Friday, November 30, 2007

Death Talk


nijyojyo koyou127, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Sean Taylor's death sucks a lot. I think it bothers me because it is very similar to what happened to Kumar. Also the guy was young and played safety(I tried to play safety). Two things about his killing: 1. The way people get shot on TV is completely wrong. Taylor was shot in the leg and died. He didn't hop around and say, "Ow man, you shot me!" That is one reason I liked the accidental shooting in Pulp Fiction so much. You play around with guns people die, immediately. 2. When there is a dispute over police shootings and people say, "Why couldn't they just shoot him in the leg?" Because it is hard to 'just shoot someone in the...anywhere.' Also because people die from being shot in the leg just as easily as they die from being shot in the face. That doesn't mean I think it is okay for the police to shoot people, just that it is a ridiculous complaint to say that they just could have shot them in the legs and it makes your argument sound stupid. Anyway, no late hits on Lance Hahn's ghost or Norman Mailer will stab you. Oh, you gotta love that Taylor came out with a machete. Florida in the house.

Kyoto Arkansas?


nijyojyo koyou089, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Although Kyoto is certainly lovely, I wonder sometimes if they just dropped old castles or temples over Little Rock or Birmingham if it wouldn't have the same feel. Right Mom? Right? My neck is still killing me so some of these photos might be lopsided.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nijo-jo


nijyojyo koyou052, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

I went down the street to Nijo-Jo today. A week and a half ago I went with Toshi. The leaves hadn't quite turned. I noticed today that they were almost gone. I ran down at closing time to get some photos. Most of them were taken in haste. Forgiveness please.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Eating Whale Necks


fukuoka 2007082, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Last night I had a nomikai with the teachers from Mikuni. It was for the teachers of first year students. I teach all years but I sit with them. The old men like me now because I drank shyochu with them. What I didn't do was eat the whale necks. We got their early so they served us whale necks while we were waiting. I asked if they were really whale necks. "Yes." Fuck that. The old guys laughed at me. There is a new Japanese response. "In some countries they eat dogs." I told them that babies probably taste good, but I don't eat them. The old science teacher told me that the modern world is fucked. He said he smokes in front of his students and says, "That's my nutrition." Because everyone else tells them smoking is bad. That's kind of funny. I kind of respect that in a terrible, horrible way.

My Neck, My Back


fukuoka 2007068, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Sometime yesterday, I managed to injure my neck. A lot. Really bad. It hurts like a truckload of hurt hurts. I can't look left. I am not exaggerating. It is true and real pain. Help. I hope it goes away tomorrow. Getting out of bed is very hard. I had to kind of lift my head with one hand and scoot out. At Imaichi they are learning judo and I was helping out. That might have done it, but everyone yesterday was very weak. One kid was goofing off and Ohara sensei picked him up by the lapels and threw him into a wall. It was money. I taught a class by myself. The kids were so-so. I took one's tennis ball and threw it out the window and made another sit in a special desk at the front of the class. He said he wouldn't move. I said 'You don't way that much." He kept asking, "What does that mean?" I said that it meant that it really didn't matter if he moved himself or not. Then he moved. The problem with jr. high kids is they always have to try and save some dignity so they act sullen or keep trying to act like they are getting away with something and you either have to go over the top or ignore it. I didn't like them even when I was one.

James Draws Well


fukuoka 2007140, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

I'm envious. It must be relieving to be able to produce art. This is James at dinner drawing in Natsuki's friend Kayo's notebook.

Kyushu Basho


fukuoka 2007083, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Sorry for the no posting. I have been going to work and then falling asleep. I went to Fukuoka for the Kyushu Basho. Lots of drama as Asashyoryu is still out on suspension. Kotooshyu is still out. Kaiyo was threatening retirement and Chiyotaikai was pushing Hakuho for the championship. Takamisakari is still an f'ing nutcase. Chad and James came up. James got the bus up on Saturday and didn't have a place to stay. I left him at Jacky's- the Southern themed bar-after a shot of Wild Turkey and a beer. I got up with him after 9 phone calls in the morning to a response of, "Well I've been better." Chad actually beat him to the venue even though he left from Miyazaki and James was only 20 minutes away. It was nice to confront the day with no hangover. There were some great bouts in the lower divisions. The main events seemed a bit lacking as Chiyotaikai dropped out due to injury, thereby eliminating any play-off with Hakuho. We also thought it had robbed Kaiyo of his final bout in front of his hometown fans, but he announced later that he isn't retiring. The bout of the night, easily was Baruto and.....who was it??? Baruto and somebody going back and forth for minutes. Kotomitsuki upset Hakuho in the last bout, which was nice. It also meant we got to throw pillows! Yeah!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Complete the Circle

