Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Driving School is Long & Boring

Finally! I have tangible evidence of my ginskey Japanese drivers' license- after 4 long, stupid hours at driving school today. Seriously- no point, especially when I don't understand any Japanese. I cannot even tell you how much time I've spent listening to Japanese lectures/instructions/videos these past few weeks- at least 8 hours worth. I think I almost learned how to fall asleep with my eyes open today. It was amazing until I realized I couldn't really do it. So close, though. Anyway, I am pretty stoked to drive tomorrow! It's been a long 3 months of the monorail and walking/hobbling around. Today was definitely one of the longest days- woke up at 6:15am and worked until 10pm. I am tired and hungry, yet very happy.

My Monorail

Monday, March 30, 2009

So Long Brad

I just returned from Norakro (bar), where J and I split a bottle of red wine. Yes, I am well aware that I have to be up at 6am tomorrow morning. But there's no way I'd be asleep by now anyway. So...anyway...I returned home to find, yes, another BIG mother f*****!!! This is the 3rd one in the past week! Let's call him Brad. Brad's dead now. I sprayed him with toxic bug spray, sunscreen, O2 cleaner, and bathroom spray. He's lying on his back now on my kitchen floor. I am not ready to remove him from his dead state. How am I supposed to get his hairy roach legs from the kitchen floor into the toilet? He's SO big! Eeeeewwww- he is a nasty one! I'm not gonna be able to sleep tonight. Will someone help me?

I despise cockroaches.

I'll take a picture (I can't believe I just took a picture of a dead cockroach). He's shriveled up in this picture. I swear, he was ginormous before his death. I was afraid he was gonna take off flying! Thank God I caught him before he crawled into my ear while I was sleeping.
Seriously, I need someone's help!

License Test- Passed

Yeah! I finally passed my Japanese license test today (3rd time's a charm). There were tons of people there, about 120. I was the very first to finish my test. Sometimes I think I am a genius. Unfortunately, I now have to go to driving school for about 5 hours tomorrow (as the final process in actually obtaining the license). What a joke. I have to be there at 8:15am. I don't think I function that early in the morning anymore. The last time I had to be somewhere that early was freshman year in college (8am Ballet- I don't know how I did that). So, it's kind of doubtful I will make it there. Also, I don't know where this place is...

I am down now 4800 yen in the NCAA. North Carolina is my one and only hope! Thank goodness they're my final pick. That's the only team I have left going for me. Here's to hoping...

Busy, busy day off today. Way more productive than yesterday. Oh, that reminds me...I think I know why I got so sick. I just remembered that some guy spit directly into my eye a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty gross. And I think my body was unable fight off his germy saliva. So that's my theory.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Sicky. I dedicate this day to bed, orange juice, movies, internet and sleep. I blame my "under the weather" status on the weather, itself, as well as my little nuggets. Also, my lack of sleep may have something to do with it. I can't even remember the last time I had a good night's sleep. Well, actually, I think it was on Maki's bedroom floor about 6 months ago...
On a brighter note, I'm back in the game with the NCAA! Louisville beat Arizona! I just need North Carolina to kick some boot-ay! Then, I'm golden!
...I would do anything for a bottle of cough syrup. I would even consider going to the doctor- oh, but I can't. The doctor likes to take Sundays off. Whatever...
P.s. It's Cockroach Season.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Happy, Happy Birthday to YOU! I love you very, very much! I'm sending you all of my love, hugs and kisses from Okinawa, Japan! XOXO I can't wait for our PaRtY!

I'm getting this awful cold- terrible cough and tickle in my throat. My kids thought it was hilarious whenever I coughed during class. They couldn't stop laughing the entire hour. I just wish I could buy some cough syrup at the store. Too bad that the stores here don't sell any over-the-counter medicine. And I mean nothing. No advil, tylenol, cold/cough syrups. It totally blows. I'd have to go see a doctor if I wanted anything. Talk about inconvenient, huh?

Tonight, my Junior High School student, Asaki, gave me a "High School Musical," DVD- she is the sweetest student ever! Then, after class, her and Shino wanted to see where I lived. So, I showed them my messy apartment. Lucky Kiddos!

