Hmm... where to start. So I've been working at Gaba for a couple weeks now, unfortunately it's been kind of slow (for everyone, and worse for me since I'm a new instructor). The way Gaba works is that you only get paid for as many lessons as you actually teach, so if you schedule yourself for all day but only actually get four lessons, you'll only get paid for those four. It's kind of frustrating because I want to schedule myself for a lot of classes in the hopes that someone will book in, but then if they don't it's essentially a wasted day that I could have been doing something else in.
Like finding an apartment. We finally got the eviction notice, and we have to be out of here by Dec 5. I've been looking around at apartments and guest houses, and I've pretty much decided on a place in Komae. Komae is on the same line as Ikuta, it's actually only like five stops away, but it's a fairly inexpensive place to live. The closer you get to central Tokyo, the more expensive and smaller the apartments get. This one in Komae that I found is 65000/mo, which is quite good for the area, and it's a decent size too - it's actually got both a living room and a kitchen/dining area, as opposed to all the tiny six-mat studios I've been seeing up closer to Tokyo for 70000 and up. Komae is about 20 minutes from Shibuya, which is nice, and like five minutes from Seijo, which is also quite nice. The move in fees are pretty high, but they're still lower than everything else I've looked at.
I'm still working on my Japanese, I went out the other night to the restaurant one of my friends works at with some other friends, and it was pretty fun. I'm heading out again tonight with my language exchange partner, he's been great for helping me speak more naturally.
It's FREEZING here in Tokyo, although I'm sure it's probably colder in Ohio, haha. At least you've got heat there though, most apartments in Japan don't have central heating and ours is no exception. The little space heater that came with the apartment is getting a lot of use, and I'm definitely going to take it when I move. If I ever manage to save up enough money, there's actually room in this apartment that I'm looking at for a kotatsu, which is a traditional Japanese low table with a heater and blanket built right in, to huddle around during the wintertime. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotatsu
Anyway I'm about to head out, I might be without internet for a bit again after I move so I'll try to post more in the interim!