Well, I've been back in Japan for nearly two weeks and doing mostly nothing. I've sat around, chatted with my girlfriend (nearing 20 months -- w00t!), slept a lot, studied some LSAT, read some manga, and studied a few kanji.
I thought I would share a few words of Japanese that I've learned the past few days that have popped into my head.
滑り台（すべりだい） - playground slide (lit. slipping platform)
オービー - alumnus/alumni (lit. O.B. -- abbr. of 'old boy')
When my hostmother found out about that one, she decided to start calling herself an オージー (O.G. for, you guessed it, 'old girl'). She went to a volleyball game for her old high school (東高学 - Higashi Kougaku - East High School) in Hokkaidou (北海道 - north sea path), the northernmost of the 4 islands of Japan; the other three are 九州 (きゅうしゅう - Kyuushuu - 9th State), 四国 (しこく - Shikoku - 4th Country), and 本州 (ほんしゅう Honshuu - Main State). Tokyo is located on Honshu.
But enough about geography. I wish I had a scanner; my hostmother showed me her photo album from when she was a baby all the way through high school and then her kids. I never saw a pic of her husband, but then I only saw 2 pictures of her with kids, so it is most likely (since she wears a wedding ring still) that there just weren't that many pictures of her when she was over 18 or so.
Another interesting word -- 全道 ぜんどう zendou "All of Hokkaidou"
So I was in DORAMA, a store near Fuchinobe Station with all kinds of CDs, DVDs, video games and systems, and old books and manga. I went up to the second story (old books section) and, as I was browsing, I found what some would call the greatest book ever written. It had 金正日 (キム・ジョンイル) written on it. Those of you who can read katakana may have already guessed, and started laughing, that the man whose name means (roughly) True Golden Day is none other than N. Korea's (北朝鮮 - きたちょうせん - kitachousen) Kim Jong Il. The manga is all about his rise to power, but is humorous yet historically accurate. Apparently it was popular in Japan a few years ago. Anyways, it was 600 yen, so I bought it. Score one for Kyle and his Search-For-Awesomeness-Mobile.
Today to eat (I really should be writing this if for no other reason than to keep me writing in the blog consistently) I had this French bread with pizza sauce, cheese and some salami, along with red peppers and some thin slender green salad vegetable that I don't know, even in English. For dinner I had spare ribs (!!) (スペアーリッブ - supeaa ribbu), tomato, some buttered French bread, and some tea. This was an excellent tea of rosehips, licorice root and hibiscus. It was Red Zinger by Celestial Seasonings. Very tasty and sweet. Good warm.
OK. I'm going to go. I'm getting tired.
Oh yeah, and I weighed 75Kg (165 lbs) according to my hostmother's scale one week ago. Let's see how my weight drops over time!