Writing introductions is a bit tedious so....just take a look at my first post if you want to know more....

....and if you get curious about the name of this World or my posts, check out the second one.

Turn Back The Pendulum 3

The friend I was supposed to hang out with today called this morning and said she had a fever...and in my typical jerkface way I thought, "Sucks for her but lucky for me because I really need to work on my kids' graduation card today."

...and then I saw the calendar and remembered what day it was and decided to edit a picture of Kiku I did for one of my 5th graders a long time ago instead. It's been here for a while, but not on DA so I tried to make it a bit better...

One of the best teachers I've worked with since I've been here is the one who's in charge of the kids who are graduating jr high this year. She's been spending the last few weeks of English lessons teaching them more social studies related stuff, thinking about globalization, peace, humanitarianism, etc. One of the lessons was based on posters she happened to see (and then buy) on a recent trip to Tokyo produced by this NPO. The set she ordered was from this town.

She wanted the kids to see that disaster victims aren't just people to be pitied but that they're really brave. The posters all have both English and Japanese for some reason so we were able to do a short language activity too. The girls all really liked the one that says, "Ain't gonna take this anymore." (and then decided to use it on boys who annoyed them!) They all wrote essays about what they remembered about the earthquake and how they felt at the time, and now, and we decided to send some of the best ones to the NPO.

For those of us that live south of Tokyo the earthquake last year was scary, but not life changing. In Shizuoka we worried about a possible tsunami the first day but after that we just sort of stared at the TV feeling numb for the first weekend, and got shaken up by aftershocks for a few weeks after that. There was talk of rolling blackouts to save power for the people up north but nobody west of the Fuji river was affected and those east of it in our area had maybe two or three total. Schools collected money and a few festivals were canceled, but otherwise things went on as they always had.

In about an hour and a half the whole country will observe a moment of silence, at the exact moment of the quake last year. It's a typical sort of thing to do, but somehow it seems important.


some random England sketches I did a while ago....

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new stuff:



...not really sure what my antisocial self is doing joining these kinds of communities, but....2012 looks like it's gonna be an interesting year (alligators aside...)

I'm already famous after all...

Flicker Flames

My mom always used to tell me, "You're not a follower, you're a leader." I didn't really agree, since I don't like the stress of being the "leader" but I knew I wasn't a follower either (I think I've mentioned this before...) I won't do what anyone else wants after all. Even if it's something I know is good for me. Pin once said that I was a "reluctant leader", and I think that probably fits better, especially after reading this.

(although there's nothing in there about being a sucker for personality tests...)

Looking back I've always been happy to be in a supporting role in groups, not the decision maker, but the trusted adviser. Not the recognized authority, just the feared disciplinarian. The right-hand man, the idea-man, the fix-it-man...and maybe even a little bit like this:

INTJ: The outside contractor

INTJs are solid, competent personalities who may seem aloof and even arrogant, but who are typically highly skilled in any field which interests them. INTJs are confident in their skills and knowledge, self-assured, and imaginitive; their exceptional problem-solving skills make them ideal architects, auto mechanics, and tools of the evil empire. While it requires the driving will to conquer of an ENTJ to imagine the Death Star and the evil genius of an ENTP to invent its devastating weapons systems, the skill and technical prowess of the INTJ is what makes the whole thing work.

The INTJ sees life as a problem to be solved. For that reason, the INTJ is the person a company brings in from the outside to streamline production processes and identify redundant assets for termination. The INTJ's combination of analyticial problem-solving skills and complete and utter disregard for the morality or consequences of his actions also make him ideal for the job of hatchet man, CIA operative, and helpdesk operator.

RECREATION: INTJs are often baffled by the strange and incomprehensible recreational rituals of other people, such as going to parties, watching television, and having sex. Instead, they prefer to spend their leisure time installing twin missile launchers in their cars to deter tailgaters and playing chess with megalomaniac CEOs of the Tyrell corporation.

COMPATIBILITY: Silly person, INTJs don't have relationships! They may, however build their own friends.

(can't link that one or it'd be a list of spoofs for all 16 types)

My current job is actually a bit like being an outside contractor since I visit a huge number of schools a few times each every year. I've found that I like seeing them make progress, and I'm proud that they listen to what I say and really try to implement it...but I may have just about fixed all their problems by this point...and that could be dangerous. I always was a bit of a curious kid, not the type to poke bugs until they died or anything like that but I realized early on that when there were no problems readily available for me to solve I'd make some up to entertain myself. I used to make the shift schedule at the bar I worked in for fun since my manager hated doing it, sometimes in two or three different versions. I like to poke things (not bugs, I swear!) and test their reactions like a chemist.

I know I confuse people, sometimes intentionally, but....I just want to see what happens, that's all. If you light the fire, I'll wait and see the shapes the leaves burn into before figuring the way to put it out which will save as many as possible. I want something to mess with and rearrange. I am not the creator, just the editor, not the one to solve the problem, but the one to point out all the angles...and, it seems, not the artist, but the muse...

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...let me be your kerosene...

Welcome to our Execution

In Japan the first dream you have of the year (it might only count if it's one you have on New Year's Eve...) or your, hatsuyume is supposed to be really important. I can't remember what the superstition is exactly, but I rarely have dreams that I remember anyway so I've never thought much about it. I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this blog has already heard about my hatsuyume this year, and I'm not likely to forget it soon...but I feel like I should write it down anyway for some reason.

It was a short dream, one of those '5 seconds before you wake up' flashes. I was on a sort of pontoon boat in south Florida with a bunch of people, mostly girls who were younger than me. One of them, she was probably about 10 or 12, fell in the water. And was eaten immediately by an alligator. And I just kind of shrugged and thought, "Oh well, that one wasn't really important anyway." It gets fuzzy after that. A few more people may have been eaten, but I wasn't fazed by the deaths or the prospect of being eaten myself.

I know what this is. I know myself and I know what it means. And if your hatsuyume is meant to be prophetic about the year to come, this one was a VERY bad omen.


The Burnout Inferno

I can't stand not knowing things. I am the great master-planner after all, so not having certain information is like doing a puzzle but knowing from the start that you don't have all the pieces. You really want to do it, but there's almost no point to it since it can't be finished. So everything just sits...in pieces....

It's almost Christmas....but for some reason it doesn't feel like it at all. I get the feeling that I may have said that in previous years but it seems worse this time. Maybe it's the lack of Christmas lessons in my schools - a grand total of 2 as compared to previous years which held 3 weeks straight of singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and drawing Christmas cards with my kids - or maybe it's because I haven't spent much time downtown this December and haven't been able to really notice the Christmas decorations that consistently vomit all over the place. School ended today and I don't feel one single ounce of relief like I usually do. Everything I'm supposed to do during the break has suddenly become a chore...whether it's work related or something I planned myself...it feels like my jaw hasn't unclenched in weeks.

I've had a slight cold for the past week or so, nothing serious, I can still stay up past 10pm and teach 4-5 classes of kids without collapsing. It's just that dizzy, sniffly, no energy for anything other than work kind of cold, but it's killing my appetite even more than usual for some reason. I'm sure another part of my イライラ-ing is due to the cold and the dark recently. It's almost the solstice after all. Just a few more days till it starts getting lighter instead of darker...too bad it will only keep getting colder for another two months.

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There are a lot of things I have to do, but I'm too desperate trying to stop things from leaking out of the hole that opened in my heart and I can't stand up.