I just noticed that I tend to pick odd numbers to indicate the “volume” of these RLS posts, hmm…

Anyway, on to the small tidbits that make up my existence when I’m not involved in more picturesque undertakings.

Yeah, those are chopsticks on top of my tortillas. What?

Sizzlin’ Fajitas If I’m in the mood for good burgers, there’s only one place I can count on: a diner called Son House. The owner had gone to the States several years ago before opening his restaurant to study burgers, the quintessential American food. Well, I think that’s what he went to do. It’s been a while since we talked about this and my Japanese wasn’t as good back then, ahaha.

Ahem, anyway, these are definitely the best burgers around. But, Son House also serves some Mexican foods (Tex-Mex, to be exact), such as quesadillas, tacos, and chimichangas. There’s also Taco Rice, which is the inside of a Tex-Mex taco set on rice. ^o^; It may not be authentic, but if it tastes good, that’s what really matters, right?

However, the owner, with input from the local Hispanic community (which consists of, as far as I know, 4 people) has added something incredible to his menu: beans and rice! *Victory Fanfare* These can be ordered as a side dish. Also, if you make any of the Mexican food items a “dinner set,” you’ll get the beans & rice, guacamole, soup, and a salad. The other new items are burritos and the Sizzlin’ Fajitas platter. I got it a few days ago as a dinner set. Unfortunately, I’m not in the habit of carrying my camera around when I go eat out, so this photo taken with my iPod will have to suffice. (Note: the onion rings in the top left corner of the photo aren’t part of this set.)

Oh yeah…I finally got myself an iPod a little while ago! It was my present to myself for passing N2 of the JLPT back in December. (Though I would’ve gotten it if I had failed too. ^o^;) I didn’t get it sooner because I was worried about having to send more money home to cover medical expenses for my cat, but once I got word that what I had left back in December had sufficed, I went ahead and splurged on a 64GB iPod Touch. The first thing I did was load my iTunes Library into it, then I put a Japanese-English Dictionary app in, and last I set Sephiroth as the wallpaper and badda bing!

I changed its name from "Tome of Phat Beats" to "Tome of the Rhapsode."

I actually found this case with the help of some Brass Band students that I ran into at the mall. (Chibi GACKT strap not included.)

I’m impressed as hell with its internet capabilities, too. Even websites without mobile versions load relatively quickly.  I also love having sort-of access to Google Maps on the go. I can look up a location while I’m at home, but when I leave, even if I’m not online anymore, I can still see the map and make sure I’m going to the right place. Unlike:

Japan = Jakarta The other day I received a piece of mail from a cousin in the States that, before reaching me, ended up in Jakarta. ^_^; I don’t know where in the line the screw-up happened, but given that my cousin posted it on April 21st and I got it May 9th, it seems to have been redirected pretty quickly. Well, Jakarta’s not that far from here; I assume that they would’ve just sent it directly my way rather than sending it back to the States.

♪Where in the World is the Mail My Family Sends Me?

Gaming Again I finally sat down to play Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which I picked up in my last visit to the States. As someone who was introduced to the franchise through Symphony of the Night, I did worry that I wouldn’t like it, given that it’s a reboot that bears not the work of neither composer Michiru Yamane nor illustrator Ayami Kojima. But so far…I’m really feelin’ it! Especially after the linear mess that was FFXIII, the freedom to roam of LoS is refreshing. Granted, it’s not as free form as SotN or even Curse of Darkness, but I still get the sensation that I’m exploring. There’s also the wonderful, fantastic, ultrasuperspecialawesome voice work of none other than Sir Patrick Stewart as the game’s narrator, Zobek.

Oh.

My.

GOD.

This is the first time I’ve played a game whose voiced narration didn’t feel like tiresome exposition. I enjoy just hearing this man speak. @_@ It’s crazy.

*Ahem* So far, the only unsatisfying thing about LoS is the music, but I’m hoping that will change as I progress further into the game. After all, I’m barely on Chapter 2 of 13.

The game was published by Konami, but developed by MercurySteam, a game developer in Spain. Wonder if they need anyone who speaks Spanish and Japanese? *_*

Art Imitates Life I’m currently reading the manga Bakuman, which is the story of two young boys who dream of becoming mangaka (comic book artists). It’s made by the same team as Death Note, artist Takeshi Obata and writer Tsugumi Ohba, and is available in the States as a Shonen Jump release. The anime version is currently airing on NHK, but I prefer to just read the manga.

At the beginning, there’s many scenes that take place in school, and I wonder, “how would I interpret these scenes if I had read this before working in a Japanese school?” I probably would’ve been confused over the following scene, which takes place when the characters are 3rd year chuugakusei, the equivalent of American high school freshmen (translation mine, as I don’t have the English release of this manga):

Moritaka (the main character) (narration): And then, a nightmare – no, happiness came.
Teacher: So, this will be the seating arrangement for second term.
Boy: Why do we have to put our desks together?! And with girls at that?!
Teacher: Because this is how it was when I was in middle school!
Boy 2: That’s no reason!
Teacher: I want you to reverse Class 2’s bad reputation of the boys and girls not getting along.
Student: We’re just gonna end up getting along even worse!
Student: Yeah!
Teacher: Students who gripe are going to get a mark on their student file.
Student: Awful…

Putting boys next to girls is like putting two north poles next to each other.

Moritaka (narration): Even without looking, I could tell that Shuujin [=Akihito], who ended up in the very back again, was trying desperately to stifle his laughter.
Moritaka (narration): Just having Azuki next to me, the air, the scenery – no, the whole world – changed completely. It was true happiness, but…
Moritaka & Azuki (thinking): What if my stomach growls in class?

Okay, so I understand if Moritaka and Azuki feel uncomfortable, they actually like each other and have made a rather unconventional promise. Akihito’s too damn cool to care about the change (he’s the top student in class – and he’s gonna give up a secure future to be a mangaka!). But what’s everyone else’s excuse for acting like the teacher just asked them to donate a lung to the person they hate most in the world?

At my school, in some homerooms, it’s not too bad; the kids will grumble and reluctantly work with a partner of the opposite sex. But in others, they’ll straight out refuse to work with their partner, and will either scowl at the floor, scowl at me, or work with a nearby student of the same sex. I don’t understand what could cause such a strong aversion to the opposite sex at their age. I really don’t. The Japanese teachers tell me, “they’re shy,” and I say, “but why that much?” They tell me, “they don’t want their friends to think they like someone,” and all I can say is “practicing a textbook English conversation with someone means you like them?” and remain mind-boggled.

But then stuff like this happens The other day, during rehearsal for English play, one of the kids was running the stereo, talking to his friend, and I was sitting nearby, importing the soundtrack unto my computer to modify it for them. The following happened:

Boy 1: On the internet I saw this song, ‘Find You,’ but instead it said ‘F*** You.’ ‘I wanna f*** youuuu!’ Ahahahaha!
Me: ?! What did you just say?
Boy 1: Oh! Nothing.
Me: … …
Boy 1: So anyway… ‘I need to f*** youuuu!’ Hahaha!
Boy 2: Aha…
Me: *Sternly says Boy 1’s name*
Boy 1: Sorry!
Boy 2: Maybe you shouldn’t say that in front of Eli…
Me: *Mental Facepalm*

While I suppose it’s possible some smart aleck really did take the Camp Rock song “Find You” and turn it into “F*** You,” I wonder if what the kid saw was actually the explicit version of Akon’s “I Wanna Love You.” ^_^;

Speaking of Rap Music Today a student asked me what “lollipop” meant. I told her, then asked, “Where did you hear it?” She said, “In a song,” and I immediately wondered if it was Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” which isn’t about candy at all. I was relieved when she said it was a song by K-pop group 2ne1 (pronounced “twenty-one,” but standing for something like 21st century New Evolution – I saw it on an infotainment show, ahaha), but now that I see the video for said song, I can’t help but wonder if they’re not thinking about lollipops in at least a similar, if not as explicit, way as Lil Wayne was. ^_^;

One thing’s for sure: for 21st century folk, they sure dress like they came out the 1980s.

次回!Behind the Music

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