Sumo Better Blues

I'm off to Fukuoka for our annual way beyond drunk sumo weekend. Although I don't plan on getting drunk this year. Chad and James are a definite for sumo. Cam dropped out to study for the ikkyu. Jamie and Nathan both came down with colds. So it will be a weekend of ramen and sumo and my homeboys. I discovered that I can purchase Shinkansen tickets at Nijo Station in front of my house. Sweet. I had been putting off going to Kyoto-eki. Who knew? So I won't be around for a few days. I will be back with pictures and stories and I am putting up a bunch of youtube junk I have been meaning to put up to entertain the children. I went to the laundrymat and the ATM with my fly down. Nice. I am sofa king we todd ed. Oh, this will be my first Basho in forever with out Asashoryu. He is still in the doghouse for playing in a charity soccer match(read: being Mongolian) and on suspension. Chiyotaikai has a share of the lead. Kaiyo, as usual, is ready to plummet and retire. I hope it comes down to the final day. Chiyotaikai over Hakuho would be nice. Chiyotaikai is from Oita, which is next to Miyazaki, so we pull for him. I usually pull for Asa too, since he is such a pimp. Of course I will be most stoked for Takamisakari, the sumo ODB.

Magic, thanks!-Shameswoman

Magic tHANKSGIVING sHAMAN

Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

That's Odd, I Went to Immigration Today

Article on Gaijinary and how we shall all be fingerprinted from now on. At immigration today they told me I needed my actual college diploma and a letter of release from my former employer and all of my former tax records. Is this over-kill? I think, a bit.

This article also. The e-mail is fake, but pretty much what the real one would be.

I see the 'help prevent terrorism' signs on my way to work every day. Oh Japan, you are so big and important. Everyone wants to attack your bus lines. It wasn't looney Japanese people who gassed you subways. It was us crazy foreigners, no longer content to drink your beer and chat up your daughters. If they really wanted to keep out undesirable foreigners that would start handing out chastity belts.

The Red Hills of Georgia

I forgot to mention that last week my student, Miss Shibata, took 4th in the Osaka speech contest. I got worried when I found out that I would have to help her practice the 'I Have a Dream Speech." Is that really the territory for Japanese jr. high kids? I asked her if she was okay with interposition and nullification. She actually managed to get those out, although she had some problem with "heat of oppression." I told her to say "he dove a pression" instead. Seemed to work. I also told her that MLK's speaking voice wasn't so much loud as it was big. She did well with that.

Oh! I found a copy of her speech.


A Tune for Your Day

on the whole, i wish they had let me into film school.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Analogy of the Tape Player

Yoshida-sensei and I have been teaching "I like, You like, He/She/It likes" To 1st years for the last two weeks. She is convinced this is the hardest thing to grasp ever. I think it is marginally annoying. The counter system and its further pronunciation variations is was harder to get a handle on. When you first approach it it seems bewildering. You check with a chart telling you what word you should use for long, cylindrical objects and what word you should use for birds and rabbits, and pretty soon you remember it. These kids can't do that because, as I have said before, they have never been taught how to assemble a sentence, so it is just a big pile of junk to them. Today, 3 minutes into class, Yoshida-sensei, who I am going to trash a lot today, but who I like, realizes that, even though she told me that class 1-4 understood "s-es" so I should make a harder lesson for them, they didn't actually know it. SOme kids could do the lesson well, others were lost. I just asked them to do things like "I like apples. She likes Apples. I play baseball. He plays baseball." Of course I got the inevitable "I like plays baseball." If these kids had ever been told that they can't have to verbs in a sentence like this then this wouldn't be a problem. I told Yoshida-sensei that I would go slow with the next class and explain how to make 2 and 3 word sentences. Yoshida-sensei's entire teaching style consists of fretting and panicking so she is a little stressful to work with.

