Monday, July 30, 2007
I would advise everyone who has heavy luggage and other destinations between their arrival and their final resting place (ominous) to ship their stuff from whatever airport they come in at. It doesn't cost much. I have done this when I flew into Tokyo and was going to take the train. I just pulled out some stuff, put it in a small bag and shipped the rest to Miyazaki for less than $20. Super genius.
I have gone to a bunch of recycle shops and none of them will take my stuff. One I went to today said "We will come by and look at the stuff, but even if we want it, you have to pay $150." I was a bit incredulous and tried to clarify what they were saying. The old woman in charge said, "He can't understand Japanese please explain it to him." "Money." "He says. "He money." That was odd. I had just used words like "Hikitori" and "Nedan naranakutemo." Retards. I told Tatsuya of my troubles. He said, "Of course. You are a foreigner. They are lying to you and nowhere will want to buy your stuff." I am afraid that I believe him.
I have a chair that I like very much but I never sit in. I took it to the laundry mat and put it amongst their chairs in hopes it will stay there for a month. They have a security camera, but I think I will be okay. I have so much stress right now that I imagine my blood turning to graphite.
One good thing about America having a vast culture of poor people is that their are systems set up to serve/prey upon those poor people. Japan is set up to work for the stable middle class and so there aren't any businesses catering to almost broke transients like me. Fuck 'em. I'm leaving my washing machine next to the building and walking away. Why isn't there a Salvation Army or a Waterfront Rescue?
Question to Americans: If a friend asked you, "Can I keep some shit at your house for the month that I am gone?" It isn't even really an issue is it? I don't know. Is it just my friends? Is it the South? Why is this a problem here?
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Everything in Japan comes down to this bullshit. I think I am just going to sell everything except for my computer and my clothes and see what happens. And people wonder why I have no money. It is because my life is a series of this happening.
If you are looking for storage space, or 'trunk room', in Kyoto, then here are some links.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
After Suwa-Sensei got off the phone he went into the main room and said, "Everyone, get where you were when it happened." If you have never been spoken to by a mid-50's, alcoholic, shop-teacher/Judo coach from Osaka then you probably don't understand the level of fear in the room. The kids all ran to their places. To were standing out towards the middle of the room. Two first year boys were in the boys dressing room. All of the girls were in the girl's dressing room. The club president stood in front of the door. One 3rd year black belt slunk up and whispered, "I wasn't here. I had to go turn in a test." What followed was 30 minutes of reenactments, whispers, screaming, changing of stories, bows, more yelling, more bowing, confessions and crying. Apparently, after practice on Friday, the club president had told two of the boys to trip one of the younger boys by running up behind him each holding one end of a belt. I couldn't quiet catch what the motive was. It kept changing. The kids were as vague and
indirect as they are when I talk to them in class. Apparently the kid they tripped hurt his head and no one said anything. They confessed it was because they were scared of the older students that they didn't report anything. Suwa-Sensei told them that there would be no more practice this week (bye-bye $90 Dogi) and that they were out of the Osaka tournament for August. At this point, as everyone started crying he pointed and yelled that it was all the club president's fault. I agree. Then it is both black belt's fault. I can't believe they would fuck around with a belt like that. That's kind of insulting. Then it is all of the 3rd year's faults. Suwa-Sensei explained to them what I was thinking, that it wasn't that they were joking around and someone got hurt, it was that no one said anything and the kid could have had a serious head injury. That the chance when they could have gotten him a CT scan had come and gone. Moreover it made them look dishonest. This story is much longer, more elaborate, scary and revealing, I this forum isn't really broad enough. Anyway, with all the talk about bullying in Japan, I think it is good to go over the top on this stuff before it gets started. I was very proud of the Japanese education system this week. As critical as I am of the club system, it gives kids a chance to try to manage a social structure on their own and rewards them when they succeed and punishes them when they fail. Fairly in this case.
