Friday, June 27, 2008


Wednesdays are the days when the ice cream truck pulls up to the Day School and we get Rocket Pops. It always occurs during our afternoon snack time and right before our outside time. We take the popsicles, plates, bibs (we only use them for this), and wet rags to the picnic tables on the playground and set up shop. We talk about how the popsicles are cold, sticky, and have blue, white and red sections. We eat in the shade, have some water, and basically enjoy the outdoors without turning into sun-dried tomatoes. Yesterday there were a couple extra popsicles, so I ate that sucker up. The kids were so shocked that they forgot to eat their own and just stared at me, and we ended up with a lot of sticky hands and arms.

Note: I was wearing jeans and two long t-shirts that came down past my hips. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

It was time for us to go inside and most of the children had finished eating. One little boy, an intelligent, high-energy problem-solver who I accidentally taught what "boobies" are (that's another story) was still sitting next to me. Let's call him Kyle. When he finished his popsicle I instructed him to go throw his trash away. Kyle said, "In Trash. Can," and climbed down from the bench. I turned away from him to wipe the hands of a little girl who had returned from disposing of her plate and popsicle stick. The girl dropped the bib she was wearing on the ground, and, still straddling the bench, I bent over to pick it up. A little hand pulled at the back of my shirt, and I started to reach for it when something shocking occurred.

A sticky popsicle stick went down the back of my jeans, right into my underwear.

My reaction was as follows: Leap up from the table, shrieking. Scare little girl in the process. Pull popsicle stick from pants and spastically toss it away.

Kyle's reaction: Jump back guiltily, wave his hand at the fallen stick and say, "No, no, no." Put plate and popsicle stick in trash.

The reaction of my coworker: Hysterical laughter.

Another teacher who was outside said, "You know, what he needs is a cardboard box with the slots in it. He will love to put the popsicle sticks in it. You know, for the small finger skills. Those kind of pants are horrible, you know. You need to get your kids inside. You are cooking their brains out here in this heat."

In my head, I was yelling, Just because the kid lifts my shirt and stuffs an object down my pants doesn't mean he needs a new toy. It means he needs a refresher in personal boundaries. And my pants weren't the problem, the popsicle stick was the problem. I didn't expose myself, Kyle yanked my shirt up. My mouth said, "Ha ha ha!" and instead of using what I learned from Ong-Bak to lay the smack down, I herded my cooked-brain children inside and made sure that Kyle walked in front of me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Much Ado

Now that I have this shmancy new laptop I can just upload video. It makes it easier because I dont haf tu werry about sppeling. Pronunciation? Enunciation? Whatevsies, hobos. So behold, the latest news.

I'm also getting paid more than I thought (Yay yay yay yay yay!), and discovered that the JET Program makes a provision for That Time of the Month. That's right, if a female JET's cramps render her unable to perform her duties as a JET, she may take Menstrual Leave. So for all you girls who thought your womb would keep you from teaching abroad, I give thee hope.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


The following is how I felt to learn that a second person had added me as a favorite on Etsy (the first person was my alt, the buyer version of Laurel). Don't know the lady (she hasn't bought anything), but she's completely random and likes my stuff.

Almost as exciting as my first (and thus far, my only) sale. For the record, this is also how the toddlers react whenever we tell them to get their shoes on, line up at the door, or give any indication that we are going to the playground. Having someone like me, well, that is the playground of my heart.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bad News Beads

I have a lot of my small beads, crimps, and findings in a type of divided container that locks. You push the thingy, open one lid on the container, and nothing else spills. I discovered this morning that if I knock one or two of these containers over, that the thingy might break a little, and that beads will be all over the floor, and that using magnetic clasps to pull crimp tubes from the carpet is an arduous and thankless task.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Small Businesswoman

I'm officially a fledgling entrepreneur. I sold my toad tank. I sold a handmade jewelry off my neck. I sold a loach. I got a new laptop (Shazzam!) and I made my own business cards.