For the next class, 1-5, I went slow. I told them there were things called nouns and things called verbs. Yoshida-sensei freaked out because the word for noun and pronoun are different in Japanese. I said that I didn't care. That some things were people or objects or animals and others were things that are done. I would rather just teach them the words "noun' "Verb" and "Pronoun" in English and then work on short sentences everyday. But, no. They have to learn things they will never use and will only confuse them. Some kids understood, "Godzilla does karate." But class was largely unsuccessful.

Cut to lunch time. We have to record the listening test for next week. On the 4th floor is a very expensive language lab, with computers and headsets and microphones and dubbing equipment. Behind it is a store room, cold and grossly disorganized. Yoshida-sensei takes me to that room where an old tape deck sits on a cluttered table. She hooks a cheap microphone into the mic jack and hits record. She messes up the start of the script. She rewinds the tape with her fingers. (most teachers do this and I can never get a straight answer as to why.) We start again. She tells me to speak louder and get close to the mic as kids said they couldn't hear last time. I explained that when you yell in a mic you get tons of pop and static that makes it hard to understand. To much time in studios and recording has made this process painful to me. When we finally finish, pro that I am making no mistakes, we check the tape to find that the mic was cutting out during the whole process. Yoshida-sensei panics and runs off to class. I go to the Language Lab and spend 15 minutes with the system. I figure out how to record on the nice tape deck or the MD, with a set of monitoring headphones, a nice mic, and variable levels. I had to remove boxes of tissue and hundreds of copied work sheets to get to everything but...

I don't even need to make an analogy. That is the Japanese education system. Throwing sand at the floodwaters and wondering why they keep rising. When we finished recording, I tried to explain how to record on the system to Yoshida-sensei. She responded, "I can't use computers. Don't even show me. It's no good." I told her that 1-5 is her home room class, and that is just what they say about English. "Oh, you're right." She replied.

UFC 78 "Tide of Fate" How I Fared


Absolutely-and pretty much- right: Gono, Aurellio, Lauzon, Parisyan, Herman, Evans.

Wrong....WRONG!: Silva, Edgar, Alves.

Lytle was voted fight of the night, and was begging to continue when the doctor called it so.... Edgar proved he is the real deal in stomping Fisher. Alexander derailed. Evans boring. Parisyan will only KO someone with a hammer.

At least I will own up to my mistakes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Motherfucking Cocksucking Bitches

Are at it again. Only this time, it's worse. Japan is sending out four whaling ships with the attempt to slaughter 50 humpback whales for 'scientific' purposes. Man science sure does taste good. I'm going to force Africans to mine diamonds for my scientific purposes. I want to study how much I can sell them to dipshits for. The odd thing is how sensitive Japanese people are about this stuff. They get really up in arms about it. There must be a lot of propagandizing going on because you get the same , hurt, response everywhere. "But whaling is part of Japanese culture. Sniffle, sniffle, boo-hoo." Yes, and dropping atomic bombs is part of American culture but that doesn't make it okay. This relates to the science discussion I was talking about earlier. Tomatoes are only fruits in foreign countries and whales are only endangered amongst white people. I even had one semi-intelligent young guy tell me earlier this year that Japan had to start killing more whales, or whales were going to eat up all of the fish, then where would we be? Japanese people, on the whole, take it like little kids when scolded about whaling. As a country, they just don't f'ing get it. People want to point fingers and groups like Sea Sheperd, and say they are crossing the line. Man, the line has been crossed and crossed again, they just decided to take the dare. At this point, if a whaler gets hurt killing whales, fuck them. really. It isn't like a fisherman who has never done anything else and that is how he makes his money to feed his kids. This is the government saying, 'go do it.' So they can pretend that their withered remnant of a penis still has blood flow.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My Wierd Evening

