Monday, January 30, 2006

Opposite Weekends, a.k.a I Really Like Being Busy

So, last weekend I did very little. Well, let me clarify, I had very little to do. I cleaned my room and thought too much.

This Weekend was great because I was so busy. Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights combined I was only able to get 5 hours of sleep (I just had a 5 hour nap to recover). So, in standard fashion, let me give you all the chonological run down of the weekend.

Thursday: Ok, time for a little background. Takaya, Sung Eun and I had, in total, invited 20 people to come to Karaoke. There was a little bit of an issue with having enough cars (it took a long time to round up enough cars, by the way, thanks to everyone who came!). However, a larger issue existed. Takaya had told me that the Karaoke shop was called "Ururara". As hard as I looked, I could not find it on the phone book or on google. I even tried searching using Hangul and Katakana. Nothing. Finally, on Friday night I called up Ralph and together we drove to Sacramento to look for the Karaoke shop in what I guess is Sacramento's Korean neighborhood. Of course, no trip down Folsom road would be complete without a stop at Hana Market, my favorite Korean store.
Ralph had the brilliant idea to ask the people who worked in the supermarket where the Karaoke place was, and sure enough, they told us it was about a block away.
It was then that I understood. "Rurulala" can easily become "Ururara" if you are Japanese and not being very careful with your pronunciation. Oops. I shoud have known. Anyway, we went inside and made reservations for 20 on Saturday. Afterwards, feeling a bit hungry, Ralph and I stopped by a restaurant for some Bi Bim Bap.
I believe that this was Ralph's first exposure to Korean food. From what I could gather, he was impressed.
Then it was off to Ralph's house to pick up a heater.
Friday: I woke up Friday morning and spent all day writing a paper that was due at 5. After 5 I went to the MST office hours that I promised I would have, but since no one came even though they said they would, I was quite bored and sad.
Well, when I got home Kira and Ryan came and picked me up and we went to see Macbeth. It was by far the best rendition of Macbeth that I have ever seen. Even though Macbeth was female, the actor did such a great job that you forgot she was not a medieval Scottish tyrant.
Even though Macbeth is my least favorite Shakespeare play, I enjoyed it. I think the reason I do not like Macbeth is the fact that I never feel any connection or sympathy for Macbeth. What I liked about this version is it emphasized the prophecy (which is really well worded) rather than the insanity (which is always overdone).
Saturday:I have signed up for a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course . I really want to become a good teacher. I was worried that this class was going to be an 18 hour waste of time every weekend, but, aside from being locked outside of the classroom in 40 degree weather for an hour on our first day (shown below), so far it has been great. It is not boring, I learn something new and useful every 5 minutes, my classmates all seem to be good people, and the instructor is very, very good. I doubt that the certificate I receive from this course will be worth very much, but the knowledge will be very useful.
Well, my TEFL class went from 9-6, and afterwards I immediately drove back to Davis and began to prepare for Karaoke. Here are Sung Eun and Tazuko waiting with me in Game Stop for everyone else to show up.
It was just after I took that picture that Ralph called me and told me Ed'd's car would not start. This was very bad news. Even though Kira had been kind enough to loan me her car (thank you Kira!), Drake was comming (thank you Drake!), and Ralph was taking my car (thank you Ralph!) I would still have only 11 seats for 15 passengers. It was then that a very welcome mistake was realized: Takaya had forgotten to call 5 people who he had invited to tell them the gathering place and time. Sad to leave our friends, but relieved that we did not have to stack people in the back of the car, we set off.

Everything else from the night went wonderfully, I thought. I would have liked to have been able to talk to people more, but conversation is basically impossible in a Karaoke booth. Oh, well. Here we are in the booth at Karaoke.
My first song was "Cryin'" by Areosmith. Not a good choice for the first song. Lindsey, Sung Eun and Soh-Hyun sang the most songs in the beginning, including a Korean song in which the English chorus was "I love you long time", which made the jaws of most of the Americans in the booth drop to the floor in embarrassed amazement. We never explained our surprise, although we probably should.
Lindsey, Soh-Hyun and Sung Eun.
Tazuko and Tomoko on the left, searching for a song for themselves. Koki, Lindsey and Soh-Hyun on the right.
Tomoko and Tazuko singing their song. And dancing, might I add.
Me and Drake butchering "Lean on Me".
Ralph looks for a song.
The Mic.
The Crew.
We'll have to do that again sometime.

Sunday consisted of more class, followed by the Star Wars RPG that Rick, Sean, Diego, Ralph and I play on Sundays. For those of you who do not know about our game, think of it as our "Poker Night".

I have two conclusions from this weekend. 1) I am getting better at manageing my time. 2) If you were to open a Karaoke shop in Davis, you would make so much money.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The JET Program Wants to Interview Me!

So, last night I got an e-mail saying that my application had been reviewed and that I had made it to the interview stage. I am supposed to interview in San Francisco sometime between Feb. 17th and 22nd. I am very happy about this. Now to spend the next month preparing for this (my first) job interview...

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I have 253 books!

How did I ever get that many books?! Lets say I have been at college for 4.5 years. 4.5x365=1642.5 days. Divide that by 253 and you get 6.492. In other words, during my time at college I have bought, on average, 1 book per-week. Pathetic.

It has not been a problem until now, however. Here is the thing: if I get i to the JET program I only plan on taking 3 or 4 of my most important books to Japan. So what do I do with the other 249? Take them to Hawaii? Their combined weight must be about 300 pounds. Sell them? If I had a yard sale, even if I sold a book a minute it would still take over 4 hours of constant selling to sell them all! Give them away? Who of my friends is going to want to read "Barron's Japanese Grammar: Second Edition". E-bay? It would take an entire tree to make the cardboard boxes to ship 249 books. Burn? Out of the question.

