2007 JET Podcast
Some helpful hints from folks already on the JET Programme. It covers all of those very specific things that you really need to know but may have forgotten to ask or that you just couldn't find answers to. Click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mom's March Care Package

Got some good stuff in the mail today. My mom has been so very good in sending care packages just about once every two months (or even more often). This month's package contained a few things I ordered as well as some things I didn't expect. Here's a rundown of the big score:

-Mino FlipHD camcorder. I ordered this myself and had it shipped to my house. Cool gadget. Record 720p. Very easy to use (has one big button for record, plus controls for volume and zoom). Software comes embedded in the player so when you hook it up to a computer through USB, you have everything you need to upload it to YouTube or email or do some rudimentary editing. This will definitely come in handy for the upcoming Tokyo/Osaka/Hong Kong trip.

-Camera light for my Canon XH A1. It's so-so. It really makes a difference, but it's got a really bright spot that makes it less ambient and more 'spot'. I wonder if I can make some homemade diffusion will fix it. I'm hoping it will come in handy for run-and-gun stuff with the 35mm adapter.

-Diva Cup. You know, that menstrual cup that lasts 10 years and means you'll never have to buy another feminine hygiene product. From first glance, that thing looks HUGE. Not sure who's vagina it's supposed to fit in but...well we'll give it a try.

-Girl Scout cookies. Also known by it's street name "Crack". My mom sent me a lot of boxes that I pray I don't eat before the night is over.

-Grits. I've been asking for real, slow-cook grits for a while now and each time my mom would forget. This time she sent them, but they went through an unfortunate accident of spilling out of the box (a little bit) and the tiny grains got all embedded in everything that was in the shipping box. A slight annoyance, but all was not lost.

-Hamburger Helper. Is there ever a time when this is not appreciated?

-Also for the last 3 or 4 months the power adapter cable has been damaged on my computer. This is due to Dell making a charger that has a special wire inside the cable that lets the computer recognize the adapter which in turn lets it charge the battery. Now, no other company does this to my knowledge, so it's stupid. The adapter is very fragile and with regular use can easily start to split. So, while the adapter may be able to power the computer it won't charge the battery. I have been unable to use my computer without a power outlet which has been a drag. However, I happened to be 60 days from warranty expiration and called Dell up and they sent out a new one. This was also in my care package.

Overall, a good haul!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Life in a Digest

To be honest, I had completely forgotten about my blog until a week ago.

I was so surprised to see that there are a few people out there who read it, so I will continue to post! :)

Since the last post was in September of last year, I will recap again.


Halloween was fun. I volunteered for a haunted house thing in Atsuma that my friend Jennie organized. It was very nice. I dressed as a giant hamster and the little kids really liked it. I also had a Halloween party for my eikaiwa (English conversation) class. We dressed up, told ghost stories, etc. I also baked cocoa rice krispy treats for them. I can't really remember anything else notable happening. As expected, Hokkaido starts to get cold around this month.


I was the Social Coordinator for the Hokkaido Association of JETs and my major job was to plan the tour we do every year during the Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo. This happens in February, but seeing that we have 100+ ALTs and others descending upon our fair prefecture at the same time, the planning starts long before that. I actually started planning in August, but November was when most of the prep action took place -- getting hotels/air tickets arranged for people, etc. Lots of stress this month that would last until the festival was over in February.

Also, this year, instead of staying at home and moping for Thanksgiving, I was invited to Tokachi (north-east of me) by Lauren to participate in a big, American Thanksgiving potluck. That was so much fun and the food was SOOOO good. Afterwards we went to karaoke and drinking, finishing up at Lauren's house where everyone passed out on the floor. Lol!


Christmas time! I got lots of presents from my mom. Dad, not so much. Still, it wasn't nearly as depressing as last year. More stress from planning the Yuki Matsuri. Spent New Year's in Sapporo with Lauren, Kae, and Nao-chan. Had so much fun there! It was so fun that I was actually tired of partying near the end.


Snow, snow, snow! Even though snow eventually becomes a nuisance, one can't help but rejoice when it first falls and everything's so white and peaceful and beautiful. This is short-lived once you have to shovel it from sidewalks, it turns dirty, and melts partially then re-freezes into ice just waiting to kill you.

I went snowboarding many times in January.

This is a picture of me snowboarding at Teine Highland last year. I have since gotten better and I really do enjoy the sport even though it leaves me absolutely sore in places I didn't even know I had. There's nothing like whizzing down the mountain on a clear day with your favorite music playing in your ears.

I also finished the feature that Aeric and I had been working on for almost a year - Magdalene.

One of the best things about this month was that my gym, Joyfit, had a New Year's party (way after actual New Years) and I got to hang out and chat with the instructor I have a huge crush on. :) :) :)

My birthday was also this month. My mom sent me gifts. My neighbors made me special food.


The Yuki Matsuri started and ended in one weekend this month. So stressful, but overall successful for HAJET. I think most of the people who attended had a great time. There were those that complained of one thing or another (prices, etc). I was just glad when the weekend was over and I could wash my hands of everything.

Valentines day meant I had a really awesome party with all of my friends at my house. Lauren came down. It was actually a party thrown by Kelsey and I to invite our Joyfit crushes, but both crushes turned out not to be available, so it just turned into a regular party with our friends and some acquaintances from Joyfit and other places. I think there were actually more Japanese people than foreigners which was fun. Food was good.

Lots more snowboarding. So far this year, I've been to Teine Highland countless times, Niseko two times, and Furano (in March) once. I really want to go to Yubari (Reishi) and Rusutsu before the season is over. I heard that in some places you can snowboard all the way through May.