Freaking kerosene

I started feeling sick around lunchtime today, and had a pretty bad headache as well. I was also inexplicably exhausted to the point that I accidentally dozed off for 20 minutes at my desk! (Not that I’m the first teacher to ever do that, and I certainly won’t be the last.) I ducked out of work right at 4:15, almost convinced I’d have to take a day of sick leave tomorrow…and now I’m home and I feel quite a bit better.

It’s the kerosene. It has to be. I felt especially out of it when I had to wander around the classrooms, each with a massive stove situated in the center of the room and churning out noxious fumes as well as heat, and my desk in the teachers’ room is right next to the stove there as well.

I told my JTE I would go in tomorrow to record some stuff for a listening test on Wednesday, because I wanted to leave on time today since I wasn’t feeling well. I’m still not totally better, so I’m probably just getting sick from being out in the cold this weekend as well, but man, work was kind of nightmarish today. I think I’m going to nap for an hour and see how I’m doing afterwards.

PASS: Post-Avatar Stress Syndrome

The Avatar season finale was astonishing, and the plot–and several main characters–went in directions I totally wasn’t expecting them to go. I’m kind of in a state of shock from it right now, but of course I won’t get into spoilers. We discussed it on and off for a while afterwards–some very major moves have been made, but it’s too early to tell what the ramifications will ultimately be, or how it’ll play out. That’s what we have 20 more episodes for!

This evening was rather mad, though. Really, the whole day was–I was going to take the train into the city, and left at the perfect time to catch it, but then realized as I was walking down the street that I’d forgotten something, so I ran back to my place, and by that time I would’ve had to sprint to make the train, so I ended up just driving today. (I actually raced the train for the first 20 minutes–I got a good headstart but it passed me at a red light and just kept on going.) I got to finally stop the Flintstones Restaurant for lunch–this place in Anabuki which has a facade that looks very much like a building from the Flintstones. It’s crazy–and the food was great. The inside was really cute, too.

We had our first musical “casting” session, and I may actually be in a part that has a lot of Japanese. I hope I can handle it…I think I can. Nothing’s decided, though–I want a part that has speaking, and I wouldn’t say no to singing, but no dancing for me. It definitely can’t be too big, with all the work I have ahead of me on the design stuff–Chris R. would ideally like a poster in just over a month, in time for the first rehearsals.

After that, I hung out with Joey and Chris P. who were at the meeting and got some shopping done (not nearly enough, though), and also ran into Victor (outside the station) and Geneva (while looking for nengajou stuff–we gushed over arts-and-crafts stuff on the 4th floor of Clement Plaza). I then headed out, and also caught the expressway back to make it on time…ugh, freaking tolls.

Anyway, after a kind of chaotic hour involving a lot of phone tag and preparing food (dinner for me, jasmine tea for the gathering–it came out very weak, unfortunately) and playing hostess to people (Julie, Brian, Kiet, Kam–the latter two drove an hour to come out here!) and the like, we finally settled down to watch and discuss. It was nice to have an informed, intelligent discussion about the show offline.

And now, it’s 10:50 PM and I have no lesson plan for tomorrow’s AM elementary school class and I can’t get Avatar out of my head. Great. Sleep? What’s that?

Recap of yesterday

Ha, see, look at that? 2 days into December and I’ve already stopped writing daily. Granted, yesterday was pretty busy, though.

I got a late start and made it to Claire’s after 1:30, only to find that I was the first person there. We chatted and snacked on bread and hummus and…and yogurt-and-dill sauce whose name I’ve forgotten, and played with the always-adorable Sofie. Kiki and Louise arrived a little while later, and we got started slowly on decorating our nengajou, but we soon really got into it. I’m really happy with most of the ones I made, but in 3 hours I only decorated about 10, and I have a lot more to go! Louise and Kiki made some gorgeous ones, too. Claire’s friend Jane also came by a little later–I’d met her at rugby earlier this year, and we’d chatted briefly about India.

We all left a little after 5, and I went to do some shopping–I bought some gorgeous Muji futon covers (but they’re way too big–and here I thought they’d be too small) and some pens for Hannah (hopefully the right ones!), and started scouting for orphanage gifts…which reminds me: what would you buy for 11-13-year-old boys or 14-17-year-old boys? I have 2 boys in each age group that I’m getting gifts for, and all gifts have to be under ¥1000.

I then drove back out west and picked Julie up halfway in Yamakawa–we’d planned to go to the Sri Lankan restaurant, but it was closed again, but this time I learned why: the owner went back to Sri Lanka for a few weeks! We ended up eating at Prison, our izakaya of choice in Mikamo, and picked up Julie’s overnight stuff and came back here, and right after I vacuumed the tatami room and straightened up and got the futons laid out, we went straight to sleep.

She left early this morning, to catch a 7 AM train to Takamatsu to take the JLPT (with a lot of other ALTs…oops), and she and Brian will be here around 7 tonight for the Avatar season finale! I need to send Kam and Kiet messages to see what they’re up to as well–they’re both up there taking the test as well. I also just got a download of the episodes started, but they’re apparently not great quality…they’ll do for tonight, I think, but I’ll be downloading the full Moonsong captures of season 2 to get the best-quality version aside from the DVDs.

I was hoping to get in some violin practice time–we had to change the date of our caroling due to scheduling issues, and now my final eikaiwa is this coming Friday with caroling pushed back by a week–but I only have an hour before I have to leave to head back to the city, for the musical meeting/readthrough and more holiday shopping. I hope I can beat Julie and Brian here and have enough time to clean up first. In the meantime, I’d better go get ready. Go Go Avatar Day!


I wrote the kanji for Ikeda around 150 times in 20 minutes this afternoon, when I realized that even though I no longer take the bus and therefore stopped writing down all my bus/train trips so they could compensate me, they’d still like me to write down all my for-work car trips. This meant that I had to notate every single drive I made for work since September. Luckily, I’m rather anal-retentive when it comes to my planner, so I was able to do it without much racking of the brain.

I’m nearly done with swapping out my warm/cold clothes between my suitcase and drawers. Now to clean the rest of the apartment! I’m going to be up for a while…at least I can kind of sleep in tomorrow, though I still have to leave here before 11 AM so I can drive to the city for shopping and nengajo-decorating. I’m glad it’s Friday again.