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Squared Sevens Blogging Corp.
Thursday, 27 April 2006
Close Call
I almost had a really big problem with JET this past week. Apparently, some really important forms that I mailed out on the 13th never reached Atlanta, and I received an email from JET stating if we don't get these forms by Tuesday, you're disqualified. Great. So I had to rush to the post office, fortunately I made copies of everything, and express mail it to Atlanta for $15. I was able to contact the JET people, and it looks like everything will work out, but still that's more stress than I would prefer to have.

Also my Aunt and Grandma stopped by for Easter, which was great because there's always a bunch of food when they show up. Seriously whenever extra family is around we eat like kings. Which is nice, but then again it's no surprise we've got some big people in our family. Anywho, I'm still working on my gum cache from Target, mmm delicious.

In gaming news, I finally beat Resident Evil 4. Which basically means that I get to play it all over again! It's one of those games where you can really experiment and play through the game different ways. For example, if you go up the tower in the village, the villagers start to throw fire grenades at you. Or if you barricade yourself in a certain house, the chainsaw guy comes after you. Fun stuff like that. For the next game, I'm thinking of sticking with Capcom and getting Killer 7, it looks pretty cool. Anyone here played it?

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:40 AM EDT
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Friday, 14 April 2006
Cold Case
Had a mega-bad day at work today. First of all, everyone (well, almost everyone) had Good Friday off, so the mall was totally packed and people had us running ragged all day. That might not be too bad, but on top of that I caught a cold complete with sore throat, runny nose, fever and fatigue. Fantastic. And then, tomorrow's Saturday so I almost certainly can't ask for the day off- they need me to sell stuff on the busiest day of the week. This sucks.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 11:18 PM EDT
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Monday, 3 April 2006
Breaking News
I got into JET!! Woo Hoo!

(big sigh of relief)

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:50 PM EDT
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Friday, 31 March 2006
Heeere's whats going on.
I'm still waiting to hear back from JET. From what I understand, it should be coming via mail/email anyday now. That's the name of the game here, hurry up and wait. They ought to call it the Japan Patience Building Program, cause that's all I've gotten out of it so far. Even after I hear about possible acceptance, I still have to wait to hear from them about placement. It gets a little ridiculous after a while and it's starting to eat away at my nerves.

I recently heard that three girls from my high school class are getting married. You know you are getting older when your peers start getting hitched. It was definitely a strange feeling to hear about them. To be honest, I feel weird even typing about marriage at all. As for the girls, I say good for them, although from my perspective it's tough because every time someone gets married, that dating pool starts to shrink a little bit more you know? I thought the trend was to marry later these days, but maybe not.

North Carolina finally started their lottery today with scratch-off tickets. I'm glad NC got the lotto, I always thought it was kind of backwards that all the other East Coast states had one but NC didn't. That said, now that it's here I probably won't play it as much as I thought. I work too hard for my money to just toss it away like that. But as a little fun here and there, well I suppose that can't be too bad.

I blame Chris Turner and Capcom for my current gaming addiction, Resident Evil 4. Man, that game is awesome. I'll spare you the details but it's about the most intense experience you'll get in any type of entertainment. Capcom deserves blame for making the game, and Chris because he keeps egging me on with stories of epic boss battles and infinite rocket launchers. I had a rough go of it tonight, died a whole bunch of times. It's all due to the hordes of axe-throwing zombies. Maybe they're the ones who have my JET acceptance letter?

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:24 AM EST
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Tuesday, 21 March 2006
Call it the World Yakyu Classic
Congratulations Team Japan on winning the inagural World Baseball Classic. It was cool to see Japan win, and some NPB stars get some shine in the US. I think Ichiro should have been MVP, he was the driving force for Japan and had some huge plays in the final against Cuba. It was interesting to see him show some passion for once, although unfortunately his statements have been misconstrued and taken out of context (I believe). Also, congratulations to Oh-san, another achievement in a long and storied career. Just make sure to write Team Mexico a big thank you note, ok?

Well, as for my weekend, I worked just about as much as possible. My assistant mgr. was on vacation to Hilton Head, so me and the store mgr. had to cover the whole weekend between us. 12-close Thursday, open-close Friday, open-8pm Saturday, open-close Sunday. Phew! That's a lot just to type.

And now, no more sports-related posts, I promise.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:13 AM EST
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Thursday, 9 March 2006
Happy Birthday to Me (Late Edition)
Monday the 6th was my birthday. Here's how I will remember it:

-First of all, Fox gave me a great birthday present by showing back-to-back new episodes of 24. And they killed Edgar, too! OMG

-Charlotte awarded NASCAR Hall of Fame. Well, this one sure seemed like a no-brainer seeing how so many drivers and teams are based in this area. But by drawing out the process and having a five city competition, NASCAR was able to get millions in public money from Charlotte to put the Hall here. Good Work Guys!

-Kirby Puckett died. Growing up, Kirby Puckett was my unstoppable sports hero. His 1991 World Series performance is the stuff legends are made of. I know I'm not the only kid that grew up idolizing the guy. Unfortunately, after he retired a bunch of not-so-nice stories about lewd behavior and domestic abuse started to pop up. These allegations really stunned me, since I grew up thinking he was such a great guy. It's too bad, but I'll remember him as one of the first athletes to betray my trust and make me realize all my public heroes might not be so great in private.