Last night was the bonenkai for my company. As I am a haken worker I know almost no one that I work with. I met them. I drank. Most people were pretty okay. I like hanging out with the African guys. I ended up at some gaijin bar drinking. I went outside to see if Tatsuya wanted to come out drinking and who should walk around the corner but Hong-Man Choi. Exactly who you expected right? Odd evening. I won't go into the whole thing but I was boht invited to join a comedy troupe and to sleep on some spare tatami in the back of a Chinese brothel/massage parlor. I didn't stay at the brothel but I did hang out and drink tea and talk about Yao Ming. I slept on a bench in Amemura and again in Shinsaibashi. I caught the Keihan local to Sanjo and mercifully slept the whole way. Oh, also in the evening, a girl told me a story about her ex-boyfriend that included a cheery story about her abortion. When I was a little surprised that she told me that she said, "Why would I care. I'm 36 and I used to be married." Excellent reasoning. Interesting evening. I am skipping the GreenEbooks party right now. It is probably pretty good, but I can't do this two nights in a row.

Housing Racism

This article delves very shallowly into the actual issues. It seems like this Kawada, who is supposed to be solving these problems, is doing so by doing nothing about the problem and buying into the racism. Landlords have severe prejudices against renting to foreigners so we have to make sure that those landlords feel more comfortable since they have to find someway to rent out their overabundance of unrented apartments. How very, very, Japanese.

Kyoto: Violence Capital of the Universe

This place be crazy.

UFC 78 "Tide of Fate" Predictions

After a great amount of consternation and soul searching, the great minds that control the UFC -Satan, Blowfeld and Daddy Warbucks- have decided to go on with their event this weekend despite the tragic deaths of Norman Mailer and Lance Hahn. Here are my predictions:

Akihiro Gono Vs. Tamdan McCrory: Gono has fought everybody. He has won some, he has lost some. Tamdan McCrory is a barn cat. Gono by decision.

Luke Caudillo Vs. Marcus Aurellio: Aurellio is at the tale end of a carer that looked as if it would be storied. Caudillo has some nutty tattoos, a good record and fails to interest me. Aurellio by submission in the 3rd.

Jason Reinhardt Vs. Joe Lauzon: I loved Joe Lauzon. Then he went to train with B.J. Penn. Now I must super-love him. He looks like the crazy kid on the block who took his treehouse a little too seriously. He fights with a rare furry. Plus Reinhardt looks like a gross guy who hangs out at a restaurant down by the docks and has dinosaur arms. Lauzon by death whenever he feels like it.

Chris Lytle Vs. Thiago Alves: Alves is Brazilian and fights for American Top Team. I should be for him. But I will be consistent ; I have said that I think that Lytle can fight anyone to a decision. I say that still. Lytle by decision.

Frank Edgar Vs. Spencer Fisher: Edgar is an impressive fighter. I don't care for Miletich fighters, nevertheless; Fisher by 2nd round KO.

Ryo Chonan Vs. Karo Parisyan: This is the fight that most interests me. Chonan has always put on exciting fights. He beat Anderson Silva with a now notorious submission. Parisyan, despite his boorish appearance on TUF is one of my favortie fighters to watch...ever. He has made the smoothest transition from judoka to MMA. His use of judo throws without the gi is incredible. For being a powerful, explosive guy, he has little to no knockout power. Parisyan by decision.

Joe Doerkson Vs. Ed Herman: All of my better senses tell me Doerkson by submission. He has tons of experience and a solid sub game. Somehow I think this is the fight were Herman's strength and ability come together. Herman by bloody TKO in the 3rd.

Thiago Silva Vs. Houston Alexander: I have yet to witness the Houston Alexander phenomenon , but I believe in it. Alexander by 1st round KO.

Michael Bisping Vs. Rashad Evans: Bisping is a guy that you know that is very athletic. Rashad Evans is an athlete. I don't know if he is the real deal as an MMA champion, but he is the real deal as an athelte. Bisping won't be able to keep Evans off of him. Evans by 3rd round TKO.

Take it to the office.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chipper


My mom has become strangely obsessed with her new dog. Hi mom. You have become strangely obsessed with your new dog. We had another dog. I think he was treated poorly as he was a product of a failed marriage. He died. Sorry mom. So my mom wants everyone to vote for how cute her dog is. She also called me to ask if she could throw away all of my old soccer trophies and my taekwondo belt and uniform. Interesting. Very interesting. Is this what April and I get for not giving her grandbabies.