Now, I am off to San-A for dinner, then bed. I wish I didn't have to get up so early tomorrow morning for work. But at least after my long teaching day, the weekend has begun! I am meeting my friend, Kaori, at Saicolo's late tomorrow night. I am so excited! I haven't seen her since August when I first arrived in Okinawa. She left for the States to study abroad, but now she is back! Wooo-wooo! I am gonna party like it's 1999 (wow, that was 10 years ago)! I was only 14! That's crazy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Ok, I need Arizona out of the NCAA- immediately. I plan to watch the first hour of the game online, right before I go to work. Then, I have no doubt, that my boss will come in during my lesson(s) to update me on the game (at least he better)! Louisville has to take 'em, right? Arizona doesn't stand a chance! Currently, I'm down 1900 yen. I don't want to lose more than 4000 yen total. So, let's go Louisville!!!
Last night, I had a dream that I flew home to visit. It was so weird. It was bad because I didn't realize til I was in Arizona that I had to be back at work the following day! And due to the time difference, I basically had no time to spend home. I didn't even have a return flight to Okinawa- so, I was in trouble! Then, I woke up. And I was magically transported back to Japan. What a dumb dream.
Work was work. The Japanese are still Japanese. All insects have six legs. There are 525,600 minutes in a year. And I'm out.

P.S. Lucky Charms are still magically delicious!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Magically Delicious

Long, long day...so tired, taught 6 classes, getting sick...
I love, love, love my pre-school and angel classes. They are so darn cute!
Lucky Charms are magically delicious. G'night. I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another Work Week

Busy, but good busy, day today. I went to Oroku Jusco this morning to do some light shopping (well, actually, my only intention was to buy a fresh bag of coffee beans from Starbucks. But then it turned into shopping). I picked up a couple of cute pieces (one great deal- a top on sale for only 980 yen. The original price was 3,990 yen). Woo-woo! I love saving money.

I taught 5 classes today (1 private, 3 elementary, and 1 JHS/SHS class). After finishing class at 9pm, Brian and I watched iron chefs prepare octopus, eel, and pig. Yeah, that was gross. But it made the hour go by fast (we had to stick around because we had a work meeting at 10pm). I hate work meetings. They usually go until 11:00pm, or so...and all I want to do is eat dinner!

I saw one of Bill's friends late last night...let's call him Bob. Bob's dead now. He was a fast mother f*****, but not fast enough! I sprayed him down with all sorts of shiz. The worst part was removing his body from the bathroom floor into the toilet. I screamed a little. I am going to San-A right now to find the most toxic bug killer-spray available. I don't want to get attacked by cockroaches in my sleep. I especially don't want them crawling in my ears, building nests, having babies and eating my brain. Great, now I am going to have nightmares tonight.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Manic Monday

I woke up this morning to find Bill in my apartment. Bill and I aren't friends. In fact, I hate him. I haven't seen him since, well- before Christmas. I was very unhappy and surprised to see him. He should know that he is not welcomed here- not him, not his friends or family. When I saw him, I backed away slowly, unable to act immediately. Then, I knew what I had to do- mace his face! Uh- but I was out of hairspray. So, I grabbed the next best thing- spray sunscreen and cleaner. Bill was going down!
After the fight, he crawled into a crevice. He's either extremely sick or in a better place. Rest in peace, Bill; you disgust me, you filthy cockroach.

This afternoon, I got an 80% on my Japanese drivers' license test (I need 90% to pass). I wasn't expecting to pass the second time around, but now I am confident I will pass the third time. So, I am extremely happy about this!

Oh- I finally cooked tofu for the first time ever today! Mom says I need more protein in my diet. This way, perhaps my foot will heal faster (it's taking forever- been 3 months now since the accident), and maybe my bones won't be so fragile to breakage in the future. I am proud to say that I am a pretty good tofu maker! Who knew?

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I heart this dance.

Kokusai Dori

I live about a 5 minute drive from Kokusai Street. I go here about twice a week. You can find me at Starbucks or Saicolo's (my Saturday night Dance Club).


