Monday, January 22, 2007


Hi all. All is well here in kasukabe. Trying to keep warm and dry, as we are in the middle of another Japanese winter. I really shouldn`t complain (what with Manitoba getting slammed with -40C days...maked 5C seem like summer) but it really is cold. One of the things that I am doing to try and keep occupied is to find a job for next year. On Friday night I had a telephone interview with a Canadian company that is hiring teachers for positions in Hong Kong. I did very well with the interview, and was asked if I could attend a second. The problem is that I may have to travel outside of Japan for it. Second interviews are being held in Hong Kong, Vancouver, and Toronto. So, when I get the call, I may have to go to Hong Kong. I would love to go to Vancouver and hang out for a while, but shelling out $1000 to travel for a 1-hour interview is a bit too much. Anyway, will keep you posted.

Natsumi is in Bali until Jan 30th. Luck girl is gonna come home with bronzed skin after a month of beaches and scuba, I`m green! On Saturday my good buddy Nori came up to Kasukabe from Yashio for a night. We got caught upon various things and then headed out for supper. After numerous plates of sushi and several bottles of red, we decided that Karaoke was a good idea. I hadn`t been toKaraoke for months and thought maybe I was sick of it, but we had a great time. After a late-night gyudon (beef and rice) feed, we headed back to mine and crashed. Sunday was spent feeling pretty sorry for myself because of my hangover, but it gave me a good chance top catch up on the NFL playoffs. Go Bears!

Hard to believe its almost the end of Januaryu already! Only 6 more months here in Japan. Then what? Hmm, time will tell I guess. Bye for now.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Blink your eyes and it`s 2007...

Hope everyone had a good holiday. Got any New Year`s resolutions? I don`t have many this year, but there are some things that I want to improve. I would like to be more diligent in keeping touch with people than I have been in the past. Seems like I am constantly forgetting to email, call, write, or otherwise inform people about what`s going on, and I need to improve that. I`ve also set new goals for myself with respect to my health. I want to be more dedicated to my workout schedule and diet. That should be a little bit easier as my scooter finally kicked the bucket over the Xmas break, meaning I have to ride my old granny-style bicycle to work everyday. I still haven`t decided if I want to bother repairing the scooter, as I will only be in Japan for another 6 months or so. We`ll see.

I`ve yet to firmly make plans about what I will do once I leave Japan. As of now, my job and visa expire at the end of July. At that time I will either move back to Canada, or explore other options in another country. After my trip to Shanghai, I think I would be able to get by in China without too much difficulty. I would also like to see what it would be like to live in a place like Vietnam, Cambodia, or even Hong Kong. Over the next few months I will be putting out some feelers to see if I could land any sort of job. Time will tell on that one too. I am anxious to get back to Canada, but I always think that if I go home too soon I might never come back to Asia and miss out one some great experiences.

Another weird (and frightening) thing about 2007 is that this year will be my 10-year high school reunion! Man, I am getting old! In my mind it seems like I just left home last week for University in Brandon, and that all my old hangouts are still the same. Of course, I doubt I will actually be in the country to attend the reunion anyway, but it would be really nice to catch up with the old class of `97 and see what everyone has gotten up to since then. Of course, I am still in touch with some of the boys and I see my friends when I get the chance to come home, but at least half of that class I haven`t seen since graduation. Where has all of that time gone? 10 years already? What have I been doing? I spent 2 years working in Birtle/Foxwarren at various jobs after graduation. In 1999, I moved to Brandon and studied at Brandon University for 5 years. After graduation, I worked for the University for a few months before leaving for Japan. I have been teaching here in Japan since August of 2004. Just like that, 10 years have gone by. Unreal. What`s even more weird is that every time I get news from home, it seems more crazy stuff has happened. Someone else got married, got divorced, had a kid, had 2 more kids, got a great job, lost a great job, and on, and on...

It`s really weird to think of how much of my life back then wasn`t even really documented. When I was in high school, there were no digital camers, no one had a cell phone, and the word "blog" wasn`t even invented yet. I remember high school being great fun, but I have almost no concrete record of it. The few pictures that I have at home hardly do it justice. My buddy Casey and I always kill ourselves laughing at some videos we shot with the school camers in 12th grade. I don`t know if they would have been more special or less special if we recorded the amount of stuff kids do these days. I played a ton of sports in high school, captained several teams,and travelled to many towns to compete, but I`m not sure if I have even a single picture to show for it. I don`t know if high school kids now can even imagine what it would be like to go through their day without receiving 20 instant messages, checking their emails accounts, or downloading whatever they have a desire for that day. In 10 years the life of a typical teenager has changed so much. I can`t imagine what I will be writing about 10 years later, in 2017. Will we still even be writing? Will things be completely automated, or will we use voice-recognition tech all day? Will we even have to speak to document things? Will we be able to document data just by thinking it? Who know... Anything is possible, I mean a lot of what we have today couldn`t have been dreamed up 10 years ago. One reason that I am happy with my decision to become a teacher is that I will be part of the first wave of people to see the effects of new technology. I will be a part of the adapting process to the newest technology and gadgets, and I will see how they change the behaviours and lifestyles of the kids using them. It will keep me up to date as well. I`m 28 years old now. What will I be like at 38? 48? 88? It`s gonna be fun.

Anyway, just wanted to rant a bit about how time always seems to be against us. I guess that is my biggest New Year`s resolution: trying not to take things for granted so much, and appreciating every day the good things in my life and focusing less on the negative. Life is just too short, you know?