"What means this?" asketh you.

It meanseth that I have a boost in my self-confidence (not much needed, but nice to have), a portable means of communication for Japan, and peace of mind when it comes to the care of my amphibians.

Toad Tank:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Ordeal of the Fire Bellied Toads, it's one of the reasons that I moved out of my parents' house. No joke. I can (mostly) laugh now, but in January it was mostly blood, sweat, and tears. Cryptic much? Well, you never know when my parents are going to read this. Plus, I still love them more than I loved having toads. However, I can say that nobody else I know did such a rootin tootin good job on landscaping in 20 gallons.

The downside of having a giant tank when moving abroad, well, I was worried that no one else was as weird as I am. Who searches Craigslist for "20 gal high Fire bellied Toad Habitat?" Maybe no one, but it helped to renew it every so often, so that someone who needed a home for one toad saw it. That one toad is going to be in heaven, or victim to my amorous two. I'll never know.

The Jewelry:

If you have access to Facebook and are friends with my brother, look at the necklace I'm wearing at his junior recital. It's fabulous, of course, but I thought it was one of those things that only I would ever wear. Au contraire! I was at a wedding reception, and a woman at my table (FUMC member extraordinaire and fabulous person) complimented me on my necklace. She couldn't believe I made it, and offered to buy it right then and there. Of course it would be the one whose price I don't know. She gave me her number and I tallied everything up, quoted her a price, and we made the exchange at Starbucks this morning. I feel all good on the inside, and smiley…

End result: I'm making more in that style, which I named Orbital. I officially have an original design, called Orbital, and heck yeah I'll be putting some up on Petunkalunka. The design, Orbital, is really labor intensive, though, so it might take a while. Anywho, I'm super excited about it.

The Laptop:

After selling the toad tank and realizing that I did not need an iPod touch, I looked at my bank account. I've been saving up for a new computer to take with me to Japan, and after saying, "No, touch screen. You are not worth my money if I already have an iPod," guess who could totally afford the laptop?

You guessed it. This guy.

This guy got all excited while talking to her sister (during which the realization was made), grabbed her purse, and ran out the door to hit the Apple Store before it closed. Thank the Lord she still had her school ID and was a late graduate. Huzzah for the student discount!

Macbook, baby! I loved the Mini (which needs to be sold to a loving home. Gotta save up those yen!), but I love being able to throw, a.k.a. gingerly place my computer in my bag and have it whenever I need it. The weird thing that it/I did when transferring all my data was somehow copy nearly all of my music twice. I'm having to go through all of the duplicates and delete one of each. I'm through L songs, so at least I'm halfway through. I also have to recreate my playlists, which I kind of needed to reorganize in the first place. Why the heck did I ever had something called "Music for Cowboys?" I don't listen to country music.

I'll finally join the ranks of coffee-drinking typists who always look so busy and studious. I, however, will probably just be checking Etsy every five minutes to see how many people have looked at my stuff. Every time the count goes up I do an inner happy dance.

The laptop also gives me a reason to sit in bed and not sleep, which is why I'm still up, even though I work ear-li in the morning. This drunken sailor is out.

P.S. The business cards are pretty ugly, and most of them are a crooked shape, but they get the job done. Ask me and I'll send you one, because I had to buy a whole stupid ream of cardstock to make a few cards. I'll never, ever, ever run out of them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I found out that I'm going to Kameoka, a city in the Kyoto prefecture. The wikipedia page and the city's English site aren't very exciting, but it's about 30 minutes away from Kyoto (whether that's driving or by train I don't know). For those of you who don't know, like I didn't, Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan. I'll be working at the Board of Education, teaching a mix of elementary and high school students. That's about all I know.

There are so many forms to fill out—background check, tax forms, health forms, citizenship forms, dress forms (hah, a joke!). I can't quite wrap my brain around it all. Neither have I completed them…