oh! and i just saw a commercial for final fantasy x! yaya! my family's watching jaws right now, and sotaro keeps yelling at the tv telling the idiot to run. he's so silly - when someone's about to get eaten, he waves at them and says "sayonara. good bye." silly boy.
Friday, July 27, 2001.10:12 p.m..japantime.:

before i start in on all things japan, let me first take a moment to say that i really am looking forward to having abie on campus next year. she's karl's little sister, and while i don't know her that well yet, she certainly seems very cool, so i'm looking forward to having her hang out with the rest of us. yay abie!

okay then.

i wonder if it'll hurt the laptop if i type on it like this. i usually sit on the floor next to the coffee table when using the computer, but right now i am lounging on the couch with the laptop perched on one leg. is vary comfy! i have decided that today will be lazy day. i've been busting my bootie the past week because of loads of homework and an essay to write, so since i have only a little homework for tomorrow, i'm going to lounge about 'til dinner, then go to sleep early. let it be so. thus i have spoken.

i saw a.i. today. *pause* there's not much i want to say about the movie. we'll just put it this way - i enjoyed the rice ball i was eating while watching the movie about as much as i enjoyed the movie. つまり、it was all right, but i don't feel compelled to sing its praises.

lucky! i found hikaru no go manga yesterday, so proceeded to buy every single one i could get my hands on in book-off. now i'm kicking myself for skipping out on igo class (igo is the othello-esque game that hikaru no go centers around). i would understand so much more of the game sequences... oh well.

today was a very interesing day, class-wise. we went over the 読み物 (short little essay in the book - one for each chapter) in class today, but instead of just answering questions about it, we had to summarize out loud what it was about. it was actually a lot of fun, trying to put it into our own words - and a lot harder than just reading the answer out of the book. i feel i've been sufficiently challenged ニコニコ.

and before i stop logging, karl is ダメ. don't believe otherwise.
Thursday, July 26, 2001.05:02 p.m..japantime.:

i'm gonna get to the japanese news in half a moment, but first:

karl, sweetheart... you're going to make yourself physically ill, and i wouldn't be surprised to hear that you've already made yourself physically ill. i have to admit that it's been kinda nice for the past month to be in japan and not have to think about royal four related issues, but dear one, you have me worried. and i have lots of words that i could say, but they'd just sound rather empty to you, because you're the one having to cope in georgia. if i were you, i'd probably be feeling a little cheated / selfish as well, so i don't blame you either, and i'm sure no one else does. but at any rate, just know that i'm thinking about you and praying for you, k? oh, and the webpage is coming along nicely.

昨日はlindseyのお誕生日でした。 忘れちゃった! ごめんなさい! happy b-day, linny! (all though you probably won't see this at all...)

as for japan related news, not a whole lot. classes, tests, kicking hal in the shin... you know, the usual stuff. i bought a whole lot of manga today, tho. card captor sakura and wish (various assorted volumes), and will probably spend the rest of the evening not doing my homework and reading said manga. ooo! and i also bought a hikaru no go pencil board! yay! i love hikaru no go! sai is so cute! it's in jump weekly right now, but my host dad said it's gonna end soon, and i will be sad. everyone except for my mom reads the jump weekly (big weekly jump comics manga collection), so when it comes out on monday, someone inevitably buys it, and then we all pass it around during the evening.

i love japanese food. sorry... just took a fifteen minute dinner break. now my host siblings are trying to figure out how much food to feed the rabbit. okay, and now my host folks are trying to talk me into participating in the hakodate port festival parade. in all honesty, i probably will, but they're trying to convince me by saying that all the other hif students participate. ha ha ha... silly host parents. i probably will, but how would you feel if you'd just been told that you have to do the いかダンス(squid dance)? yeah, i didn't think so.
Tuesday, July 24, 2001.07:40 p.m..japantime.:

my hands smell like sulfur.

let me let you process that sentence for a minute before i explain. *a minute passes* so why do my hands smell like sulfur? well, that would be because i spent two hours climbing up the side of a volcano.  火山. yes, fire mountain = volcano. i think i'm shocked at myself. i've never seen an active volcano in real life, let alone climbed the side of one. no, it wasn't erupting or spewing hot lava or anything that dramatic, but the side was leaking sulfuric gases and was rather warm at that.

maybe i should back up and explain before i get wrapped up in the whole volcano thing. this weekend has been my four day break before the next semester starts up. well, originally, i had planned on going to sapporo, but ended up abandoning that idea since my core group of friends are all lacking in funds necessary to go to sapporo. so instead, we went to the movies and ate really good food and watched fireworks at the seaport festival. however, today i had nothing to do since amanda went to aomori, yudelka's camping, mary's visiting host family relatives, and jen is somewhere... so my host dad decided to take me for a drive around the southeastern side of hokkaido.

we went from a catholic convent to a milk plant to some really awesome clifs for rockclimbing to a volcano to a lighthouse museum and ended up at my host mom's parents house near onuma.

i had no idea we were going to a volcano 'til we actually got to えさん. after eating some really good steak curry at the base while watching a couple of guys attempt to surf really small waves, we drove up, and then started walking up. and at one point, we left the beaten path to clambor over rocks of all sizes so we could get closer to the spots that were leaking gas. it was so interesting! i wish i would've brought a bag just to collect rocks in.

we also stopped by a very open air onsen as well. this place is right by the shore and is naturally heated, and you can actually see right into the onsen pools. yeah, so the view i saw also came complete with the old man taking advantage of the onsen. i, along with all the other tourists there, just kinda avoided looking at him altogether. yikes.

ha! the silly rabbit just tried to climb into sotaro's senpai's food! silly rabbit... (geez... i sound like a commercial now...)

hmm... what else? not much i suppose. my host mom's class named the rabbit na-chan (short for natsu = summer). the little bugger likes to scamper all over the house, including me in it's climbing adventures. last night, i was sitting on the couch reading a volume of card captor sakura that i had just purchased that day, and before i knew what was going on, the little bugger had jumped onto my leg and climbed up onto my shoulder. his little bunny claws are sharp too! but na-chan's so cute! かわいいですね...

all righty. enough logging. i have to go correct my essay and do some kanji sheets before class tomorrow. and i still have some manga left to read.

here's to a second month of living in japan!
Sunday, July 22, 2001.07:06 p.m..japantime.:

since i arrived in japan, i've been mostly blogging my adventures here and haven't mentioned anyone else. well, here's my web/real-life-catch-up log for the past month:

lacey is getting ready to graduate and has a new domain
karl got a live journal and is counting the days 'til athens
michael and nathan are in spain having a wonderful time
tracy is in the woods somewhere in western america
stephanie is in hong kong making a difference with God
anna is in pensacola packing parachutes
linny and josh are in either france or spain, probably having a really good time
michelle is in valdosta (along with joe) handing out room restrictions
subinev is at home losing his identity due to a data entry job
the bwg logged about durian! my advice is to stay away from the stuff. if you must try it, at least hold your nose. bleh...
microsoft is trying to take over the world (again)
ian has another job now and is on his way to returning to normal employed life - yay!

...and that's all i can think of for now. if i left something important out, i guess it'll have to wait 'til the next such update.

and now we return to the japan weblog already in progress.
Sunday, July 22, 2001.06:48 p.m..japantime.: