Monday, July 20, 2009

Hilarity Monday - Good-bye Yatsushiro Edition

Oh, crap! Almost forgot it was Monday!

Spent the whole day cleaning and now get to hang out. I leave Yatsushiro in just 36 hours, climb Fuji in three days, and leave Japan in nine days. Yowza.

Here is another Japanese video, except that this one is only Japanese because I took it here. This week I am posting in honor of the amazing friends I have made here. This friend, who shall remain nameless in type, is one of the people I am so, so sorry to be leaving behind. During a group hangout one night, the star of this video read the warning "This Is Not A Toy" on the handle of a bug zapper shaped like a tennis racket. He took this to mean "I Am A Toy. Please Touch Me." While the rest of us egged him on, he decided to see what would happen, and I decided to record the incident just in case it turned out to be hilarious. See what happens!

WARNING!!!!!: Some silly girl drops the F-bomb in this video! I have no idea who such a potty-mouth could be.

Additional WARNING!!!: The star of this video is an intelligent, capable, awesome human being perfectly capable of reading and understanding the warning on an electric bug zapper. But he, like many of us, just wanted to see what would happen. I will be extremely unhappy if somebody leaves a comment insulting him for doing the kind of thing we ALL do from time to time. Please enjoy this charitably.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hilarity Monday - Teaching English Edition

Whoa! This entry's a bit late. But it's still pretty early Monday for y'all, right?

So, yes, this blog has been intermittent lately. Thank you to those of you still reading, and extra thanks to those of you commenting. Things have just been super hectic the past couple weeks, and they are only going to get crazier. This is my last week teaching classes, and I leave Yatsushiro early next week. After that, I'm just all over the damn place. So I will do my best to keep the blog going with at least one entry per week, but it's going to be a while before things settle down. I do hope you'll forgive me.

Haven't been doing much knitting, what with the crazy busy and the ridiculous heat. But Brenda's baby shower was this past Saturday and it went very well, in spite of all my last minute freak-outs. She loved the blanket, hat, and booties, and I hope to get a bit of time to finish the sweater before I leave. She also got some adorable baby things, and really one of the delights of shopping for this stuff in Japan is the great Engrish you can put on your baby. There was a onesy that had an illustration of two dolphins and the words "Struggle for a ball!", a bib that said "I <3 MEAL" (except with a real heart graphic, not the punctuation), and another bib that said "Funky Baby." Brilliant.

Yes, Engrish is just one of the many things I will miss about Japan. I'm drinking another right now, C.C. Lemon. It has 70 lemons' worth of Vitamin C in it, don't you know.

Another thing I will miss is the hilarious-ness of teaching, or attempting to teach, English. Perhaps you all know that the Japanese have some trouble with "l" and "r", often confusing one for the other, so that innocent words such as "election" and "clap" become ridiculously funny when spoken by some people.

Also, Japanese grammar is fundamentally different from English, and words can be translated in the dictionary that are used in totally different ways in the two languages. For instance, "enjoy" gets thrown around a lot because it would be perfectly acceptable to simply say that in Japanese, but in English it becomes weird - not always wrong, but not natural. Examples include "Let's enjoy studying English now!" or "I will enjoy this weekend." Sometimes they try to make it better but make it worse: "Let's enjoying cleaning time!" Some of us blame Coca-Cola for this, with their giant "Enjoy Coke!" ads all over the place since the dawn of time.

Sometimes the word for "enjoy" gets translated as "pleasure," so I get gems like this one on student papers: "This fall, we will go to Osaka as a school trip. I will pleasure USJ." USJ, by the way, means Universal Studios Japan. I got paper after paper of kids writing about how they're going to Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara, which are famous for USJ and takoyaki. It's just a different world, folks. Then again, they are teenagers, so they're going to have a different perspective anyway.

In honor of my last week of being a teacher of English to Japanese kids, I bring you this video. It is a bit long, but hilarious. At least I think so, but then I've been in Japan for two years. Once or twice a year there's this TV special, of which this is a clip. The special involves a group of four comedians who get put into some weird situation for about 24 hours, and every time they laugh they get spanked with a whip. You don't need to understand Japanese to find this funny, but I think you do need to be Japanese to have ever dreamed it up. In any case, this is a clip from the one where they had to pretend they were in school. Since the whole joke is to make them laugh so they can get spanked, the people who create the show do all sorts of bizarre things to them to make them laugh.

Now, my English classes do not involve the beating of children or grown men, but just take a listen to the accent and pronunciation of that guy in the video and feel a bit of empathy, kay?

Lotions, indeed.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hilarity Monday - Independence Day Edition

Aaaaaaaaaand here's your Monday Hilarity. Robot Chicken, again. Sorry, but they really are just hilarious.

Happy Fourth of July! USA! USA! USA! Okay, I'm done.

Quick Knitting Post

So that we don't have yet another week with no knitting...

Here's the Prepster Librarian so far...
Haven't picked it up in over a week, though. Too hot. Too busy. But I have started shaping the arm holes in the back, so it is coming along.

Here's the baby hat, which deserves an FO post but won't be getting one:
Huge. Oh well, the kid won't be getting any smaller.

Did not finish the Not Quite Christmas gloves in time to give them to Emily, who was here this weekend and who left this morning. I won't see her again for probably a few years at least, and that makes me sad. Knowing that there are more and more of those good-byes coming up in the next three weeks, well... I don't have time to cry now, must teach a lesson on numbers and counting in twenty minutes. I'll mail her those gloves before I leave, though.

Have not gotten ribbons for the baby booties yet, because the child's gender is yet unknown. I guess I'll try to find something in beige to match the blanket and hat.

Have not seamed the sweater yet. Shower is this weekend. Have not actually planned shower yet, and have no idea how it will go. Am slightly terrified, not least because what with classes and farewell work parties and speeches to write which must be given at these parties, I have approximately six hours this week to plan and get ready for the shower. On the plus side, I have enough beer and hot dogs left over from my super kick-ass July 4th party this past weekend to keep me fat and happy despite the stress.

Anyway. Hope you had a good Fourth. Mine was brilliant. I have now joined the rank of stupid Americans who've burned themselves with a firecracker while drunk on Independence Day. It was loads of fun and highly international (England, New Zealand, India, Japan, Canada, South Africa, Cameroon, and Australia represented, as well as at least six states), however, and everyone had too much to eat. Perfect.

Pictured: Patriotism.