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a.k.a. part of our Huddle song on Friday. Went really well actually.

Something else happened on Friday that I forgot to write about in the last entry. In this city, a portrait drawing class received photos of us (the same ones on the website) and used us as practice. During the Celebration we all saw potraits of ourselves, as drawn by this class.

Some turned out really well, some were barely recognizable...mine was deemed a portrait of my twin brother Tony. (It didn't help that the website photo of me is rather bad to begin with.) Hey, at least it makes for an interesting souvenir.

Also, we had a great discussion with Bob and Hiro about the future of Up With People, especially its business side. Basically - we need more money, yo. Hopefully we sparked a few ideas and things work out for the better.

I woke up at 2 o'clock this morning for no real reason. I think my brain has travelled to Europe early. My host mum kept thinking the baby crying woke me up but I heard nothing of the sort. Being bored and way too awake, I went downstairs to the computer and chatted online for a while.

Then at 6 o'clock sharp, I hear this very loudly:

"TING TING TING! OHAYO GOZAIMASU! YOUR RICE IS READY!"

Nothing reaches the height of surrealism more than a talking rice cooker.

Apparently that thing says Good Night too if you set the timer. I swear, it should be the focus of a horror movie. The Rice Cooker. With lines such as:

"Ohayo Gozaimasu - Your rice is rotten today! Have a great breakfast!"
"Ohayo Gozaimasu - I am fed up of rice! Give me something else to cook!"
"Ohayo Gozaimasu - I will take over the world! Listen to me, stupid minions!"

Seriously.

We went to Disney Sea this morning. Like Disneyland except things are more water-based. It was pretty interesting...it wasn't as packed and it was easy to get Fast Passes (gets you to the front of the line) so we didn't have to wait long. Syoko, my host sister, was disappointed that the Mermaid Lagoon was closed though.

I got hijacked for a magic show - basically trying to make a piece of rope hang from an upside down bottle. I know how the trick is done; I had a similar bottle back home. I miss doing magic; I really should get back to it. I was thinking how useful it is to learn circus and magic skills - they really are a workout, they aid with reflexes and flexibility and agility, and it's a blend of the body and the brain and the mind and soul. Everything together.

Tomorrow - HALLOWEEN! My favourite day of the year. Also our flight day to the Netherlands. Nifty. I already have a plan for the day; let's just hope I remember the thing. I'm supposed to pack but I am as always procrastinating.

This faerie will rest her wings for a long flight tomorrow.
tiaramerchgirl: (Default)
The last Celebration in Japan went really well. I wasn't terribly woozy, the Circles actually made sense, and we had two people for Shima Uta (which was fun). People were gossiping about my homeless-person-ness (I wish I knew what they were saying exactly, it was kinda funny) and even Peder was laughing, calling me "my little homeless person".

Danni got stood up this time; Kara missed her cue. Usually it's the other way around. And while flinging my gloves away after the Work Dance, I hit an audience member (everyone was on the floor). Oops.

Tom had been watching my Statistics speech the past few weeks and was giving me feedback. This week he exclaimed "Yes!" (he asked me if I heard him from the stage - I didn't) because I apparently improved a lot and actually got it perfect. Too bad it's probably the last time I'll be doing Statistics, since the format is going to change when we arrive in Europe.

Speaking of Tom. He's become even more affectionate towards me - I didn't even think that was possible. He's now calling me "my love" and he has even told me "I love you". I told him Melissa would kill me - or us - and he told me not to worry because apparently Melissa is open about this kind of thing. Or something. Reminds me of this random conversation we had on a train in Tokyo:

Tom, Melissa, Brandy, Me: *something random about petting people - probably Brandy saying she doesn't like to be petted even though her host dad does it a lot*
Tom: *jokingly pets Brandy and tickles me*
Me: MEEP!
Brandy: That's probably illegal over here...*something about public displays of affection*
Melissa: Yeah, cheating on me while I'm there!
Tom: That's what turns me on, baby.

Melissa is awesome - or, using her word, "super". We get along very well too. And she is adorable. Huzzah polyamoury, or something. No one can really tell when Tom's kidding or when he's serious anyway, so no point worrying about it. Just play along.