I am not sure what the exact resolution was. Some people may have been kicked out. I chose to leave the room when the real yelling started as I didn't want to stress the kids out to much with having to cry in font of me. We just did weight-lifting for practice. The kids technique is so terrible. So, so terrible. That is Suwa-Sensei's fault, unfortunately. When he benches, he doesn't even bring the bar down halfway-a big problem in Japan. Junior high is great because the girls are way more diesel than the boys. I taught them how to bench and do dead-lifts and military presses. They were great. The boys are hopeless.
"Look, one thing I'm very confident about is my judgment in foreign policy is, I believe, better than anyone else in this race, Republican or Democrat.
"And I don't base that simply on the fact that I was right on the war in Iraq. But if you look at how I approached the problem. What I was drawing on was a set of experiences that come from a life of living overseas, having family overseas, being able to see the world through the eyes of people outside our borders.
"The notion that somehow from Washington you get this vast foreign policy experience is illusory."This is one of the most important points to understanding what is wrong with American politics. It is a congragtion of people who repeat each other and reward people for parroting them correctly. Do they ever feature prominantly the opinions of people that say things like, "Please don't bomb Fallujah, my cousin lives there." Isn't that valid? That is why I support exchange programs and any opportunity to live abroad. It would be really hard to order the bombing of your old neighborhood, or economic policies that work to the disadvantage of your friends. Unfortunately, for the establishment, being completely wrong isn't a deal killer, being different is.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
By the way, if you need to buy a gi in Kyoto,; take Marutamachi a little past Higashioji and there is a martial arts store named Masaharu. It is right next to the Budokan, behind Heian Jingu.
"My 7-year-old [Danielle] loves animals. We were out shopping for a dog. We were in the car, and I can't listen to sports radio anymore because she heard how they drowned and electrocuted some animals. I looked back there at a red light and she had tears in her eyes. She said, 'I don't understand why somebody would drown a dog.' Now I had to explain it as a parent. I said that sometimes people do stuff that is so terrible that you've got to offset that guy by doing something good. She just kept wiping her tears. She was really bothered by it. It's a stupid thing to do, obviously. But these guys get so arrogant, they don't think about it. You got $30 million, $40 million in the bank, they're on top of the world, no remorse and no one can stop them.''
-- Former Green Bay safety LeRoy Butler, in an interview with Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
I don't think Michael Vick understands what a giant piece of shit he looks like right now. Emmit, Emmit, I'm looking at you right now too.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Let me explain. Japan has the highest domestic travel prices in the world. I thought that by riding my bike I would save money. Here is the barrier that might put me over the edge. Shikoku is a major island separated from Kansai by Osaka Bay and the smaller island of Awaji. Awaji is connected to Kobe by a long bridge and to Shikoku by a short bridge. Both of these bridges, as it turns out, are off limits to bikes. So my plan was to start from Kobe and put Awaji out of my way in the first day. Now I have no way to get onto or off of Awaji. There are also no direct ferries from Osaka to Tokushima. Odd. There is a ferry from Wakayama to Tokushima but it costs $25. A train to Wakayama costs $15-20. The ferry from Osaka to Miyazaki costs $120 with my own bunk. There is also a bus to Tokushima from Kyoto but it costs $45. So, if I have to spend 1/3 of what it would cost to get to Miyazaki to get to my starting point than I am kind of defeating the purpose.
That was the last straw. To get my bike in order I need to get: a new helmet $100. toe clips $50? a rack-$50 lights $20. a tent $150 and on and on....my next payday is two weeks into August. I could pull it off but I would again be stressful broke and the whole point is to save money. I really really want to ride through Shikoku. I want to be outside and camping and getting my body into working order and all of that, but it is appealing if I am getting on a bike here and starting an adventure. If I am paying out my ass to be able to start then what am I doing?
Friday, July 20, 2007
edit- now I am reading the comments on imdb and I think that maybe I like the movie more than I thought. People are dumb. Anyway, Adrian Brody is a really decent actor. Ben Affleck is a fatty boombalatie. I am drunk.
