Just a place for this lost american to blow off some steam. I'm stuck in a country with ancient temples, society that's holding onto the morals of the 1920's, people who dress like it's the 80's, and technology that is straight out of the movie Total Recall. I'm using this blog as my sound board to clear my head. So here it is. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Little cuties


Little cuties
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
The day Jenni left I was sitting in the train station waiting to go home when all of these little cuties showed up. They were on a field trip to the train station. I couldn't help but stand in the background and make funny faces at them the whole time

Fishing Hole


Fishing Hole
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
Last Saturday I went finshing with some teacher. This was the first place we stoped at. No fish but still a breathtaking view. It was a ful spot to climb around as well. Nobody seemed to care the fish wouldn't bite.

More Fishing


More Fishing
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
This was our third spot of the day. The second stop was the best for fishing. I am proud to say I caught the biggest fish that day. Unfortunatly it wasn't good for food. I would really love to eat a fish I caught my self. Very Japanese.

Mr. Hokoyawa's son seemed to be more into just throwing the bait into the ocean rather than actually fish. It didn't really matter though, we had tons of shrimp for bait and besides, he was having a blast.

Painting 1


Painting 1
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
I thought I would throw some of my painting on this site so that some of you could see what sort of stuff I have been working on. I did this one the week that Sarah had her baby.

Painting 2


Painting 2
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
Sorry these pics aren't so great. I just took quick shots while they were hanging on the wall. This is one of my bigger peices, and the most detailed as well.

Painting 3


Painting 3
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
This is one of my more recent painting. I have two like this that are three small panels wide. They end up being about the same size of my arm span. I finished this one just two weeks ago.

Ahhh Birthdays

Today is my 25th birthday and it is sort of wierd to be here. I am at work right now and don't have anything to do today because my students are taking finals. This afternoon one of the classes with finish there testing and then they will be watching Totoro in English. I think I will join in on the viewing to help add a little excitement to my work day. Other than that I have nothing to do. So that gives me about 5 hours to kill at my desk before the movie. I was thinking about duckingout and running home for about 30 min just for kicks. Luckily Tetsu just asked me if he could barrow my video out cord so now I have an excuse to leave for a bit. It's not like anyone will notice. Everyone is so busy with finals. I am pretty sure I'm the only one in the building with absolutly nothing to do that is work related.

My time here in Japan is quickly coming to an end and I have so many mixed emotions about it all. It will be hard to say good bye to so many wonderful people who have been so welcoming toward me. Still I am very much looking forward to once again being closer to the people that I love the most in this world. I know that I will miss the people her very much, but even more that that I think that I will miss the sureal overwhelming sensations that I get from these awe inspiring Japanese landscapes.

Last Friday I had the night to my self just as I do most friday nights. Around 9pm I decided to go for one of my night ride that I had been missing since I have only just started riding my bike again recently. I grabbed a Chu-Hi from the frindge, some tunes, and dug my my bike out of the cob webs. The night was a perfectly cool, clear summer night. I rode out to a quiet bridge that I have been to a dozen other times this past year. The bridge crosses the Souzu river at a wide calm point and is in the middle os a vally full of rice paddies. The water was like class and the stars were reflecting in the water just enought to light up a silouet of the mountians in the distance. I parked my bike on the side of the bridge, cracked open my drink and cranked up my music through my head phones. I couldn't help but dance up and down the bridge and sing along to the music at the top of my lungs the whole time. Pure joy and was just rushing through my veins. I could have stayed out there all night and enjoyed the sky but after an hour I noticed a cop car pacing around the area. I figured I should go home then in order to presearve the feeling and use it for fuel to paint back at home. It is moments like these that I will miss the most. Still, I find peace in knowing that these moments can exisit anywhere, not just in Japan.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A little help from a friend.


A little help from a friend.
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
A perfect finish to a perfect vaction with perfect company.

Soooo Beautiful


Soooo Beautiful
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
I can't even put words to it. No one has ever had a more perfect campsite.

Lovin it up!


