Dropped the Ball

As the title suggests, I’ve officially done so. Life in Florida is fun only if you are me, seeing all of my old friends. Nothing to write about, however. Aside from trying a Zumba class and finally accepting the truth that I can’t dance. Other than that I’ve just drank a ton of chai lattes from Starbucks and sat on the couch working on my resume/portfolio. Shameless self-promotion link.  Continue reading

Game Developer’s Conference ’13

gdc13_logoEvery year I attend this conference called the Game Developer’s Conference. Basically, it’s a great chance to learn about the latest and greatest techniques in game dev, as well as drink– I mean network– with as many people as possible. The week is normally the “shortest” week of the entire year for me, and I can never see everyone I wanted to. For those of you I said “Hey! Let’s hang!” to and never got the chance, I’m sorry!! But I’ll be back in the bay area in June, so no sweat.  Continue reading

Departure

DeparturesSo sorry for the lack of posting. I handed off my internet to a friend in my last two weeks at work, and I just couldn’t bring myself to post at dial-up speed.

Luckily, not a whole lot has happened. By that I mean the following:

A good friend of mine, Kate (from Across The Sea blog) was the parade queen in the Tokyo St. Patricks day parade! I know a real-life celebrity! The day before the parade was a fancy-pants lunch at the Park Hyatt Tokyo with the most amazing appetizer/dessert buffet I’ve seen in a long time. The view was breath-taking, as usual. After our snazzy lunch was a farewell party for those leaving at a local izakaya.  Continue reading

Farewells

Omotesando PartyLast week began the farewells, as I said good-bye to my third-years at my other school for the last time. It took some coaxing to get them to understand that they won’t see me again, but once they got it, they were clearly really sad about it. And these guys would get a “good-bye” whether or not I was staying.

It’s been a lot harder than expected! I’m not one to cry, but I can feel my self getting emotional at the farewell parties for the students. They gave me those lovely flowers and a small board with notes from students saying how much fun they had with me. The kids were honestly the only reason I really loved teaching here. I like my schools and my company, but what made me smile, what made me love it, were the kids.    Continue reading

Seoul, South Korea

East GateLast weekend, Becky and I took a little 4-day holiday to Seoul, South Korea. Like a delicious appetizer, it really wet our appetites for the summer traveling plans. The perfect weekend-getaway before the real-deal.

Seoul is the closest city I’ve every seen to what I would call a “city of the future.” Flat screen TVs can be found around every corner, most of them interactive touch screens. Many of the stations also had interactives designed for the last-minute shoppers. Need a new dress for that date tonight? Just scan your phone and it gets delivered to your house. Forgot to grab water at the store? No worries, it’s sold here too.  Continue reading

A Bit of Extra Blogging

teaching-dinoJust to stretch my blogging legs (fingers), I’ve started writing a little bit for GaijinPot.com. It’s a great site filled with all kinds of resources for those wanting to live in Japan or for us already living here. My first with them went live a few days ago, please check it out! It’s all about the strange relationship I have with my students.

Originally, when arriving at my school, I was like a rock-star. Students would scramble to get a look at me, or hang out of windows to get a “Hello!” Those who had more yaruki (doing spirit) than others, would run up and try to say in broken English various points about my appearance.

Read the rest here.

A Year in the Life

Ha Long BayTomorrow marks one year since I embarked on this journey. Well, it would be if it was a leap year and February 29th existed. But rather than dwelling on the mysteries of the Gregorian calendar, let me take a moment to highlight some of my favorite parts of this journey.  Continue reading

First World Problems

GinzaThe tag #firstworldproblems has been making it’s rounds for quite some time now. If you don’t know, it’s basically the issues we have living in a first world country. The silly things we get upset over. I.e. not having internet for 2 days. For me, that’s similar to torture. I love #firstworldproblems cause it kind of reminds you where your priorities lie in the scope of things. It’s also a bit of a chuckle when you think about the fact that, in all honesty, those stupid #firstworldproblems matter to us.

Of course, living in Japan (a first world country), I’ve uncovered some interesting problems that cause me grief regularly. If I sit back and think about these problems on a whole, I should probably admit they are simply #firstworldproblems.

So, here’s my list of fresh #firstworldproblems acquired in the Land of the Rising Sun.  Continue reading

Rant: Driving in Japan

It's dangerous to go alone! Take this GPS! Oh wait... it won't help you.

It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this GPS! Oh wait… it won’t help you.

Driving in Japan is the stuff of nightmares. I like to imagine that Dante was mistaken when he said the 7th circle of hell is a river of boiling blood and fire. It’s definitely just continuous traffic on a highway in Japan surrounded by trucks. The Japanese people are so lovely and caring. They are considerate of one another and law-obeying (typically). This might actually be one of the problems. People get overly excited and want to let in that car waiting to turn left from 7-11.. and the car waiting behind them, and the next, and the– STOP! You’ve been nice to 3 cars now and really rude to the 15 of us waiting behind you! I appreciate the sentiment, but I want to get to work on time.  Continue reading

Sapporo’s Famous Snow Festival (雪祭)

Side viewEvery February, Sapporo holds it’s biggest event: the Snow Festival. Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost prefecture, and is famous for two things: snow and open space. It’s no wonder artists from around the world spend a whole month working on these massive masterpieces of snow. The main stretch of the park had huge snow carvings, one of them was even a life-size replication of a Thai building. Every year the festival attracts millions from around the world to see the amazing creations, then go skiing and enjoy famous Hokkaido food.  Continue reading