Sometimes when you are young, you have a dream. Other people can't see your dream and they think you might be crazy. But you believe. Believe young sir. It can happen to you. I think some people don't think that Tomoko, to my immediate left, is hot. But, she is. She is kind of awkward and gangly and odd. But she has a bright red obi and she is pretty rad. I am drunk, by the way, but don't sell Tomoko short, and kids.....Live The Dream!!!!!!!!!!!
p.s. it goes without saying that Miho and Keiko are rad....not as rad as any lady that reads this blog, but rad enough to hang with them in a pinch.....
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
1. Republicans, especially James Inhoffe and Lindsay Grahm are really, really dumb. I don't mean that because I don't agree with them. I mean it because the words that come out of their mouths are stupid. I don't know if it is on purpose for a dumb audience, or if it is the best they can do.
2. Frank Laughtenberg is a godawful public speaker. Let me give your speech buddy. You are worse than my students.
3. Conservatives are operating through such a weird, stilted, outdated view of people. It reminds me of when my Dad tells me about a 'nice young person' and I see who he's talking about and they are a trashy loser. The Republicans hold up our soldiers not just because they are using them as a political tool but also because they have a very narrow view of what people can be. Lots of people I know joined the military because they has fuck-all else to do. They aren't heroes. They might be placed in circumstances to do something heroic. That's different. Being subjected to violence and responding in kind doesn't make you a hero. That being said, shunning all violence doesn't make you virtuous. The conservatives remind me of the guy who spoke a the Choctaw pre-graduation ceremony who said, "It's good to see some good kids. You see all these young punks on TV." Me and Justin Hollon lost it because they guy was so ridiculous. These are the people who run our country. There is only one mode of service. Only one mode of heroism. And if we aren't in favor of that path than we can't be of service and we won't be heroes. It's ridiculous.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
And so on. I was too tired to get it together to ask. Maybe the guy next to me was just getting freaked out at the crowd. If so, I am kind of proud of him. It gets to me to. It is also possible that the guy standing up was masturbating/ molesting someone. If you don't live in Japan that sounds more far-fetched, but it ain't. In this case, I am also proud of the guy. Maybe the guy next to is just an asshole though. Who knows? Exciting.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Gion Matsuri accomplished. Drank sake sangria and beer and I still ain't drunk. But I am tired from walking 800 miles of matsuri in a jenbei looking for people I can't find. Drank beer. Keiko drinks lots of beer. A chinpira tried to fight a cop and tripped over a bunch or garbage bags. Yakisoba was eaten. Goodnight.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
A typhoon is coming. The government reported that it is moving at the speed of someone on a bicycle. The cocktail party looks to be postponed to Monday. I went to Yasaka-Jinja to see if there were any signs of the matsuri being canceled. The mikoshi were lit up and out on display. I held my umbrella and snapped photos in the drizzle.
To CNNSI I quote Michael Stipe, "Come on aboard I promise you you won't hurt the horse. We treat him well. We feed him well. There's lots of room for you on the bandwagon."
But they could really do with some better reporting. The real question coming out of "Stacked" is: which recently dethroned champion stands the best chance of regaining his belt? I'll give the percentages:
Tim Sylvia- %0
Chuck Liddell- %30
After watching Silva, I gotta say that I don't think Franklin is going to be seeing that belt again. Well, seeing it maybe. Not wearing it. Tim Sylvia has no place among the top level heavyweights coming in. Hendo is coming and is a much better style match-up against Rampage than Liddell. He also out-classes Liddell in the athletic department. GSP has every reason to expect to beat Serra in a rematch but I think Koschek is a much more difficult match for him than people think... Hughes is looking more and more beatable. That being said he beat my boy Penn, but, what are you gonna do.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I was in the Conbini in Kyobashi Eki today and there was this girl singing Lifetime Respect really slow like. What da? Sorry for two youtube songs in as many days but I just realized it's the middle of the summer. While there aren't many problems something seems a little off about this translation to me. Mainly, that it doesn't emphasize that "together" and "all of my life" are almost homophones in Japanese and that is kinda the main point of the song. I'm nitpicking, but I don't think he is saying "I don't understand marriage but I want to have a baby." I think he is like, "Get married? say whu? Let's get down to business. It's fate baby. Believe dat!" He definitely doesn't say "I won't leave you." He says, "I can't let go of you." That's a pretty big difference I think.
terrible video. hardest karaoke song ever. I saw Miki at Beat Crap my first year in Miyazaki when Kate tried to fight the owner because they closed the bar during his set. So much foreshadowing in that little experience.