Currently, it is thunderstorming with humidity at 88% -gross. Anyway, I am so glad I am no longer out on Kokusai Dori (where I was shopping earlier today). But now I don't want to leave my apartment. I may just stay inside the rest of the evening/night so that I don't have to deal with the rain. It's only 5:30pm! I want to go to Oroku Jusco...

My family called me today! I talked to Matty, Ry, Mama and Papa. It was the first time I talked to them since Christmas Day (which happened to be my most horrific day to date in Japan). Anyhow, I just found out some very fascinating news- I have yet to determine if it's good or bad. But definitely something I am worried about, and will continue to worry about until I know more concrete information. For now, let's just say that I hate Bush. He really knew how to screw up America.

So, I'm taking my Japanese license test again tomorrow (for the 2nd time). I don't plan on passing it, but am hoping by the 3rd time, I can drive my bike again! I miss my bike! Life is a little more complicated and time consuming without it.

Ok, now I have some research to do. Let's hope the rain stops. More importantly, let's get this humidity down- I don't like being sticky.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dance Addicted

Why can't I stop watching dance videos on YouTube? It's beginning to irritate me.

Saturdays Wear Me Out

I just got off work- taught 7 classes this morning/afternoon/evening (kindergarten-adults). Saturdays are exhausting and I hate them. I'm craving a dance class, so badly- 5 months...
Go North Carolina!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bleeding Love

Choreographed by: Napolean and Tabitha D'umo
These two choreographers never cease to disappoint in their choreography.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fix You

I was unable to understand why I was so unfamiliar with the dance/ dancers/ choreographer(s). Then I realized this was the Australian version! Anyhow, it's beautiful. There are only a couple things I can nitpick about this piece. But overall, creative and heart-felt.

Make it Work

Choreographer: Shane Sparks
The simplicity in this piece enhances the classy, sexy style. Shane's got the musicality down pat!

Happy Spring!

Today is the 1st day of Spring! I am so happy that Japan recognizes this as a National Holiday, giving me the day off of work. :)
Last night, went out to Soul to Soul, Sanctuary, and American Idol. I drank too much Vodka. I'm not too hung-over at the moment, but I could definitely feel better. Stayed out til 4:30am. I was planning to sleep in forever today, but then I received a phone call at 9am this morning. Now I am wide awake- needing to get things accomplished today. We'll see if that happens...

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Almost Lover

So, I love Sabra. But the only thing that bothers me about her solo is the unoriginal improv/choreography. Her movements correlate the same idea repeatedly. But the way she moves is effortless, seamless and flawless. Her beauty cannot be denied.

Pas de Deux

My favorite Pas de Deux of all time.

I love you, Cathy

I just got back from the store where I saw a drunk woman walking and I asked her in Japanese if she was ok. Clearly, I shouldn't have done that. She was a hot mess. Anyway, long story short- we exchanged numbers. I may have to change my number soon because I give my digits away like condoms at an AIDS/HIV Prevention Convention!

Today was a good day; received the best love package from Cathy Beach (Lucky Charms, pretzels, and magazines), taught 6 classes, and am still breathing. I have a love/hate relationship with Wednesdays. As busy and hectic as they always are, my little ones never cease to make me smile, laugh and fall in love with them all over again. A couple of students impressed me today, as others frustrated me. But that's the norm.

My student from tonight's class:
Claire: "Miss Sarah, Miss Sarah! Do you believe in a Heaven?"
Miss Sarah: "Yes, I do."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just Another Day

Today I taught 4 classes (3 elementary and 1 JHS/SHS). Takuma taught me how to cut a piece of paper in half by using just one finger, Asaki e-mailed me High School Musical songs on my phone, and I filled out my sheet of brackets for March Madness! My pick is North Carolina taking the National Championship! My top 4 are Louisville, Pittsburgh, Memphis, and N. Carolina. I just hope I don't lose all of my money!
So, now it's movie time. I should go to bed early considering I have an early start tomorrow. But I can never go to bed at a decent hour. I just don't have it in me!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Waking Up is the Hardest Part

Mia Michaels is a genius. I envy her for her originality and phenomenal choreography. She is one of the best out there.

Failed 1st Attempt

I am so, so happy right now! I can't begin to describe this happiness. Let's just say there's someone out there who has something to do with it...

Today- I failed my Japanese License Test. Hahaha- that thing is impossible to pass! But it's ok! It was only my first time taking it, and no one passes it the first time. In fact, the two (and only) Americans there today had already taken it multiple times (one guy: 5 times, and the other guy: 11). They're going to try again tomorrow. I think I'll try again Friday (on my unique day off). Anyhow, out of the other 50+ Japanese people that took the test today, I think maybe 5 passed. But, with the help of my new American friends, I will pass this thing with ease sooner than later! Woooo-wooooo!
Have you seen the movie, Sweet November? The scene where Charlize Theron (aka Sarah in the movie) and Keanu Reeves are taking a drivers' test- well, similar scenario today. I met Abner (also the kid's name in the movie), dropped my wallet where coins went everywhere (Charlize dropped her groceries) and got into trouble while talking right before the test (except in the movie, Charlize got her test torn up and kicked out. I didn't get kicked out).

But it's also not my fault that I didn't understand a single word that the Proctor spoke! Japanese- No! English- Yes!
Today was a hot mess!
Peace out. I am tired and hungry.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Arms Around You

Powerful piece of work.
Choreographer: Mia Michaels


Went out last night to Ole, karaoke in the "Playboy Room", and American Idol. My legs now have bruises from banging the tambourine on them. They're a little sore, I'm not gonna lie. My path came across familiar faces, new meetings, and one promiscuous girl. We exchanged numbers.

The Road Not Taken

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost

Friday, March 13, 2009


Kaoli, Sarah, Robin, Yumi and Nana
August 2008

Friday the 13th

I felt the need to take a picture of this vending machine because they are ALL OVER the place here- right outside my apartment, outside people's houses, along the streets, etc. They are filled with an assortment of drinks- water, tea, coffee and soda, but never food.

I am going to miss Noriko. I just met her a few weeks ago, as she was helping us out at Family English School. Today was her last day. She's going off to college in Hokkaido (which is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands).
Anyway, I gave her a big hug and kiss goodbye! We'll keep in touch and I hope to see her again before I, myself, leave Japan.

I love my girls in my 8:30-9:30 Friday night class (Shino, Asaki and Ayano). They are so sweet and a pleasure to work with. Asaki asked Shino tonight, "Where do you want to go abroad?" Shino replied back with a question to me before answering Asaki, "Miss Sarah, where are you from again?" As I answered, "I'm from Arizona," Shino shouted to Asaki, "I want to go to ARIZONA!" They are all so wonderful. I adore them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Heart My Japanese Shoes

I bought these on sale with Maki at Chaton for only 1,000 yen

These were another steal- maybe 1,500 yen

These are my favorite! I have yet to wear them. But I am really excited for the night I do! The day my foot heals will be the night I can bear the pain of these heels. Some things are just worth the pain. :)


As of today, Brian and I switched classes (just our 4:30-5:30 block). The main reason was because he's been having problems with them. They were so, so rude to him. They would say things to him that you should just never say to another person, let alone a teacher! Anyway, I was a little worried about taking this class over. But, surprisingly, I enjoyed it better than teaching my original 4:30-5:30 block (which I highly disliked anyway- a few problem kids for me). So, I think this change was better for the both of us, as well as the students.

I also found out today that I am getting Miyuki back next week (my private adult student)! I haven't seen her at all this year! I figured since she found herself an American boyfriend, he would teach her all the English she'd want to know! Guess not! She's coming back to me now!

I should be studying now for my Japanese license test...but I don't want to. I think I'll watch a movie instead, or 24- I don't know, I haven't decided yet.

Tomorrow's Friday! I'm looking forward to the weekend! It may get a little crazy...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just My Average Wednesday...

Allow me to share my typical Wednesday with you. My first class began this morning at 10am, over at Aiiku Pre-school (just a few monorail stations away from Tsubogawa). My little kiddies always welcome me by saying, "Miss Sarah Sensei!" They are really the most adorable little kiddies I have ever come in contact with! They are my precious gems. Anywho, they never, ever fail to make me smile or laugh. They do the strangest things (and I'm sure they say the strangest things, as well. But I wouldn't know. I still don't know enough Japanese to understand what they are saying. Well, besides, "KAWAII!" which means, "CUTE")! So, today, here are a few things they did, have done, and will continue to do...

*They are fascinated by my toes. They will just sit there and touch them like they are gold!

*They enjoy putting their hands up my pants (and sometimes up my shirt).

*They love climbing all over me after class, as if I am a jungle gym.

*They give me cups after cups of tea.

*And they really love poking me up my kootch, as well as my pickachu (no joke). At first, this threw me completely off guard. But now I have learned that this is very common among Japanese kids. Uh- why didn't anyone warn me about this???

After my pre-school class, I went to Starbucks on Kokusai Dori to visit my friend, then to "Rybo" to pick up a few things (like the best mechanical pencil ever), and returned to my apartment in Kohagura to get ready for work from 2-9pm.

My angel class began at 3:30pm (my 4-5 year olds). Chisa loves putting her hands up my sweatshirt sleeved arms to tickle me. She also makes the funniest faces and has THE best smile I've ever seen.

The rest of my day was challenging, as always...trying to get Kie to work, Shimon to talk, and Yu to settle down. Today, he was spitting Mintias out the window because he couldn't handle the strong, "spicy," taste. I don't know what I'm going to do with that boy...

This is just the "jist" of my day. I can't even remember all of it- it happens so fast. I just felt like sharing a few memorable things on this typical Japanese Wednesday of mine. So, I thank you for taking the time to even have read this silly blog! You must be pretty special! ;)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Angel Class

My Angel class (Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30pm) include Chisa, Kei, Yu-ho, Risa, and newest addition, Keitaro (only boy).

They used to be precious angels, but some (no names) are turning into little brats.

But not my Chisa! She's coming back to the States with me- this one. I almost have a hard time teaching her because she is so gosh-darn adorable! She really has a part of my heart, yet has no idea.

(pictures include: Chisa on the top right, Yu-ho on the bottom left, and from left to right with the 3 girls, Chisa, Risa and Kei).

Takuma and Yu

This is my Junior High School student, Takuma, wearing Maki's Strawberry Halloween costume. I'm not sure why he still speaks to me in Japanese. In fact, all of my students do. They know I can't speak Japanese, yet they continue to tell me numerous, detailed stories and go on and on. I just nod my head and say, "Yes..ok...Really?"

My Junior High School/ High School boys are some of the most challenging to teach. They say as little as possible and hate talking to me in English. I can hardly get them to say a complete full sentence in English. Yet, I continue to pound it into them, week after week...

This is Yu. He's in 7th grade and goofs off way, way too much in my class. He is always hitting Daiki, flirting with Shino and never working. He speaks far too much Japanese, but actually knows more English than he even credits himself for. He's a smart kid- but a pain in my ass.

So, when Daiki pulled Yu's chair out from under him one night, and Yu fell to the ground- I couldn't stop laughing. No one could! I actually think I cried a little bit, I was laughing so hard! It was the best thing to happen to Yu!

Wow- I am an awful teacher!

Cathy Beach

I love Cathy Beach!
That is all I have to say right now...
Oh, and I wish it would stop raining and Akiho would stop complaining.
Let me think of a funny story to share....
Oh, how about last Wednesday morning, when I went out to my Aiiku Pre-School class and taught my adorable 3-4 year olds. At the end of class, we were playing duck-duck goose- which the kiddies love. As my 4-year-old, Hirotaka, was trying to run away from me (as he was the duck and I was the designated goose), he ran himself straight into the wall! He didn't even see it coming! It was hilarious and I was laughing my head off for a good 5 minutes! No one except for the Japanese Teacher (Sensei) and myself truly appreciated this humor- even the kids were staring at us, as if thinking, "What is so funny?"
But I'll never forget that moment!