Wednesday, 30 July 2008



When time permits, this programme will resume its normal schedule ><


Friday, 25 July 2008

A New Look

No, the site hasn't undergone a makeover -- although sometime in the future I could change stuff around (probably when I get bored one day). Yesterday, I went downtown to sort a few things out. I had a haircut (more of a trim, really), bought some hair dye and a few other bits and pieces (Whittaker's chocolate, mmm), and said goodbye to a couple of friends that still work at DSE, where I was once an employee.

This morning, my sister dyed my hair. Results were... interesting. Despite it being slightly blonder than I thought it would be, I'm pretty stoked with the results. It reminds me of Japanese people who colour and style their hair all sorts of crazy ways, as you can plainly see -- now all I need are some freaky blue contacts with sharingan symbols or something. :o

Blonde Much?
This afternoon, we had a pre-departure meeting at the Japan Information and Cultural Centre, where I've been multiple times now. It was good hearing from a few ex-JETs again, especially this close to our own departure. We were shuttled to the Ambassador of Japan's lovely house, where we partook of speeches, a wonderful buffet and some intermingling and getting to know both our fellow JETs and other people that were there -- ex-JETs among them. It was a great way to finish my time in New Zealand.

Tomorrow, I will need to get a few bits and pieces -- new toothpaste, new Lynx, a new toothbrush, maybe a jar of Marmite or two... :p

Tonight, I need to repack and reweigh my suitcase (the repacking may wait until tomorrow); I'm burning off some last minute music and copying more files to my hard-drive; and I am writing this blog entry. I can't think of anything else to be done.

It's all on!


Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Three Days

It's so exciting! Just three more days and I will be on my way up to Auckland, ready to depart for Tokyo and two intense days of overwhelming orientation.

Here's a summary of what I've been up to recently:

After flying back down from Hamilton, I spent a few days at my sister's house, just helping out with her and her 1-month old baby daughter and eight-year old son. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go online while there, but no big deal; I survived :p

I levelled a Harbinger in Titan Quest to level 22; I caught up on WotLK* stuff and played around with level 80 class builds; I started playing a game called The Crims, which incidentally resets on the day I leave; I signed up for the Stargate Worlds beta, knowing that I may not have private Internet access for another month at least - and even then I need to save for a laptop to use in my apartment in Japan; I contemplated re-activating my World of Warcraft account to play for four days and check out my characters in the beta, but decided against it; I started downloading the beta client so I can log Nick's account and play the game vicariously - me casa su casa, right?

Oh, and the Internet here atm is really ghey (ie. slow as a donkey in a swamp - no Shrek references intended).

Jonny and I watched the latest Stargate movie the other night, Stargate Continuum. Last night we watched the original 1994 flick, Stargate. Today I've been copying the entire ten season series to my portable HDD, lol. I doubt I'll find the time to watch it all while I'm in Japan, but it can't hurt to be prepared! Long live Teal'c, I say XD

Hmmm, what else. Oh, I watched an episode of Nabari no Ou and realised that it is in fact really boring, so I doubt I'll finish the series. I caught up on Bleach and Naruto as well. Unfortunately, [DB] are no longer subbing NS because of some retards that keep ripping their work off and uploading it to random places like YouTube -- so I'm up to episode 67. It seems I will just have to watch it live in Japan, raw, and hopefully make out the odd word here and there to try and make sense of what I watch. And episode 67 looks really good too :'(

I'm reminded of my time in South Korea. I sometimes watched anime on one of the cable channels that we had, but it had been dubbed in Korean. I think I watched the entire series of Full Metal Panic! without understanding the storyline or who was what. I also watched a really cool series called Scryed. After ten episodes I didn't even know the characters' names. Along comes this Korean guy I work with, he watches it for 20 mins and says, "Oh, so blah blah blah." I learnt more from his 20 mins of watching than the first ten episodes put together >< I really must watch the rest of that 26-episode series one day...

So yeah, language barriers, eh. I can't wait to be able to rip out some Japanese word-ninja skillz, but I know it will take a lot of effort and practice. And a lot of frustration, headaches and faux pas :o

I'm not worried that FFXIII is being ported to 360. I still intend to buy a PS3 in Japan, regardless of what RPGs are coming to Microsoft's puppy. I also want to get a nice LCD tv, much like what my sister and her husband got this week: a 46" HD Samsung beast :o I'll always be a pc gamer at heart anyway. Blu-ray content is for teh w1n, yo ^^


*Wrath of the Lich King

Monday, 14 July 2008

Born To Be Wild

As the days creep closer to the 26th, I am reminded of my days of yore when riding with the wind against my face was the better part of the day. It's been a long time since I rode a motorbike. My brother wrote his off a few years ago and my old NS250R died years ago, too. When I went with my brother and his girlfriend to her parents' house for tea last night, I took the opportunity to jump onto her father's Harley Davidson.