So who is covering this?
Books I read last week:
I finished Post Captain the second in the Master and Commander series by Patrick O'Brian. I liked it more than the first book. Maybe because I am getting more into it, maybe because O'Brian was getting more into it. I don't know. I usually don't go in for British aristocracy tramping around the countryside getting into delicate entanglements but this is good stuff.
I read Ian Fleming's Casino Royale in a total of about 3 hours. Not a great book but certainly worth reading. I enjoy that style: He walked in. She walked out. He punched her in the face. There are some serious misogyny issues taking place. The book also contains the phrase, "the sweet tang of rape." I shit you not. I couldn't make that up.
I reread Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. That's some fucked up shit right there. Remind me never to climb a mountain. I remember watching the news report on this disaster with Summer's family. Doug kept laughing and shaking his head about stupid fuckers who want to climb Everest. I don't understand why people criticized Krakauer so much. What was he supposed to do? Operating in that atmosphere is like diving at severe pressures, you can't control how your physiology will respond. It isn't like he slept while people died because he was tired. His body was dying. Anyway, a crazy read. I'd like to make the movie, but someone else is.
I am currently reading two books: one is a kirie version of the Tale of Genji. The kirie is by Miyata Masayuki and is incredible. There are so many standout cutouts that I can't go into them all here. The book is in Japanese and English. It is abridged to make room for the kirie, which sucks but is necessary. I am also rereading Trainspotting . My copy is the one with the cover that reads "The best book ever written by man or woman...deserves to sell more copies than the Bible."—Rebel, Inc. True that. The only problem with reading it is the language enters your brain and you begin to think things like "pish me keks" or "I was no goin" or "disnae." I'm feeling more Mark Renton than Sick Boy these days. Hell, for the last few months I woulda settled for Spud. This book should be assigned is high schools. On the all-time list for sure.
Speaking of Penn Jillette I have been re-watching the old Penn and Teller series The Unpleasent World of Penn and Teller. It reminded me of how much I used to like them. Their kind of magic (directly influenced by James Randi) is rad because if you get the joke and you get the trick it teaches you something about not being a sucker. Not just at the carnival, but at the church and at the election and in front of the TV. I very much enjoy how them revealing how the trick is preformed is just as much another trick. Clever. Unfortunately I think a lot of this good feeling is lost when I watch their program Bullshit. While a lot of the show is decent, it can't get around the fact that Libertarianism is so much the belief system for twelve year old boys. It makes all arguments so much easier to say that freedom is good control is bad so therefore that applies absolutely in every situation. For example, they are right on about drug control. It is ridiculous and self defeating. People who are reckless and want to poison themselves will. The best we can do is deal with and minimize the problems his causes to society. Meanwhile, they lambast recycling as foolhardy claiming that most of it ends up in the dump and anyway we have enough room. Well, as with population growth, space is a fallacy. We have enough space for lots of things. We don't have enough RESOURCES. And that's the bottom line. So if you attempt to discuss waste without discussing overpopulation, you are having a pointless conversation. It is just shallow comfort to yell 'freedom' at the problem and hope it goes away when organization and effort are necessary.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
-You're a twin?
-How can I tell you apart?
-Her eyes are different.
-Well, what is you first name so I won't confuse the two of you?
-And what is your sister's name?
-.......................................... Is she in a club too?
-The same; basketball club.
-So if one of you fouls out you can sneak back in?
-We play at the same time.
-Mr. Okubo, why don't you introduce yourself.
-(In Japanese) I don't want to. I can't speak English.
-That is why you are in English class.
-(In Japanese) I don't know what you are talking about, I can't speak English.
This goes on for a while with patches of English and a lot of silence.
-Last question Mr. Okubo: What do you want to be?
-A translator in America.
Mr. Yano-What do you want to be?
-What do you play?
-Do you play the drums?
-Do you have a drumset?
-Where do you practice?
