Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ume no Hana

I haven't forgotten about that article, but need to find time...

For now I wanted to share these commercials for a restaurant called Ume no Hana (Plum Blossom). I don't think I've ever been to one, and these ads wouldn't exactly entice me to seek one out, but they are funny.

This first one features three office ladies singing about they left their wallets behind and then took their boss to the restaurant. I guess they're mooching a meal?

Next we have a salaryman singing about how he can't refuse going out with the guys. Well, he admits, he could refuse if he wanted to, but that's not the case, so...awesome?

Last are a bunch of guys singing about how (if they eat here) they don't have any dishes to wash when they're done. Inspiring.

Strange offerings, but I like the off-beat.

Edit: I had to make a couple revisions after realizing I was misunderstanding the nuance of these commercials.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The young vs the old...

...and why young Japanese aren't getting married these days.

There's an article in this month's Sapio magazine that caught my attention and that I've been reading through in my free time (it's about 12 pages long). So far I'm finding it quite interesting, and sometime soon, maybe this weekend, I want to write about what it's saying. I may break it into two or three posts because of the different issues the author talks about, but we'll see.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weird foot commercial

Studying, Motivation, Negativity

Motivation can be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when studying a language. If you can't even get yourself to pick up a book or listen to a podcast or what-have-you, then you're dead in the water. Fortunately for me and my Japanese, I work at an office where like it or not I have to hear it on a daily basis (if not speak it, too).

I think I have a main problem with a number of roots feeding into it and consequences flowing from it. This post isn't to complain...I know I'm the only one who can fix things. But I wanted to vent and share my feelings. It's possible some of you have been in similar situations.

Basically, at the moment I am stuck at this upper intermediate - lower advanced level of Japanese, right around JLPT N2. It's enough that I can hold my own in a pretty wide range of conversations and I can use it for basic jobs, but it's not good enough to make me eligible for employment that requires someone who is truly bilingual.

It was so much easier to study and be motivated when I (a) lived in Japan and needed it to live and (b) wanted to improve it to further improve my relationship with Yoshie. Now instead of those motivations, I have this language with few appealing job opportunities (a lot of the listings I see these days are for administrative assistants) that I don't really need to communicate with anyone in my life at the moment. And a lot of my favored tools (music, TV shows, etc) now have this... association. Even if they don't directly make me think of her, they make me think of my time in Japan. At the moment those memories are bittersweet. Someday, hopefully in the not too distant future, I will be able to fully enjoy my memories again. But for now they just evoke this negativity.

I'm not really happy with how my life is going right now and I'm trying to improve it, but I guess I've never really been the most patient guy. I don't like feeling like I have no control over things. These days people close to me say that I need to just stick things out, keep doing my best, and opportunities will present themselves. It's good advice, but difficult to live by. It can be too easy to be bitter.

Though time has helped me in some ways, this negativity is pervasive. I haven't been sleeping well lately - a lot of dreams about her. This is frustrating and something I'm trying to avoid, but I don't know how. I find that although I still harbor a lot of the same positive feelings that I used to, there is this slight anger and bitterness creeping in. This feeling of rejection. I don't want to be angry at her. But I guess at the moment it's just difficult for me to feel okay with the fact that I'm not an important part of her life anymore. And it also bothers me that she's probably been able to move past our breakup a lot easier than I have (probably by not thinking about it a lot and keeping busy). Selfish, I know. 

I want to change. I want my life to be more positive, and I want to let go of this bitterness and negativity I have been feeling towards so many aspects of life right now. But I just don't know how to break out. I keep looking for new jobs, I keep trying to get out there and meet new people. Is that all I can do for now? Keep going and keep waiting? Maybe so.

I want to be happy again. I want to be able to study Japanese again. And I want to stop writing these heavy and pouty blog posts. I'll work on that, I promise!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

They had earbuds in 1987?

J-Word Play #29 (Answer)

This one's out a little late - sorry!

Another kudos point to our riddle master, Cocomino, on this one.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Cup Noodle Post

I was never really a big instant noodles fan before living in Japan (and I guess I'm still not), which is good because they're not so healthy. One thing I kind of miss, though, is curry flavor Cup Noodle. Not really a great meal replacement, but sometimes when I couldn't be bothered to eat nutritiously or prepare a proper dish, I'd just boil some water and have one of these on hand. Of course, I used to buy the off-brand for like 10 yen cheaper, so the little pieces of "meat" and potato weren't the greatest.

When Yoshie visited me last year, she brought a couple cups with her. And then she gave me a couple more to take back when I went over there in May. Just ate my last one the other day. I guess that'll be all the curry Cup Noodle I get for some time (to be fair I may be able to find them at some Japanese market for like $3 each, but I don't miss them that much).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

J-Word Play #29

September already! Although it may be considered autumn in Japan, we still have a tad bit more summer left in the U.S. Make it count.

Our riddle for today is:


As usual, please send answers to blueshoe[at]jadij.com. Good luck!