Lovin it up!
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
I can't say I know who I am anymore. This place has definatly changed me in ways I could have never imagined. What am I going to do without Dave to accompany me when I get back to the States. I can't say I have a new calling in life but I most definatly have a new pass time.

Tomb Raiders


Tomb Raiders
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
I can almost smell the green moss just looking at this picture. It doesn't get more Japanese than some moss, bamboo and a couple of giant tombs to make you feel right at home.

Jenni's new best friends.


Jenni's new best friends.
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
I couldn't tell you what there names are, and I don't think Jenni could either but I'm pritty sure she had a blast with them while I was off singing and dancing. By the end of the night she was given a cute little gift from one of them and went home with lots of wonderful pics to reminder her of there everlast frindship.

Going Home

It's started. I have a little less than two months here and I have begun to prepare myself mentally for whatever may lie ahead. Mentally I am feeling more ready than ever and it seems to have just suddenly hit me like a train wreck.

My very dear friend Jenni was here for the last two weeks. Her time here seemed to put so many things into perspective for me. There may be a lot of thoughts that have still gone unfinished but there are many new thoughts that have begun and were very much wanting to. Jenni and I spent one week together in my beautiful little town as I showed her around and she asked me question after question about my time here. I had no idea how much these questions were what I needed to help me begin thinking about my time in Japan and my journey back home. I do know that nobody could have asked such questions of me without spending time with me here. I didn't realize the gift that her visit was to me in this way untill just after she flew out and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Returning to my empty appartment was nothing like it had been a million times before. It was more empty than it ever had been because I was reminded of what it is like to be living in a home surrounded by people who love you and want to share with you.

In these next few weeks I have taxes to do, paintings to paint, a house to pack up, a job to find, and what seems like a never ending stack of paperwork. Oh yeah, then I have my current job, the reason I am here in the first place. So with all of this I have no doubt the time will go fast for me. It's hard to feel lonely when you have so much to do and you know that the second the work is done you will be home again. So see ya soon. I'm sure I will write again but I just felt the urge to say that I love you all and I can't wait to give out hugs again.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Nobody's family is and awesome as mine!

Being in Japan this last year has really helped me to appreciate my family more than ever before. I have always thought that my family was the best, but being away from them and communicating with them from a distance has helped to heighten my appreciation for all of the different relationships we share.

My Grandpa passed away recently and my vacation plans with my mother were turned upside down. Instead of her coming to Japan I rushed home to be with the family. After a literally crippling 38 hours of traveling I finally made it to my Grandfathers wake. I had no idea how I would physically make it through the evening but when I saw all of those beautiful familiar faces my spirits were quickly lifted. I was home. When we are all together there is no place on earth that is more comfortable. That night my sister read my grandfathers Eulogy for the wake. She perfectly captured our memories with her elegant words. Sometime I wish I had a gift for words as she does, but at least I have the priviledge of saying " that's my sister".

The ceremony was a sort of three day event full of food, stories, crying, and a little bit of freaking out as well. It was perfect, everything was done just right. I know it was a party he enjoyed. Imagining his presence there was no task, he was there. He was the happiest one to see us all together.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Kochi seascape


Kochi seascape 2005
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
This is another great picture from our drive in the country last weekend. This is what we were facing while we took the picture of the ladies next to Dave's car. This place never quits. It seems like there is something new and wonderful to see around every corner.

Monday, April 25, 2005

David's Angels


David's Angels
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
Just a silly picture of the girls infront of Dave's amazing car. It was a bit rocky and I was about a second away from falling so that's about as good as it gets for my modeling career on crutches.

My mom flys in on fri and so my next pictures should be of the two of us coasting the coast. Can't wait!

Karlee Rocks


Karlee Rocks
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
Karlee basking on the rocks. Unfortunatly I didn't get to see this. I was stuck at the other end because the rocks were too much for me and my crutches. I can't wait to go back there soon when maybe I can walk on my own. It reminded me of climbing on the rocks with all my girlfriends on Madaline Island. It was a great memory but thinking about Madaline Island made me more anxious to go out on the rocks this past weekend. Anyway, its a great picture.