-You don't practice?
-But you want to be a musician?
I have had this stuck in my head for the better part of a week. Maybe because it is summer. Remember when you had to stay up until midnight on a Sunday to hear rad music? I kinda miss it. Anyway, I had Jane's Addiction to the list of bands I could give a shit about once they change bass players. (Weezer, The Promise Ring, etc...) The only people that seem to be immune are Iceburn who seem to have a stable of geniuses on retainer. Eric A was the man. Did anyone else notice that this bass line is the same as the Red Hot Chili Peppers version of 'Higher Ground'? Play them both and you will see.
I have to admit that for a second I thought, "Hey, don't be mean to Sanjay Gupta." But Moore's point was exactly right on. First, CNN felt a need to run a piece that said, in effect, "Pretty much everything Sicko said was right but we can look at the numbers a little differently, so Michael Moore is a liar." They keep doing shit like this. People don't listen to what is being said, they just take away the mental insulation that anything that makes them uncomfortable is a lie, or 'fudge' as Dr. Gupta would say.
Second, while Gupta's actions in Iraq, and I remember watching them at the time, were valiant, in the end he was only serving to hype a war and not question its premise. Moore is right to say that and will be skewered for bringing it up. It was rad to watch him stomp all over the moronic Blitzer however.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I continued south and was in the hanamachi south of Shijo (which one is that? Is that Shimabara or is it still Gion?) when I show three Maiko waiting outside of a tea house. I think they were the real deal, but I caught them in a strange, unguarded moment. They were laughing and one of them was kind of dancing and then the mama came out and got mad at them. This is the virture of riding a fast quiet bike with no light. They were amusing but I realized that being a Maiko isn't equivalent to being attractive.
On the way bag, with a big bag of groceries, I decided to take the back way through the real hanamachi. I always feel like I am intruding. I was dodging an old man when an absolutely beautiful, striking Maiko-possibly Geiko- walked around the corner wearing a blue kimono and giant geta that I heard before I saw. I realized the shocking grandeur and draw of these figure then. She said "Konbanwa" really assuredly as I dodged my bike around her and I wasn't sure if it was to me or the old man behind me, but I found myself kind of bowing while I was on my bike. She was the real god-damned deal.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Mark Bocek (154.5) vs. Frank Edgar (Pictures) (154.5) Frank Edgar by virtue of his battle with Tyson Griffin. I didn't actually get to see that fight, but I heard a lot about it. I pick Edgar in the second by fury.
Jason Gilliam (Pictures) (171) vs. Chris Lytle (Pictures) (169.5) I rather like Lytle and his fighting style. I think he can fight just about anyone to a decision. If their talent level is notably higher than his the decision will usually go the other way but I see Lytle taking this one by decision and firemanship.
Diego Saraiva (Pictures) (155) vs. Jorge Gurgel (Pictures) (155.5) I have heard about Jorge Gurgel, but never seen him fight. He has a grappler's name, but I have heard it is his stand up that sets him apart. Saraiva is supposed to be a sick grappler. Gurgel by the fact that I have heard his name more and he is looking ripped at the weigh-ins (which means nothing).
Mike Nickels (205.5) vs. Stephan Bonnar (Pictures) (204.5) Nickels seems like a cool guy and I would like to see him do well. Bonnar has shown that he is probably just at the upper end of average. Neither of these guys have elite level talent. I have heard that Nickels ground game is really strong, but I have never seen it. I think Bonnar takes a decision with strong stand-up and good conditioning.
Alvin Robinson (Pictures) (156) vs. Kenny Florian (Pictures) (155.5) Ken-Flo is another guy that you don't bet against. I really like his skill set. Everyone knows how sick his jiu-jitsu is and his Muay-Thai is really coming around. Florian by submission in the third.
Heath Herring (Pictures) (259) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures) (240.5) Big Nog in America...It is just so weird. Herring is a wild card lately. While he is best know for his battle with Fedor-as well as not being a homosexual- his recent fights have looked like a big night at the tough-man competition. My spider senses are telling me that Herring gets an absurd knockout from his knees while beaten and bloody and screaming. However, I say extra-big Nog by sub in the second. Americans don't even know. You don't even know. The boy ain't right.
