A little late for a White Christmas

That, right there, is Tokyo station in the midst of the Blizzard of 2013, a mild dusting of snow in any of the colder capitals of the world (I’m looking at you, Seoul, DC, Moscow and others!), but works out to be a huge ordeal in Tokyo. 7-Eleven apparently didn’t get any shipments this morning, so no rice ball for me for lunch today.

First world problems and all that. You’re probably living a pretty good life when the biggest worry of your day is that you can’t eat the same thing for lunch that you always do . . . → Read More: A little late for a White Christmas

Summer Vacation, Ghosts, and Taxes

Spent the weekend feeling under the weather, but fortunately I’ve managed to make a full recovery after 2 days of eating soup and rolling around my apartment floor while watching travel shows about the best food across the US.

Actually, scratch that. Watching TV shows about people eating large volumes of food probably wasn’t a good idea. But hey, since when have I been known for good ideas?? I do stuff and then let the good and bad sort themselves out after the fact. Let’s not dwell on that! At least you can have some exciting stories in the end, . . . → Read More: Summer Vacation, Ghosts, and Taxes

You, me, and the Olympics

I know everyone’s excited and thrilled, and full of exciting excitement nowadays (trust me, I spend my days surrounded by sleepless people)… but I just have to get something off my chest:

I have absolutely no interest in the Olympics.

In my 26 years of being alive, I’ve watched an entire one Olympic event. Ever. That was back in 2008 (Beijing Olympics) when I went to a student’s house and it was on TV (basketball, I think). Honestly, I think that’s pretty impressive… but that’s coming from an non-Olympian such as myself, so who am I to say anything?

It’s not . . . → Read More: You, me, and the Olympics

Really, Microsoft?

You often hear about silly misspelled words or phrases in other countries across the internet. Living in Japan, obviously I hear (and see) a lot of examples related to Japan and the use of English in Japan.. but this one caught me by surprise today.

Windows Live

I should mention that I’m using a normal laptop I bought here in Japan. Windows 7, Japanese, no changes. I bought it back in March, actually. And so when I saw this today, I was.. well.. surprised.

Really, Microsoft?

Yama what?

This is what comes about when I try to explain to people where I spent the last three years of my life. It’s not like I was way out in the country, but it’s certainly not one of the more famous parts of the country. Yamaguchi is one of those places I compare to Nebraska in America: everyone’s heard of it, but you’re hard pressed to think of anything that happens there, to say nothing of a reason to go to there. No offense to anyone who lives in Nebraska, of course…

..but you really should think . . . → Read More: Yama what?

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Friday

Yep, it’s so far away from last Friday that–if I chose to wait another day or so–I could still technically be right on ‘Friday’ and just a week late. Sorry about that; working abroad (and in Japan) puts certain requirements on you. If asked whether you like working early mornings or late nights and your answer isn’t an enthusiastic “BOTH!!!“, you may not want to work in Japan. Yep yep.

I went to volunteer as an English teacher on Saturday, which was fun, and then had to renew my driver’s license on Sunday, which was not fun. But all the same, I’m glad to have a valid license for another 3 years!  Otherwise, I’ve just been busy with work and narrowing down schools to go to for translator certification. So many choices.. I have some appointments for counseling sessions later this week. Wish me luck!

But now, let’s finish this up, shall we?

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Friday Edition

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Friday

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Monday

I may not be teaching English in Japan anymore and spend my days at a desk, but my life still ends up being rather eventful. As I said earlier, I get a lot of junk mail. I’m sure it’s all a part of city (and apartment) life, but I still find the sheer breadth and quantity of the advertisements fascinating, so I decided to do you all the favor (?) and document all the inane junk I get over the week so we can all share in the joy of the random stuff that ends up in my mail box. So, without further ado…

Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail

Monday Edition

And trust me, we’re starting off strong.

Continue reading Let’s Read Jason!’s (junk) Mail – Monday

Out in the wilderness


I know I’ve mentioned in the past that I lived in Hokkaido for a brief period back in 2005 (when I was 19) for the summer, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that it was a “small town” and “in the middle of nowhere”. Anyone who’s known me long enough probably also knows that I usually describe that place in far more colorful terms, but let’s not dwell.

I finally got around to looking through Google Maps and I found the place where I lived and worked in the summer of 2005! This is Tsurui-mura in Akan . . . → Read More: Out in the wilderness

Picking sides

I’m sure I must have mentioned this in the past, but it’s a lesson that bears repeating: there’s a unique challenge to being an American in Japan when listening to stories of the past.

Of course it’s relatively well known that my major in university was in East Asian Studies: Japanese History. I spent 3 years of my life studying Japanese (and Chinese) history, all the way from the earliest written accounts until modern times. Since my interest is more on modern society, I kept the majority of my studies to the 1800s through today (in both Japanese and . . . → Read More: Picking sides

And Yuki replies!

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, please check out my previous post, Would you like some spam?, for more details.

Anyway, I got another e-mail from our favorite non-existent spam artist (see what I did there? Hilarious, I know).


I tried to e-mail my friend again today, but I still can’t get in touch. I don’t even know Nobu’s address. Also, even though I just bought this phone, it seems to be acting up. Just my luck..

However,  I’m really happy to get to know you like this, so I think we can be good friends!

If it’s all right with you, I have a little profile I put together and just updated the photo yesterday. I’d like you to take a look at it.

Also, it’s really embarrassing, but I really want you to see the text on the TOP page. I wonder if you’ll notice what I wrote…?

The address is free–beauty.info/gaga, so please put http:// in front of it and enter it directly into your phone. Ah! I think it’s a cell-phone-only site, so you can only check it out on your phone.

I’m a little nervous since I’m not so cute, but I’ll be waiting for your reply! ^_^

Hmm.. any of that sound familiar? Like, remarkably similar to my predictions? Before we continue with the (pointless) deconstruction, some info for ya:

Why is it cell phone only? Well, as I said earlier, they want to get your money. If I can access it via PC, they need my credit card number. Most people (hopefully) hesitate to give out their credit card. On a cell phone, all I have to do is enter my 4 digit number into a box to authorize them to direct-charge to my phone bill.

What’s with the weird address? Which part? The http being separate is because most cell phone carriers (mine included) caught on to these things, and give me (the user) the ability to block all e-mails with URLs in them (how often do your friends e-mail you a website?). So they need to separate it.

I can’t see the site! ..not a question. But I’ll let it slide. The notice tells you that you can only access that page from a cell phone (it’s probably limited to Japanese phones, at that).

What happens if you follow up? Now that’s a question. Well, if you’re curious what more our fictional Yuki has in store, read on!

Continue reading And Yuki replies!