Yuko with Squid Yum!


Yuko with Squid Yum!
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
Luckily we found a place for Yuko to get some fresh squid. Only one day dried! This was very obviously the highlight of her day. Unfortunately for the rest of us the car didn't smell so great the rest of the day.

Kochi ricefield


Kochi ricefield
Originally uploaded by pupcas.
The following pictures are from our Sunday drive in the country. The four of us, Dave, Karlee, Yuko and I have gotten into this new weekend habit of exploring our little part of the world. The second the sun started smiling a little bit more we became addicted and haven't been able to stay away from those country roads. It's the beginning of the season and the rice fields are beautiful. The little green frogs are loving the paddys and you can hear them singing away. Personally, I like the way the mountians show thier reflections on top of the perfectly symetrical rice fields.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Cute Little Principal Story #3

Today it was raining hard and I had to walk to school on my crutches. I put on a semi waterproof jacket and tied the hood on tight. Still it didn't matter. I had to go slow because I didn't want to slip so I was just getting soaked. I was about half way when my Principal came out to meet me with an umbrella. He took my bag and slowly walked me into the building. Once we got there I looked at him and noticed that he was easily three times more wet that I was. What a cute little Principal.

Cute Little Principal Story #2

Yesterday, the same day he gave me the sandwich, he decided to sit next to me at lunch. I like it when he does this because he is fun to talk with but I know that it bugs the Japanese English teachers because he is always asking them to translate everything. Yesterday was good though because none of the English teachers were around so we both had to try a little bit harder.

Anyways, we usually always have rice with our lunches. Also our lunches are usually in really big portions. But for some reason yesterday there didn't seem to be as much food as there usually is and there was no rice. Even weirder was that everyone got a big doughnut for dessert and we usually only get dessert on special days. So the Principal sits down with me and he is all confused because the lunch is small and he wants rice. He asks me, "where's the rice", as if I have any clue at all. I think he thought that maybe they forgot to put it out or something. Anyway, I just responded " we get doughnuts instead", and he thought this was the funniest thing he had ever heard. As more staff walked into to staff lunch room he quickly stopped them to say that we had doughnuts instead of rice. He must have explained it about 8 times and every time it was equally funny to him. I'm glad he got so much mileage out of my comment. I was also glad to have a doughnut instead of rice.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ohaiyo

Every morning at work we have a short 5 to 10 minute staff meeting just to let everyone in on the days events. I go to these meeting every morning but it doesn't really matter. I don't know what's going on so I guess once again that leaves me clueless about the days events. I just have to hope I don't miss anything important. Yesterday was a bit of a disaster as far as knowing what was going on. Apparently we had this big meeting in the afternoon and the whole staff was to get up and formally introduce ourselves to the members of the PTA. Unfortunately nobody told me this and I didn't have anything prepared in Japanese. Also I didn't have an interpreter. I felt so stupid. I just stood there and blurted out some English facts about myself to a gym full of adults, bowed, and then stepped back into line with the other teachers. My vice principal just gave me this little smirk and I'm sure my face turned all red from embarrassment. Oh well, at least it was over fast.

So just a little bit ago, right after our meeting this morning my Principal gets up and asks me if I want to eat. I was very confused because work had just started about 15 minutes ago and I didn't understand why the principal would ask me in front of the whole staff if I wanted to eat something. I just said okay because I didn't want to get yelled at by the music teacher again for not responding to the Principal properly. Then I looked at him and said eat what. It's hard for me to just agree to eat here sometimes because you never know what you are going to get. He quickly went back to his office and came back a moment later with two little sandwiches. One egg salad and one tuna. They were cut into triangles and even had the crust cut off ( actually this is common here for sandwiches). I really wasn't hungry but something told me I was suppose to eat them right away. I felt funny though just eating these sandwiches at 8:15 in the morning with all of the staff still sitting around. I took the sandwiches into the coffee room and quickly ate them. A bit awkward but all in all a nice surprise. It is always nice to start out the day with a little surprise.