Japanese Science

Last Friday in class I mentioned something about tomatoes being a fruit. The class went nuts and yelled at me. One boy said, "Well, what about cucumbers!?!" When I said that tomatoes have seeds inside them. I told him to look into it himself and said that if tomatoes were really a vegetable I would jump off the roof of the school. Forgetting that a student in Kobe recently killed himself that way. I kind of meant it in the sense of 'pigs can fly' or something. Bad job me. Wednesday in the office I was trying to explain to Nakajima-sensei, the teacher of that class, why tomatoes are a fruit. Her response was, "Maybe in foreign countries it is." Okay. Okay. It isn't a big deal. I am sure in America people would argue with you about tomatoes being a fruit. But, you know that in Japan this is going to be the default excuse. The laws of science in Japan are not the laws of science in the rest of the universe. This used to be the joke at Kansai Gaidai when I first moved here. Even among educated people they believe crazy things, like Japanese people have shorter intestines. Or the famous reasoning in the Alex Kerr book stating that Japan can't put power lines underground because the soil in Japan is unique. Of course, people all over the world have stupid beliefs not based in science, it is just astonishing how close tot he surface the essential Japanese belief that they are a different people in a country set aside from the rest of the world. This belief is so strong it offsets the laws of science. I got the science teacher involved. All the teachers gathered around as she searched the internet and pronounced me right. They were still reluctant to accept it. I kept saying "Vegetable is a culinary term, fruit is also a scientific term. Vegetables don't exist in science. They are unsweet edible plant products." They gradually believed me. Reluctantly. We agreed that maybe peanut butter and celery could be tasty.

Know Your Rights

Here is an article about your legal rights concerning gaijin cards in Japan.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nick Diaz

Really. I don't know why they called the fight. War Nick Diaz!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Florida

Florida don't play son.

Reagan=Racist?

Why the question mark you ask? No reason whatsoever. It should be an exclamation point. Have you been following the ongoing brouhaha in the NYT? David Brooks, on staff moron, insists that Reagan's campaign kickoff speech in Neshoba, Mississippi about 'states rights' was all a big coincidence. Krugman fired back. As did Bob Herbert. I will save space and let them outline the issues. The only thing that I will state is that the biggest joke in the press today, and there are many, is the constant charade that Republicans didn't gain control of the South, and then the government by playing to racists. They will talk about 'values voters' and 'Christian conservatives.' They will come up with 900 other reasons than the fact the LBJ signed away the South when he signed the Civil Rights Act. Reagan knew what he was doing, Lee Atwater said so. Nixon knew what he was doing. So did the Bushes. I will give the current Bush this litle bit of credit; I do get the feeling that, personally, he is not that wedded to a racist philospohy, just a classist one. That has not, however, stopped him, and every other Republican in the country from reaping the success that racists, and racism bring them. Believe it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

And I Don't Feel so Good Myself

I still haven't written more about Lance Hahn being dead because I figure that the people who care enough about it already feel sick about it and those that don't would have a hard time understanding. On the other side of the spectrum, Norman Mailer died. Mailer was sour everywhere Lance was sweet. Mailer was praised in every way that Lance was overlooked. They both seem just as important to me. I enjoy Mailer for being brash and outspoken and full of himself. I wish I could feel half as talented as he did when he was just talking in his sleep. An enjoyable guy. I good writer. Here is a link to his essay The White Negro which I remember loving at some point in time. I don't know if I still do. I'll read it again. I like the rhythm in his essays, like a pudgy white man who took on boxing as a hobby. The atheist in the foxhole: Norman Mailer.

Survival Porn

For reasons that I shant explain I was researching spring snares and figure-4 deadfalls (basic small game traps) when I ran across this article. It is one of the strangest intersections of bad writing (intending-as bad writing often does-to be very good writing), misguided subject matter, and unintentional confession, that I have ever run across. It reads like a 1st person porn confessional, yet more carnal and disturbing. Behold! (at your own peril).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Soccer Roster

The roster is out for the U.S. game in South Africa on the 17th. Adu and Altidore are in, Rad. I like the look of this team.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Don't Mess with Diaz

Nick Diaz fights this weekend. I enjoy the Nick Diaz.