Rashad Evans (Pictures) (204) vs. Tito Ortiz (Pictures) (205.5) I haven't seen a lot of Rashad Evan's fights but I keep hearing that he might be the real deal. I don't know yet. I admire Tito, especially after his coaching stint on TUF. He is really dedicated and knows how to win. Chuck has Tito's number, no doubt, so it is hard to guage where he is right now. This fight wil be a good ruler for if he is on the up or down swing. Tito by ref stoppage in the third.
Hermes Franca (Pictures) (154.5) vs. Sean Sherk (Pictures) (154.5) I loves the Hermes Franca. Sherk is an animal. Franca drops the bomb. Sherk is a bad-ass wrestler but Franca's jiu-jitsu is miles ahead. Franca's stand-up is ahead. Sherk is hard to submit with those dinosaur arms. Franca by third round KO.
Nathan Marquardt (Pictures) (182.5) vs. Anderson Silva (184.5) Even though Marquardt fought for years in Pancrase here in Japan, I have never seen him fight. We've been hearing the legend for years. I think Silva is one of those guys who is just born to fight. Don't be fooled by his slim build and soft voice, the guy is a killer. I love that he works the body triangle. I love that he destroys from the Thai clinch. Marquardt will earn some takedowns, but he will pay. Silva by third round KO.
there you are..take it to the office....
Friday, July 6, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Not only does this guy decide to run on camera during a story about a mob murder. he decides to crip walk through it! I don't know why this cracks me up so much. If they ask me at school to teach the kids something about American culture I am going to show them how to crip walk. The weird thing is; for being a hip/down dance it is eerily similar to the Breakfast Club, which I am known to do when drunk.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Monday, July 2, 2007
Sunday, July 1, 2007
This is late but... Two weekends ago my friend Miho, who likes to dress in kimono and go places, drug me out to this kimono fashion show at Kyoto Eki. The first group to come out was hideous. All of the clothes looked like someone had stolen their grandmother's drapes and hastily affixed them to her couch covers and then laced them with gold jewelry. The designer, an uncomfortably comfortable man in a black cowboy hat, was also a model. He sported man-capes. It was terrible. Second to go were these really cute chicks in Yukata. I don't know if someone coached them on their walking but they were doing this odd geta bounce that was, dare I say, pretty f'n hot. Some very elegant kimono followed but I pined for the yukata girls and didn't take much interest. The whole affair was hosted by this skanky looking lady in paisely hot pants who I was assured many times was "very famous in Kansai." I grew tired of looking at her skinny kneecaps, with their folds of soft fat overlapping from above.
The first show ended. The audience had been made up of rancid looking old women who were there because, "old ladies like kimono and things that are free.". We had front row seats because Miho and her friend were wearing kimono. I was a foreigner with a camera so maybe someone thought I was important. The rancid old women started to be replaced by nicer looking young women in an assortment of clothing ranging from 'nice but weird' to 'hootchie.' I soon realized it was because the second show (by the way, if you don't live in Japan, you have to figure this stuff out as it goes because no Japanese person will ever think to explain what is happening or is going to happen to you) featured ladies who work in the clothing stores below the station as models, and was hosted by this dude, who is not funny in the least. I should also point out that this show was taking place at the bottom of the giant stairwell in Kyoto Eki so anyone who gathered to watch was looming over us in our small grouping of chairs and I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable as the only foreigner in the front row with a camera and two girls in kimono. At the end of Ueda Ken's not funny show, during which photography was prohibited and young staff members would charge up the staircase throwing their hands out in front of anyone who lifted a phone-how degrading for them, a raffle was help in which you could win the outfits that the models were wearing. When they called your number you had to go stand on the stage with the model whose clothes you wanted. I had wisely chosen not to get a ticket. The first person to win was a little girl and she went straight for the model in the god-awful pink overall hotpants/ Mickey Mouse hat ensemble. Go figure; a child chooses a cartoon character. Two guys had their numbers drawn and they were really creepy and wore sunglasses and made the models uncomfortable. I think it would have been a good event for Susan because she would have hated all of the clothes and still really wanted to win. Miho proved that we have very different taste in fashion as all of her choices disappeared and then she finally didn't win anything. I wished Kumar was around so we could try to pick up models the way we had with the Miss Miyazaki ladies after the Erekkochya Matsuri. Instead I drank coffee with chicks in kimono. Bought a stupid playstation game and went home.