This leaves me with only one logical answer. Become president so that I can retire and get a presidential library in which to store them.

There have been other important developments and funny stories in my life recently, but they are firmly in the realm of things I am not willing to share on this blog. Just know that I am well.

Here are some random pictures which I took at some point and I thought should be posted even though they have almost no story behind them. In that respect, they are just like the rest of this particular post.

Oh yeah, check this out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Plans Slowly Unfold

So, on the weekends of Jan. 28,29 and Feb. 4,5,13,and 14 I am registered to take a TOFEL certification course. As for travel plans, I will be in Hawaii from May 22nd to June 1st. I am going to try to find the cheapest fare possible for leaving sometime in June and returning mid-July. Then I will see who is in on this endeavor. Sadly, I may not have acted soon enough (cursed cold), because I missed the lowest fares on Hawaiian Airlines for June. But I will be acting very soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Trenton Concocts His Plan

I have been thinking a great deal about my plans for after graduation. It is beginning to look like I will probably be in Hawaii twice. Once in May to see Nick graduate and do what I can to get back in touch with people I knew in High School before we progress so far in life that we forget eachother, and once in mid to late June so that I can be there one more time before I need to commit all my time to working. Plans are still very flexible.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? What did I do last week? Well, to tell you the truth, most of it I won't remember in a week because it was so run-of-the-mill. I'll give you the highlights. I started an aerobics class because in 30 years I'll be lucky if I am as healthy as my parents. Was sore all week. I was also sick all week with a low level cold which didn't stop me from going to my aerobics class. David came up from L.A. to visit, and I got to see his films and learn about his trip to China. Went to Sac with Sung Eun and visited the Korean market, then went to dinner and a movie the Friday before last. Met her again for lunch last Thursday. Got a new camera, much smaller than my last. Had sushi with Kira and Ryan and got $2 for eating an ounce of wasabi. Went to the quarterly astronomy club meeting and FINALLY was able to step down from my unasked for appointment as treasurer.

And then Friday came. So Drake and I, having seen eachother only once Fall quarter, decided that we really needed to go skiing together and catch up. So we did. We started our drive at 6:00 on Friday morning and were quite pleased by the fact that there was no traffic.
We decided to go to Kirkwood. Now, I have many problems with Kirkwood. Having lived in Kirkwood for some time, I am very turned off by the development that they have done recently. However, they do have a deal where university students can get a lift ticket for $31. And I know the mountain very well. It is practially the only mountain I have ever skied. So Kirkwood it was. We arrived at 9:00 am to find that we had been beaten there by the UCB marching band.
The Band-uh (UC Davis' band) is much better. Anyway, everything went easily, and we were making runs by 10:00.
Here is Drake on Shortspoke. As you can see, almost nobody was on the mountain. It was great. And the texture of the snow was perfect for me. Not icy, not slush.
We skied for about 5 hours strait.
Then got very cold, decided we had had a great time and called it a day. Drake had a GPS speedometer that tracked our max speed at 63 miles per hour. I wonder if we actually went that fast.
After skiing we drove to Tahoe, found a hamburger place that sold food cheaper than you can get it in Davis and restored our energy. I ordered a $3 garden salad that weighed in at about a kilogram. Very impressive amount of food, and not bad tasting.
So that is my latest adventure. I had a great time skiing, which kind of surprised me, to be honest. Drake and I now plan to return to Kirkwood to ski again, but next time we will also be paying a visit to Grover Hot Springs when we are done, and hopefully we will be able to convince more people to come.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Great Hawaiian Vacation Part 5 / Koki's Big Adventure

So, when I last left off it was New Years. I was very, very tired on New Years Eve Day, and I mostly slept the entire day, except for the part where Manabu and I got up early for Dawn Patrol. I even slept through the New Years Party, which my parents hosted, for the most part. I did set off some fireworks which I had purchased. The Morning Glories were quite weak, and every single one I got was a dud. Dad figured out the only way to make them look cool: use them by the fistful.
When we were done we burned the garbage on the driveway.
And that is how I spent the last part of 2005. The next day was, of course, the annual Wailea parade. I got up early to start my costume. This year I decided to go as a Yellow Tang.
Halfway through making my costume we went to brunch with Grandpa and Grandma D. It was then that Takaya's camera broke. After brunch we went back home, completed our costumes and went to the parade.
Here are Mom and Dad.
Our whole crew. Notice the yellow face paint on my skin. It took days to come out.
Koki and Takaya at the afterparty.
A fantastic sunset, if you ignore the other weird things.
The next day Manabu and Takaya left.
Koki and I went to the Hilton, then met the Family for lunch. Here are Grandpa and Lisa learning the sign language for "BULLSHIT!".
And here is the last picture I took with my old Nikon Coolpix-5700 before giving it over to Grandpa.
So the next day Koki and I left Hawaii. We had purchased him a ticket on from LAX to Sacramento the night before, and it just so happened that he would be joining me for the last leg of the trip. Everything looked good, but when I arrived in LAX there was no sign of Koki! I went to Sacramento and began to worry. After spending the next day searching for him, I finally located him this evening. He had been held up in line in LAX and had become stranded there. Quite an adventure for him. The story is more involved than that, but I really don't feel like telling it right now. I will start going to class tomorrow, even though classes started today.