Hi everyone! Welcome to the first Trev Report of the New Year! Happy 2004, Heisei 16, and year of the monkey! We are doing well here in Japan, and hope you are doing well, too. Without further delay, here is this month’s report!
Signe and I are doing great. We have ups and downs, but all-in-all things are going along smoothly. She has been doing some part-time work as a baker for a local restaurant over the winter break and making some extra money for our summer vacation. For summer vacation we are planning on returning to the US for about one month. We are attending two weddings, one in Washington for our college friends, Johan and Danielle, and one in California for my high school friend, Mike Chu. I’m going to be Mike’s best man for the wedding, so I’m pretty excited.
Work is going as great as it ever was. I love working with the kids at the Junior High School, Elementary Schools, and Nursery Schools, although the latter two are pure bundles of energy. Younger kids love to run up and jump on you, kick you, punch you, and do all sorts of crazy things. I usually don’t mind though. As long as no one gets hurt, it is fine with me.
My TV show is going well, too. I have to speak in Japanese for the better part of a half hour though, and that can be nerve-wracking. I like speaking Japanese, but my skill level is very low, so sometimes I make no sense and we have to retake a scene. With time, I will improve though.
My other activities are going well as well. The English conversation classes for adults have a low attendance, but the people that do come are learning something. I also do other random things for the town, for example, one day I walked all around town promoting Human Rights by handing out candy and pencils... Weird, huh?
Trev’s Japanese Study
I am still working on the CLAIR Japanese self-study program, and that seems to be going along fine, but I am feeling that over the winter break since I have been using English mostly. Since I started up work again, I am back to keeping up my daily diary in Japanese as well. That is good exercise. I have also put up my first translation on the Net. I translated the December Newtype article about _Kill Bill, Vol. 1_. I am working on a couple other things as well.
Trev’s Winter Break
For Winter Break Signe and I hung around here most of the time. We got two metal DDR dance pads for Christmas from RedOctane (www.redoctane.com). Those are the pads I helped design. We also got a couple cools games. Dad sent us a game called _Kill Doctor Lucky_, which is from Cheapass Games (www.cheapass.com) and is really fun to play. He also sent us. He also sent us a cribbage (www.pagat.com/adders/crib6.html) board, and we have been having fun with that.
We went to Izumo Taisha for New Years’ Day. It is a famous Shinto shrine in Izumo and the place where the gods suppose to gather every year to meet. It was really crowded, but we had a blast there!
After New Years’, some of our friends from the US visited us. Alex Lau (seiya from #fansubs on EFnet) and Dom Nguyen (fudo from #fansubs) came to stay with us for a couple days. We went down to Hiroshima to get them and spent the day there checking out the local nerdy stores and coffee shops. Then we came back to show them “real country livin’” up here in our small mountain town. I think they had a good time, and we enjoyed having guests here.
Trev’s Anime and Movies
My collection of Ghibli movies is growing. The only one that I don’t have that I want to get is _I can hear the Sea_, but that can wait. Our movie collection is growing too, but not as much as Mike Chu’s, I’m sure. :) Besides that, I haven’t been doing too much anime watching. I read Newtype to keep up with what is going on, but I haven’t watched too many shows lately.
Trev’s Games and Books
When Alex and Dom came they got us a new game for our GameBoy Advance SP, it has _Yoshi’s Island_ and _Mario Bros. Classic_ on it, and we have been having fun playing those games. I beat _Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance_ and returned it to the store. That was a real fun game, but the bosses were way too easy to beat. We are also playing DDR 3rd Mix a lot with the metal pads and an old PlayStation we bought for about $20 at a used store.
In the books department, I just read _Closer To The Light_ that is about the near-death experiences of children. It was a pretty good read. Signe just finished _Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason_, which is the sequel to _Bridget Jones’ Diary_. I also just read _The Forever War_, which is a fantastic classic SF novel. It is a must-read for any SF fan.
Alex and Dom also got us a great English wordbook that is full of anime and game quotes. If you are an anime/game nerd you have to see this, it is too funny. The book is called _Moetan_ (www.moetan.jp).
Well, our laptop is no longer functional. It got water in it and now doesn’t work. It would cost over $850 to fix it, and with us saving money to go home this summer, we cannot afford to fix it, so we are out one home computer. It is too bad, but we are coping with it well. Signe checks her email at the hotel, which has free Internet access, and I check mine at work. The upside is that we are no longer paying $40/month for Internet access. I think we will survive. :)
Trev’s Piano Lessons
Man, I suck at the piano, but it is fun working at it. I have practice about one a week. It is tough, but I am really enjoying myself, and I have gotten to know the piano teacher well. She has invited Signe and I on a couple things outside work that have been really cool, like a winter concert we recently went to.
Trev's One Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn a little Japanese. How about New Years’ greetings in Japan?
“Happy New Year” is “Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!”
After that, most people say, “please be good with me this year, too,” which is “Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.”
Another good thing to say is “have a good year,” which is “yoi otoshi o.”
Well, that’s about it for this time. I love hearing from you all, so send out an email every now and again. Until next time!