Back from Denver and Prepping for Japan

meandhedgehog

Hedgehog and me, hanging out.

Back from my Colo trip. Had lunch with Hedgehog, during which we discussed Russian history and literature from a mushroom and other perspectives, and also the differences between SCA and LARPing. And traded pics of our cherished furkids, of course!

Next week we’re (my partner and I, not Hedgehog and I, although that would be fun, too) are going to Japan to tourist along with my stepson, who is ending a three-year gig as an assistant English teacher with the JET program. JET is a great program that pays decent (for entry level), is well run and mentored, and gives you great international experience in a truly fascinating place. So if you know a soon-to-be or recent grad with a yen for foreign experience, they might want to check it out. I believe the JET people give preference to those who major in something related to Japan or Japanese, but that’s not essential. (Howard had zero Japanese but lots of sports and other leadership experience.) They’re big on “character,” and of course they’re looking for people who will do well in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by new people.

This is a great option for recent grads, especially in a down economy. I believe they aim for geographic and experiential diversity, so those from the flyover states may actually have an advantage over coastal / Ivy types. (Howard’s cohort also included people from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa; and people from outside the U.S. may also have an advantage.) You can stipulate where you would like to be placed—I’m guessing many candidates say Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka—and your preferences will be taken into account, but you must be willing to go where placed.

And recent horrifying tragedies aside, Japan is probably the safest country to visit, so any helicopter parent types reading this can relax. (Unlike my mom who, when I called her up from Italy during my first Euro trek, thirty years ago, asked me if there was anything to eat. “Yeah, Mom, it’s Italy. They have food.”)

Anyhow, last year when we visited, we saw Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. (A highlight was the Ghibli Museum, dedicated to the works of anime superstar Hayao Miyazaki.) This year, we’ll be driving a rental car around the mountainous Tohoku region north of Tokyo, which also happens to offer some of the best onsen in Japan. (Onsen, a.k.a., Japanese baths, are the best thing in the world, assuming you don’t mind scrubbing your privates amidst a roomful of strangers doing the same.)



July 3rd Tune Inn DC Meet-up

We’ll be meeting at the Tune Inn at 331 Pennslvania Ave SE for drinks and munchies this coming Sunday, July 3rd starting around 8:00 PM

Hopefully it will be quiet enough for good conversation.

Google Maps directions here.



July 3rd Capitol Hill meet-up

For a variety of reasons, I am in Washington, DC at the start of next week.

Would anyone want to go grab a beer or two around Capitol Hill on Sunday, July 3rd in the late evening.  I’ll supply the green balloons if you can recommend a good place to meet at 8:30.

 



REMINDER: Pasadena Meet-Up Tonight, June 8

Pursuant to the comments on this post, a final update from commentor Sempronia:

Okay then, how’s 6:30 for people? Kings Row Gastropub is at 20 E. Colorado Blvd. in downtown Pasadena. You can take the Gold Line to Memorial Park or Del Mar stations, or park in the Green St. structure, which offers 1.5 hrs free parking.

Everybody enjoy the party, and send pics if you wanna gloat for the rest of us!



LA Area Meet-Up, Wednesday Evening, June 8

Commentor Ruckus sent me an email — Sempronia wanted to do a post-primary meetup in LA (before S. moves out of the area). Plans are being made for Wednesday evening in Old Town Pasadena.

Who’s up for a spur-of-the-moment celebration?








NYC Meet-Up: Proof of Lively

nyc meetup 5

Via commentor RedDirtGirl, instigator & organizer…

nyc meetup 1
Standing at left, “Celia Dexter”, “RedDirtGirl”, can’t remember first seated woman on left :(, Helen, LAO, Robin Gittelman, ads, DaveNYC, Jerry, Sam, IvanX

nyc meetup 2
PurpleGirl and Helen
Read more



Last Reminder: NYC Meet-Up TONIGHT

One more update from commentor RedDirtGirl:

Friday NYC Meet-up at Old Town update:

Any time after 6pm at the tavern. As I said, they don’t take reservations, but if I give them a headcount in the afternoon, they should be able to set some space aside.

So far, as of right now, this is what I’ve got:
Me (lurker-instigator) I’ll be there at 6.
Robin
Ivan X
DaveNYC
Celia and ______
Sam
PurpleGirl
LAO
and maybe PsiFighter,
if we are still hanging out when he gets in from…Miami?

MDC and JAFD, we’ll see you at the next one.

Friends & lurkers welcome, of course!