Then, on March 7th, the Barry Bonds steriod allegations hit the fan. Basically, a new book is coming out that supports all our worst suspicions of Barry doping it up to reach home run records. If you haven't read the book excerpt from Sports Illustrated, all I can say is it isn't pretty. Barry now becomes the doper of the sports world, even more than Jose Canseco, Marion Jones or even Ben Johnson. Add to the fact that he was an unlikeable asshole to begin with and I predict Selig will make him retire before he can surpass Babe Ruth's 714 Home Runs.

And one more thing... did you see Canada beat the USA 8-6 in the World Baseball Classic? Add to that South Korea's upset over Japan and this is already turning into a very interesting tournament.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:17 AM EST
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Sunday, 5 March 2006
Sports Talk Radio 490 AM WFRO
Ah, Screw it. I'll be honest, I lost all desire to type up the press conference or having anything to do with college basketball after Charlotte's heartbreaking loss to GW today. That is the kind of loss that really rips your heart out and stomps on it several times. That's how the team has been this year though, never seem to be able to put away the big games... they've got one last chance to salvage the season by taking the A-10 tournament. Anyone care to take the odds of that one happening?



Also, I want to point out that I love the concept of the World Baseball Classic and hope that it is a wild success. I love the internationalization of baseball and I think it's currently one of the best things going for the sport. I think playing for national pride makes for great compeition, and who wouldn't want to see the US face off against Japan or the Dominican Republic? And besides, how often do you see new events like these pop up? All the established championships, like World Cup, Olympics, pro sports titles etc. have all been around for decades. Sure, the opening rounds will have some lopsided scores, but hopefully the second round will produce some classic games at near-postseason level intensity.

Friday, 3 March 2006
Fantastic Damage
After another long stretch of work, I finally got a day off today. It was real nice and warm too, so I got to do stuff like wash my car and go kick the soccer ball around, little things that I haven't been able to do in a while. You know, the whole sunshine, fresh air thing. I just don't want it to get too hot, because I haven't fixed the A/C in my car yet from last year. Still, today was in fact pretty nice and I could get used to this routine.

What was also pretty nice was, I got hooked up with a press pass to the Charlotte/Dusquene game last night. So yes, I did in fact get to sit at the press table right at center court. If that's not the best seat in the house, I don't know what is. I also got to indulge in the free pregame meal (sweet potatoes were delicious) and postgame press conference. Now, Dusquene came into Charlotte with only 3 wins the entire season, so this wasn't really a hot ticket. But still getting to do all that stuff was pretty cool. And if I go to Japan, this could be my last basketball game for quite some time. As for the press conference, I did get a recording of Bobby Lutz's and Curtis Wither's comments, if I get bored enough I might type them up on here sometime soon.

So, sounds like everything's been going pretty nice recently, right? Not so fast. Turns out, this girl I like already had a boyfriend. Who is a big basketball player. On a Division 1 college team. That's currently in the top 25. Hmm. I'd say it looks like I might have misjudged that situation just a little bit.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:02 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006 1:07 AM EST
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Monday, 20 February 2006
JET Interview Status: Completed.
Finally, the time had come. I was finally sitting in the Japanese consulate in Atlanta, waiting for my interview to begin. I went over all the questions they may ask, my answers. I thought about all the events that occured since I'd last been to Japan a year and a half ago. JET would be my ticket back to Japan. Now, I just had to rock this interview. No pressure, right? So anyway, how did it go?

Pretty well, I think overall. I was interviewed for about 15 minutes by a panel of 3 people, one a Japan expert, and two former JETs. Early questions included What was the toughest part of studying abroad in Japan, and Why did I think Japanese politics were interesting. Not too bad so far, and the questions were a good chance for me to flex my knowledge of Japan. Japanese pro baseball even came up in the conversation. Then, I was given some more situational questions, like what would I do in x situation. I was still pretty prepared for these, and I think I gave mostly good answers.

Then they asked me to teach a quick lesson about African Americans. Yay, something open ended. They said, you could use anything in the room but I decided to play it safe and use the whiteboard. I tried to keep it visual, drawing a map of Africa and the USA, spelling out all the tough words, etc. But I'm still concerned that I talked to fast and used to complicated words. I don't think that sabotaged the interview though. Then they gave me the opportunity to ask questions, and they said I has asked good questions and had to think about them for a second, which is a good sign.

So I was pretty relaxed and confident, and I think everything in general went pretty well. I was wearing my power tie, so that helped. The interview questions certainly could have been much harder IMO. Now, concerns. I wished I had simplified my sample lesson more, and somehow displayed my Japanese language skills. Also, hopefully the girl from the embassy didn't think I was being too pushy, I was just trying to be real friednly, honest.

Anyways, I sure hope I get this job. Working at the mall has been pretty lame recently, so that certainly raises the stakes. I really don't know if I can sell shoes for another year.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 4:07 PM EST
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Wednesday, 15 February 2006
V-Day
So what do you think I spent my Valentine's Day doing? Smooching up next to a loved one? Nope! How about working open to close (10-9) at the mall. And with opening and closing duties, it's really more like a 9:30-9:30 shift. Fantastic.

But that's neither here nor there. The big news is, I leave tomorrow for the JET interview on Thursday. I'm going to Atlanta straight from work. I thought I'd be nervous, but the truth is I'm excited. I've only been out of the Charlotte metro area once since I started work (trip to Hickory), and even something like staying at a hotel is pretty exciting to me. Plus, I will finally get to do the interview, which is something I've only been waiting about 8 months for. I guess I'm as prepared as I'll ever be. Just got to rip this one up and hopefully I'll be on my way back to Japan before I know it.

Ganbarimashou!

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:35 AM EST
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