Tom spent his school days being the only boy in a mainly girls' school. Now apparently he's the female in the relationship and Melissa's the male. Har.

There is another guy out there that likes me. He is reading this, most likely, so hello. This is all way too new an experience for me. Right now the only option I know of is to blush as red as a tomato. Heh.

My sister says I'm "growing up". Heh.

I FINALLY found a place in this whole prefecture that does binding. Now my stories are a book. Looks more professional, and hopefully loads more permanent.

Monday - EUROPE! My goodness the time has flown. Then it'll be over and I'll be extremely depressed and WAH. What shall I do with my life. But for now...new continent, new adventure. And Nina and Christie again! On Halloween too. Our first night is with everyone in a youth hostel - this should prove interesting.
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Today we had a Group Check-In - sitting in a circle talking about our experiences so far. Originally it was supposed to be just 2 words about how we feel, but that quickly grew to sharing what's in our hearts and minds. Host family frustrations, exhaustion, happiness, all sorts of things.

I talked about the loneliness I felt and how people like Nina came up to help me, though it was something I still need to work on. Knowing people deeper and being comfortable with being vunerable and asking for help. I said I didn't know the crew all that well, and that it would really be a shame for me to leave this amazing program and yet not have a close connection with anyone (since Nanu left).

This sparked a big conversation about getting time to know each other, getting time for ourselves, and just close connections to the group in general. What do we know about each other? What are we telling our host families that we aren't telling the crew? How can we connect?

Somewhere in that discussion Jessica spoke up about needing to know each other better. She then referred to my earlier point and told me (and everyone else) that it wasn't true that I didn't know anyone - my Thank-You Stories (the stories I wrote for each crew member, given to them once they return my NaNo survey) were spot-on, that I captured everyone perfectly through my writing. So really, I did know people more than I thought. Quite a few people agreed with her on that, which surprised me.

This became a bit of a theme for the whole day. I had printed an extra copy of the stories for the whole crew to share amongst themselves (originally the crew members had their own stories to keep). It got passed around, with rave reviews.

Eli kept telling me how amazed she was by the writing, especially the final sentences. She told me that this was really my mode of communication and that it's odd that not many people know about this side of me.

Jessica and Danni were my PR people for this project, always raving about the stories to others. I'm really glad they liked them, I think they were one of the first few to read them.

Krista told me that it was something I should share more. Currently she has the big book; maybe she'll illustrate some of the stories! When I told her that Nina liked my story for her (she told me it was nice and thanked me for it), she said I had perfect timing with the story. I know Nina's been stressed a lot lately but that she doesn't usually show her emotions a lot - she's not extremely affectionate (at least not like Tom, Marco, or I) and she keeps to herself often. I hope my story really did help her feel appreciated, because she is.

Chris came up to me later that night and told me that it was great that I wrote all these notes for everyone and that he really respects me for that. I felt bad because I've been quite an ass to him the first few weeks and here he was being this perfect gentleman. Hopefully things get better.

It's strange, in a way, because I have never really envisioned this kind of reaction. Sure, I hoped people liked it. But it was something I did for a few days because I was ill and bored and needed to write something even though it wasn't November yet. Most of the stories were intensely challenging and half the time I wasn't sure I had captured anyone's personality for real. So all this? Just wow. Amazing.

Now I can't wait till November, just to see how they'll react to the novel. It'll be a lot crazier, but hopefully a lot more fun.

(I'll get to the questions soon! But please send in more!)

Abiko!

Oct. 24th, 2005 08:31 pm
tiaramerchgirl: (Default)
Here I am in Abiko, Chiba.

It doesn't feel like a new week because we got here by train, not bus. It feels like some random CI or Regional Learning Day.

We had whale-weighing today - our luggages being those mysterious whales. Anything over 20kg and you get a Free Willy tag (which I painstakingly made!). My carryon, oddly enough, is heavier than my checkin...

Last week in Japan. Not sure what else to report, really. I'm not sure everyone is in the Japan spirit anymore, everyone wants to go to Europe now. And I miss Nina and Christie. Man.

I'll get to your questions soon! Keep them coming!

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