Because it's the little things in life -- like feeling a piece of power between your appendages in a darkened garage in the middle of Hamilton -- that really matter. If only my brother's photography skills were half as good as this Harley is apt to scare little children as it roars down the road like a freight train without tracks ;)

[Click] for a different photograph. I chose to convert the one above to black and white because it looked better, being such a dark photo. This other one is not as good, but the motorbike is much clearer, since my brother eventually figured out how to take a photo with a flash ><

I'm back in Lower Hutt now. I flew down to Wellington from Hamilton late this afternoon. I will probably stay with my sister for two days and then go over to stay with my younger sister, who will appreciate my help for a few days, seeing as her baby daughter (my wee niece) is still less than a month old.

I've been updating this blog a lot recently. I guess the excitement of going away soon has motivated me to plot my life somewhat during these last two weeks in NZ. I hope that my entries once I get to Nippon will be both frequent and interesting ^^


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Busy busy

Received a spreadsheet outlining our intended schedule for arrival in Tokyo. It appears that the Monday and Tuesday after our Sunday arrival will be pretty full on. It's all gonna be just crazy o.O

Oh, why am I up so early on a Saturday? Well, my brother (whom I am spending the weekend with) "wasn't watching the time" and would have been late for his early morning start at work had he tried to walk (which was never going to happen anyway...). I splashed my face with cold water at 6.50am so I could at least keep my eyes open (somewhat) as I drove him to work. I couldn't go back to bed, so here I am :/


Friday, 11 July 2008

Kawaii Shinobi

Check out this cute little guy. My brother and his girlfriend got me this keyring ninja as a going away present. The label reads: Jo Ninja makes it impossible for your enemies to sneak up on you. Rather fitting, as I will need all the jutsu and shunpo that I can muster in order to waylay all the enemies I will no doubt make in Japan... ^^

WAAAAH! I must keep my identity a secret ><


Thursday, 10 July 2008

Feel the Force

Last week, I received a letter of graduation from the university. I forwarded it to JET over the weekend, which means that the last piece of my preparation has proceeded to completion. I also recently applied for my degree in absentia, which essentially means my physical BA in English Literature will be sent to the specified address (in my case, I chose to have it sent to my sister's house, where I lived until completing my degree), and I will not be attending the graduation ceremony.

Cold fingers and it's after midday :/ Don't you just love Winter ><

I've been playing a bit of Jedi Outcast on the Xbox, the first Jedi Knight II instalment (Jedi Academy was its sequel). I've been in a bit of a Star Wars mood lately, so was disappointed when episodes IV to VI weren't available at the dvd store :(

Mum and I are heading to Hamilton this afternoon. She has a flight down to Wellington tomorrow, and mine is on Monday. I'll be staying with my brother, which could be the last time I see him before going to Japan for at least 12 months. I foresee much pc action :p

My family -- those that live up this way -- intend to meet me at the hotel in Auckland on the 26th, the night before I fly out to Tokyo. If they make it, I will be able to say goodbye then. I hope they will make every effort to be there, and that my brother whom I will be staying with this weekend, will be scooped up on the way to also come and say goodbye to his favourite brother :o

So now this blog is up to date. I am in such anticipation of the 25th onwards (when we have a pre-departure reception / farewell). That day is creeping ever closer, and thus my Japan journey shall commence amidst... well, alongside 20-odd other JET participants, who I'm sure will be as excited as I am to be heading into the ultimate unknown with nothing but 20kg of naked necessities and the dire determination to rock our respective regions to their forceful foundations with copious crazy Kiwi cavorting, capering and (of course) consistent care for conscious cordiality, complete compunction and conditional classroom causality and containment ^.^

May the Force be with us all ;)


Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Let Me In

Reminiscent of that tale about the three little pigs, the wolf requests of each: "Little pig, little pig, let me in!" The pig's response? "You got the credentials, mate?" :p

In order for the university to draft me a letter of completion for my BA, I need to fill out a BA Degree Audit form, which will go before a panel of academic auditors, who will say, "Well done, good and faithful student," and I will be let into Japan when the time comes ;)

And so I requested a list of papers whose credits were transferred to my degree when I enrolled at Victoria University. I was also told to "go online to student records and check out your Victoria University record for all of the courses you are enrolled in or have completed."

The results of my Beowulf paper are up (I got a B-) but for Renaissance Literature, it is still blank. I'm guessing a B or a B+ overall for that. However, despite not having a final result for one paper, I have filled out the audit form. Since final exam results must be out by Thursday, I figure that by the time it reaches whomever it is supposed to reach, my entire degree will be finalised anyway.

So that's where I'm at. I'm chilling at my parents' house for a few weeks. I'll be flying back down to Wellington on the 14th of this month to float around for a while before I go. I may have to go into the university when I get back, but chances are they will write up this letter of graduation so I can forward it to JET, allowing me entry into Japan when we go at the end of the month.

Oh right, it's July now, so w0000000t! I'm GOING TO JAPAN THIS MONTH!!1!ONE!11!

Bring it ;)