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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Today’s the Big Election Day

Even my students are in on all the excitement and anticipation of tonight’s US Presidential election results. Many Japanese citizens who I’ve talked to despised their former Prime Minister Noda who faced numerous critiques over the handling of a US military base in Okinawa as well as the handling of nuclear plants after the March 11 earthquake for someone similar to an Obama-like leader. A few of my Japanese friends have even gone as far to say their love for Obama’s charisma and drive makes them love our American president more so than Noda himself!

As for me, this year was my first time filling out an international absentee ballot. the process for an absentee American civilian was very simple. I sent a request for an Absentee Ballot Request form to my county’s election board office. Got an email attachment of the form. In turn I printed the forms filled out the necessary information and returned them via email. A few days later my absentee ballot was in the mail and my party’s recommendation letter came the following day. Again my ballot was scanned and emailed.

The only difficult thing was finding a scanner big enough to scan the ballot. However, they don’t call a Japanese convenient store convenient for nothing. There was a scanner that doubled as a copier, printer, and fax machine. My difficulty was a minor one compared to other Americans living abroad who also wanted to vote. Many of these citizens had been voting for years and SUDDENLY face issues with requesting ballot request forms or mailing addresses. After reading some of the heinous articles about wrongly calibrated voting machines, confusing polling information, poll volunteers asking for ID, hypocritical new outlets **cough** Fox News **cough cough** protecting one watch dog group while condemning another essentially doing the same thing, it’s deplorable.

I’m very curious as to how these perpetrators thought they were going to get away with some of these acts but under the same breath they kind of are. Media awareness used to be a very powerful weapon. Mass audiences would learn the truth consequences are issued. I’ve been following this election very closely and found phrases such as ‘walking back,’ ‘doubling down,’ ‘taken out of context,’ ‘liberal media,’ ‘cover up’ etc. are used to side step the punishment for biased journalism, or writing off 47% of an entire country, or withholding information about an attack against an embassy.

I’m not a Republican but I have always admired about subtly aggressive conservative leaders. Unlike the liberal approach of promoting the truth and transparency, conservative leaders used a subtle approach to combat issues unsupported by their platform and promote issues true to their own values. The Voter ID push is the most relevant and polarizing example of the subtle aggression. Hindering the poor and youth voters who spoke so loudly in 2008. Event he Citizens United case that has opened a deluge of conservative intimidation via super PAC political spots and CEOs scaring their employees into voting for Romney. One thing I have to question, is this high tenacity to win against those who differ in party, those who differ in race or social economic status?

What ever the answer and what ever outcome of tonight will be, the Democratic party and it’s liberal supporters need a more aggressive game changer to combat the many inaccuracies and unfairness that exists across the aisle AS WELL as in their own seats.

And with that, I wait patently.

UPDATE: I found this hilarious and hopefully useful to some: http://yourfuckingpollingplace.com/

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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in misoPOW!, Real Happenings

 

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Not in America? Love Halloween? No problem.

As a UNC Chapel Hill student, Halloween meant going to a street called Franklin street pre-gamed and dressed in a costume. What’s awesome is that the whole purpose is to just look at other people’s costumes and maybe stop off at a bar. No special events required.  Walking up and down the heavily crowded street was enough fun for us.

And this guy

Last year was my first time missing out on the Franklin Shenanigans. Halloween in Oyama was modest at best. Last year’s costume was hasty and uninspiring: A generic hippie with a 99% sign in light of the Occupy Wall Street protests. But lets face it Japanese adult students don’t even know about the 99% let alone the children the Halloween week was aimed for. So by the end of Halloween week my kids decided I was Captain Jack Sparrow or some fortune teller from Tortuga on the Pirates of the Caribbean with a my mismatched jewelry and gypsie wrap…Shoganai. (-_-)

Fake scared cause my fortune saw it coming. FAIL.

Ok so when it comes to preparing a Halloween costume, I’m a bit めんろくさい AKA lazy about it. In the end, it wasn’t all bad. I got to wear jeans to work so it was a nice win. But I knew the next year was going to be better. This year, my new めんろくさい approach to finding a costume was googling characters who have articles of clothing I already own.

Occupy Strawberry Shortcake. もっともえ

So this year was the black version of Strawberry Shortcake. No one who saw me knew Strawberry Shortcake the character but love the actual strawberry shortcake so I lucked out and had more fun. I was very upstaged by some of my friends who dressed as One Piece characters. When in Japan, don’t mess with One Piece. You get cut.

One thing I will say is Roppongi is a major spot to enjoy Halloween. Some friends of mine went there and posted pictures. They were very similar to what Halloween was like in NC but on a larger and less regulated scale. Any large city is also good. I was in Omiya Halloween weekend and enjoyed the bars and clubs without a hitch.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Looking Back, misoPOW!, Real Happenings

 

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ひさしぶり!”Hisashiburi!” Long Time no See!

My goodness look at the time.  It’s been too long since I’ve been on misoPOW!  misoP’s seems awake atm, so it’s high time to post some highlights of this past summer *flex fingers* YOSHI!!

In the meantime, I’ve discovered some highly useful sites while being here:

Metropois Publications: When I don’t have anything planned I sift through this site to find any fun events to check out.

Surviving in Japan:  I discovered this a while back when looking for new facial care products. Seeing how the ones I came to Japan with were running out. The blog has the most thorough How-to-live-in-Japan guides I’ve seen to date.

Loco in Yokohama:  Daye McNeil has a more raw and honest approach to life in Japan. Posts about his personal experiences about race and livelihood in Japan. He’s been featured in the Japan Times (Which is how I came to find him) and even published a novel, ‘Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist.’ I’m glad the book was nookable for me to read…still reading.

Tanos:  So far is my favorite and most centralized way to quiz myself for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. It contains study materials for all levels of the JLPT.

I’ve been busy, ne? Anyway, on to those highlights.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in misoPOW!, Shout Outs!

 

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