Update: The unthinkable is true. Nick lost via a doctors stoppage due to cuts around his eyes. Reports differ as to the wisdom of this decision.

Judo Dilemma

The free ride was bound to end someday. I have been scolded. Admonished. Upbraided. Reproached. Suwa Sensei, the amiable drunk judo coach that befriended me, showed me his secret room, tried to get me to go to a house of ill repute and invited me to judo club, freaked out on me in the teacher's room on Wednsesday. I really have no clue why. The argument stems from issues surrounding my judo-gi. The dojo at the school has two dressing rooms and a teacher's office. He told me to leave my dogi in an empty locker in the teacher's office. I asked many times if he was sure that was okay. I was assured that it was. As I am not always able to go to judo club, and then not for the whole time, I would leave my dogi there during the week and then take it home and wash it on Friday. A month or so ago, Suwa Sensei told me, "No, use it twice wash it once. Ok?" I told him it would be no problem as I would be just as happy to take it home everyday, but he had asked me to use the locker. As I was busy with bunkasai preparations I wasn't always able to go to judo. I went on Monday, and couldn't go on Wednesday. I was very busy with English club when Suwa Sensei found me and said, "Take home your gi!" I told him that I was sorry, but that I hadn't brought my gym bag that day. "No! You have to take it home every two practices." "Ok. Got it." Ever since, Suwa has been really cold to me. We both had colds though so, I wrote it up to that. This week I had made sure to ask him very politely if I could come to judo. Monday was fine. I hung my gi in the locker. Wednesday, I asked him very politely if I could come to judo. He freaked out and said "You left it again! Your...that thing...you left it!" I apologized and told him that I was taking it home after every two practices like he had said. "That's just an excuse! I don't want to hear it. You just don't listen. You are not a real teacher here anyway so you should just do everything like you are a student and not a teacher, because you're not. DO you understand! Do you understand!?!?" I went along because a lot of these old gruff guys just want to see that you are willing to take it and then they will be nice. He wasn't even close to nice after. I have become progressively more pissed-off as these two days have passed. I didn't decide that the Japanese government is racist and won't allow non-ethnic Japanese to be public employees. Today I asked Yoshida Sensei, the lady who sits next to me, about it. She said that the judo club kids really like me and they are scared of Suwa, so maybe that pisses him off. I don't know. He was so nice to me when I first got there. It should be pointed out that old Japanese guys are hard to understand under the best of circumstances. Why would they not expect some misunderstanding? Why would I need an excuse? I'm not a teenager. I really don't mind taking my gi home. Odd.

My Internet

Was turned off for a few days. Not due to poverty. Something with the building. Sorry. I know you live for this shit.

Goodbye Lance



http://lancehahn.org/

I loved Lance's music more than I love almost anything. We were lucky enough to play one show with him and I didn't talk to him because I dug the guy so much that I didn't want to sound like a fan. They didn't sound so great, as J-Church was prone not to, but they were still wonderful shining geniuses. Lance wrote the best songs I know. People write them off I think because they seem simple and they are about his cats, or a trip he took or a movie he watched. But they are all special. He was really special. I mailed him when I found out he was sick to tell him that. Maybe he read it. I think of all the strange little corners of Hawaii or San Francisco that I would never known about had Lance not sung them to me. I will miss hearing about overworked waitresses and lesbian high-school basketball team members. The best thing I can say about who lives and who dies is that at least he didn't get shot in the back. I want to write something better for him but I really don't feel like it right now. Maybe punk really is dead. Next thing you know, Greenday will be really famous and Jawbreaker will have a music video...wait...Spill a Corona for the mighty Lance Hahn.