1st- J.T. Snow. I like first baseman who can play defense. Snow was exceptional. I also like that he was a switch hitter who gave it up and went lefty; an interesting choice.
2nd- Mark Lemke. The man could turn a double play. I think the times have changed greatly. A guy like Lemke could start up the middle for a championship team. He also tried to become a knuckleball pitcher. Props.
SS- Rafael Belliard. Again, remember there was a time when guys like Raffy could play in a World Series game. I remember watching his second, and final, career home run. I think it was against Pittsburgh. The guy could field like a maniac too.
3rd- Rex Hudler. I didn't realize Rex was doing so well after his playing career until I looked him up just now. I just remember him as the crazy dude who always showed up on This Week in Baseball yelling about something.
LF- Brady Anderson. The 1990s at Camden Yards were great times. Brady, with the posters of him in his underpants, was a rad left fielder with no arm to speak of. He had speed, and a little pop in his bat. His aberrant home run season makes me like him less actually. He had great sideburns though.
CF- Brett Butler. I still remember the day he got traded by the Braves. You would have thought someone had died, or we had lost a war. I loved his giant glove and his wicked bunting. That's awesome that there was a dude who just set around practicing bunting all of the time. I understand that he is a crazy born-again, pro-life Christian now. Again, an outfielder with no arm.
RF- Michael Tucker. I went to a Braves game one July on the way up to camp with Brandon. Maddux was pitching and the game was on Fox. Tucker got a home run and was awesome in the field. Baseball is weird like that. If i had only seen him that day and someone had told me that he was one of the legends of the game, I would have believed it. When you see him play in person, he just so much looks the baseball player.
C- Javy Lopez. He was going to be the player of the future. Does anyone remember when he was in the minor leagues and was known for his base stealing? He had that flick throw behind the runner at first and his home runs would hang up in the air like massive pop-flies. Still kind of sad that he only turned out to be a little better than average.
P- Bill Lee. Probably the closest to greatness. "What was your best pitch?" "A strike." Put weed in his pancakes and ran to the ballpark. Was also a bad-ass pitcher.
One school let me go after two hours because there was really nothing going on. Mikuni told me to show up late. I went to English club which was three girls that can't speak English and one who could who translated everything for the others. One of the girls is nuts and only cares about the Biohazard movie and whether sharks eat people in America.
The good part was I went to the judo club's practice. Mikuni has a pretty nice martial arts room up on the third floor. The kids, after having tests all day, practice insanely hard for over two hours. Their ne-waza (grappling on the ground) was garbage though. I tired to give them some advice but I really have no idea what you can and can't do when it comes to junior high judo so I probably just confused them, I wanted to get in there and start gogo-plataing some teenagers but....Of course, I think the way they go about practice is self-defeating but that applies to most Japanese practices of anything. After practice, the judo coach, who had earlier invited me to the male staff drinking party and who's teeth are rotting out, showed me his secret room in the school. Apparently he teaches first year students computers, so they built a computer room for them. There was an empty room left off behind the classroom so he brought up an old refrigerator, some couches and a weight bench. He told me I could hang out there if I wanted because the office was probably boring for me and that I could drink the tea out of the fridge. He also told me he has to drink a beer and three glasses of shyochu just to go to sleep every night. "I'm an alcoholic." He told me. Crazy how frank you can afford to be about these things here. Alcoholic is just another thing you can be.
In any case it is the first time I have had a job that I liked since I left JET. I liked the hospital but it was only one day a week. There were times at Kingsbury were I was able to go surfing everyday and got along well with all of my students. But as for actually enjoying the job.....I'm sure something will happen to change this....maybe....I don't know.
attempting to silence the voices in my head.