So where's my sense of humor
My life is a disaster
No one's got a future
So let's all get there faster

In the morning the sun fills my room
I think I'll call in sick today and keep my afternoon.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Drunkity Drunk Drunk

This Saturday evening past saw me coaxed from my hole after weeks of mind bending flu-like symptoms, and equally otherworldish school festivals. My odd friend Akko, and her friends were attending the opening of a new reggae club. Oh, Japanese reggae you hotbed of invention. You petri dish of cleverness. Oh Japanese reggae, who never saw a microphone not fit to be shouted unintelligibly into. My cup of tea, you ask. Iced. 11:30 at night and Akko's friends, Kaori, whom I have met and a boy and girl whom I have not are dead set on eating dinner first. I had manufactured curry-rice, minus rice with rancid potatoes from the dollar store. My stomach is swimming for safety. It is long before the first beer that I realize that Akko's friend whom I don't know-the girl-is decidedly my typish. Confounded. To the izakaya. As I have stated, Akko is an odd one. Our relationship consists of what would appear from the outside as 'dates' but merely involve her getting very drunk, delivering a vague, mysterious monologue about her year in Australia, slowly passing out and then snapping to declaring that she has to be somewhere else immediately. She often says things that I can't quite here and when I ask, "What did you just say?" She responds, "Nothing, why?" And then looks at me like I forgot to zip up my fly. She is also taken with the notion that I am fat and struggling with my weight. I am not. Two beers down and her guy friend has decided that I am a good guy. The story about my busted up keitai is a hit all around, but we must run to the reggae club as their pal "Autolock" has taken to the microphone.
I am the only foreigner in the crowded club and do not stand out at all. Autolock is MCing about the days of the week. I would be less than honest if I didn't say that he wasn't, in fact, somewhat better than bad. I think Japan manufactures vacuous attractive women, stores them, and then fires them out of cannons, like grape shot, at me. So that I don't pause and tell you throughout my story, I drank many Coronas this evening. Many. People bought them for me. I bought them for people. At the end of the night I threw somebody onto a floor. In between some other stuff happened.
One MC, wearing a camouflage jacket and sunglasses took to the stage yelling, "It is normal for a guy to like girls...you know what I'm sayin!" I was hoping I had misunderstood until he launched into a spiel in which the only discernible words were "Batty boy." I told Akko that I was going to shove a Corona up his ass. In typical Japan fashioned she explained, "People don't know what he is saying. These guys are amateurs, not pros." As we all know, rampant violent homophobia and its encouragement are acceptable as long as you aren't playing in the bigs, like chewing tobacco in reverse. I was going to confront him later but I gradually forgot what everyone looked like. Except for this one girl Kana who was wearing a white, long-sleeved sweater and pink hot pants. As a licensed representative of Miyazaki hospitality, I took it upon myself to speak with her. I came to understand that she was only interested in speaking to foreigners if they were black. Who ever accused the Japanese people of shallowness. Forsooth. I ask you dear reader, who is blacker than me? Really.
The drunker I got the more I felt it was my duty to spread my friendliness to the masses. Unfortunately the gift of language, so unique to us humans, had forsaken me. I ended up being driven home, possibly by a drunk person-although I certainly hope not, after wandering arm and arm with various people through the Kiyamachi sunrise protesting that I didn't need any ride home. I tossed myself into the shower and plunged into my newly bought futon sometime around 6. I see that there is a mail on my phone from 6:30. I am scared to look. What did I do? Did I drunk mail? Oh, I think you know that I most certainly labadid.
I awoke to a severe migraine inspired in part by the beer, but largely from my lingering sinus infection which had hardened into a tobacco provoked ball of hardened mucus somewhere amongst my brains. I took Excedrin, thanked God for its invention and went back to bed. What great sleep, I thought, and then remembered that it was the first time in a month that I hadn't slept on a piece of wood with a blanket. I also used shampoo and soap. The only thing missing from my familiar Sunday morning was the obligatory phone call from Ed asking, "Do you remember what you were doing last night?" "No. If I don't remember, then don't tell me." "Hahahaha." "Don't tell me."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bonus Tune


One of my favorite tunes ever.

Tune for the Day

If the South's so dirty then why don't we give it a bath

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Escorts: Miyu and the other girl


imaichi bunkasai172, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

I liked this ikebana


imaichi bunkasai168, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Imaichi Bunkasai


imaichi bunkasai015, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

Friday we had our bunkasai at Imaichi-chu. For those of you who can't read Japanese, that is what it says behind the band dressed like pirates. The bunkasai is nice , because it means that I don't have to work, but it is rough because it means that all of the kids have been exhausted for the last several weeks with preparations. Bunkasai, means culture festival. It is the Japanese education systems companion piece to the other big event of the year, the sports festival. Unlike last weeks bunkasai at Mikuni, which was held in a large hall and featured the best junior high band I have seen on any level, this one was held in the gym and the band was about what you would expect, except they were dressed like pirates. I felt bad, but I wanted to take everyone to see the Mikuni band instead. Aoyama-sensei accompanied them on the accordian and was just as bad as he was last time, but everyone had fun. The percussion section danced around with maracas and smiled, which was odd because they are not really outgoing kids. Sorry Susan, but the band always makes me think of you being uncomfortable but dancing around anyway.
These pirates were followed by a performance from the book club. I have no need to tell you how captivating that was. Books.
The chorus contest winers from Thursday came out and sang with more elaborate comedy skits featuring their home room teachers. Usually this involves yelling whatever is the catchphrase at the moment, which, if you live in Japan you know is the unfortunate, "sore ha kankene...opapi." Which is decidedly not funny and has limited me from saying, "Sore ha kankeneshi." Which was useful when teaching. Natuski has admitted that she thinks it is very funny. Not a good sign.
Then the English club went. Oh the English club. I had been helping them prepare their production of Little Red Riding Hood since I first came to the school. ABout a month ago I said, "You guys should really think about blocking this out pretty soon." "Hai." They responded meekly. Attending their practice last week I was assured that they had it blocked and had even thrown in a dance number. Little did I know this involved the grandmother, a pudgy girl who couldn't bring herself to yell raise her voice above a conversational drone even in the snug confines of practice, confessing to really being the grandfather which sets off a huge dance finale to the song, "In the Tiki Room." In which all of the cast dance around, do the splits and take their bows in character. Yes Ghost Dog, ancient Japan was a strange and interesting place.
The mentally handicapped school from across the street stopped by and did a song for us. I thought many things that I won't say and was very impressed that all 400 students sat through it very politely and applauded.
Last came the 3rd year chorus contest. Finally the class I picked one. It was 3-4. What a darkhorse. It turns out that crazy-ass Obata, the loudest girl I have ever met and with nutty pigtails and braces to boot, has a lovely singing voice. I had to listen to the song "Tabibito"-we are travelers through time, we are travelers through dreams-far too many times. To conclude that entire student body sang the song from yesterday, "Furusato." "The rabbit here tastes great."
After a very nice bento lunch, I wandered the school checking out the exhibits. The science projects were half-assed. American ones are better. No kidding. Don't believe the hype. There was some nice Ikebana and other artwork. I hung out with the girls from 3-2, as the boys at Imaichi are weird. I went by home ec. twice because the teacher is hot. Sneaking out early, I went home and fell asleep.

Love, Exciting and New.

Ladies and gentlemen; my new fiancee.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Flu? What Flu?

I felt decent this morning. Decent being tired, and worn out, and defeated. You know, normal. At Sanjo, there was a lady looking tired and confused in a devil costume with her hair all messed up. The train ride of shame. I felt a tremendous sense of loss.
Today was the chorus contest at school. I heard a song which begins "The rabbit here tastes good." 11 times. Every class I voted for to win came in second. I have a special talent. They let me go early and I weighed coming back to Kyoto and changing my address on my Alien Registration and insurance, but decided to finally go out to the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at the Suntory museum as it ends on Sunday and I didn't want to be there in a weekend crowd. Lautrec is one of the few painters that I can actually stare at and stare at and feel somewhat effected. His stuff is so amazing in person. There were a crowd of Australian people there uttering things like "I think I've seen this stuff somewhere." And, "I think these are just some sketches." When I looked up to see who the dumb foreigners were I realized they were all Asian so I couldn't immediately tell who the morons were. They weren't dressed like Australians; boots with shorts and a comedic t-shirt that isn't funny. There was a Japanese lady in black, high-heeled boots and a big black hat. That was rad.


attempting to silence the voices in my head.