Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween in Shimada, Japan

Before I even talk about Halloween night with the little kids, I've gotta give a shout out to my kids at Shimako, because they did an awesome job with Halloween. On Thursday, if the internet is not as hideously slow as it was 2 weeks ago, then they should have a whole bunch of stuff to say about Halloween. Click here to hear about it.

Okay, so now I will tell you about how my neighbor rocks. She used to live in Canada and LOVES Halloween...maybe even more than me! I only say this because not only is her house completely decorated in Halloween attire, she organized this Trick or Treat session with the the parents of the children in her daughter's preschool. So I came along on their trip around downtown Shimada where they trick or treated at about 5 different houses. Each kid was dressed up, and had a cute little bag to receive their treats in. Seriously, Kawaii!!!! Mei, her daughter, probably loves Halloween even more than Hiromi because she was running around in such an excited haze, and insisted that her mom keep the Jack o Lantern outside for the night. I must admit that I am ridiculously lucky to have met such enthusiasts of Halloween, because I'd be so sad if I had spent tonight just chilling in my apartment. Mei and her Mommy dressed as matching pumpkins while I changed my costume from a Shimada Koko student to a neko (cat). The kids loved my tail and kept trying to chase me to catch it. Seriously, as silly as this may sound, I don't think I've enjoyed Halloween this much since I was just a little kid, when I really was serious about Halloween. You know what I mean....going out and filling yr bag with candy, coming back, watching the Simpsons, and falling asleep so tired and happy. I miss childhood!

This is the Jack-o-Lantern that Emi and Sayaka carved earlier today. It is green, and orange inside! I think Japanese pumpkins may be even prettier than our American ones!

Here is Hiromi and me....She is the one responsible for this awesome trick or treat trip we took tonight.

Here's Mei on the left and her preschool friends!

Here we all are!

Another pic of the kids.....

Here's me in my Halloween happiness.

And last but not least, here is the front of my apartment....complete with the green jack-o-lantern....
Wait, did i say that I love Halloween? Oh, wait, i think i did.....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Me and my best friend, The Daily Yomiuri

So what, does Yomi-uri have something to do with Yomu? Ahhhh....Maybe it means reader? Who can say,(though I'm sure my dictionary can), but anyway, it was interesting to see that the US, though I'm tempted to just blame Texas, isn't the only place with psycho moms who kill their children.
Hey, wait, that maybe came out weird.
Sure I can always backspace, but I kinda liked my nonchalant comment on child abuse. No, but she was punishing the child for continuing to need diapers at age 3 by not feeding the kid, and also beating him. The child died of starvation after going the last 5-10 days without much food. The father is quoted as saying "I told her that not feeding the child would make him die, but she didn't believe me." The authorities found out about this by picking up his 6yr old sister on the side of the road at about dawn. What the......? This story reminds me of the woman from Texas who had voices tell her to chop off the arms and legs of her newborn daughter, wrap her torso in a blanket and walk around like a psychotic.

In other news, I was delighted to hear about how Malaysia and Indonesia are looking for some better ways to use all those palms they've got, so they hooked up with good ole buddy Japan to develop the technology of using palm oil as a substitute for regular oil. Brilliant. I'm curious to see how the US is going to stick their nose and destroy this threat to the financial lucrativity of the Oil they are willing to throw countless bodies in front of guns for.
Another interesting brownie point for palm oil is that increasing the plantation of Palms would be great for our CO2=>O2 conversion. Yay plants!

Lately, I am extremely interested in what is going on in Russia. I have found myself scanning the page for what's happening in Russia first. Don't know why, but I think it was because of that article I read about how much of the country is slowing sinking further and further into a depression. Not a financial depression, though much of it IS based on the poverty level in much of the country, but just depression in general. They have ridiculously high percentage rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, depression and suicide.

Two more stories linked to the U.S. First, yesterday I was reading a quote of Kim Jong, or KJ as his friends like to call him, saying that Russia, China and the rest of Asia should not be all up on the US's ass reading to kissy kissy. He called them shameful for allowing the United States to bully them into taking a sanction stance against North Korea. Though I agree, I have also seen T2, and I'm just so scared of big bombs. And any way that can stop more from being made, i'm into it.

The other side of the coin, though, is how up into Japan's shit the US is. Okay, okay, okay....so i wouldn't have this bomb ass job if it weren't like that...sure. But still, today's front page news was that the U.S. is returning some US Yokoto Air Base airspace back to Japan in leiu of expanding Narita airport. I felt like there were some details that were missing from this story. Such as, what were the terms of this agreement? Was there an exchange of money, or some other financially driven scheme? I mean, the US doesn't just give things back to people. Oh, except Panama, supposedly. My god, the things I learn when i read! I didnt know that Panama used to be the US's, but that it was given back. Well, why was it given back and what were those terms? And now that they are expanding the canal, which will eventually generate a great source of government funding, how will my country come and mess with it? Oh the suspense......

On a final note, I was a little disturbed by our president yet again. So Daddy Bush was quoted as saying, "If the Democrats win control of congress, I would hate to see what my son's life would be like..." What the fuck does that mean? And not only that, Baby Bush responded to ole Daddy by saying "He shouldnt be speculating...(because)...they're not going to win". Is this like on that November back in 2000 when he did his little wink and was like..."uh, ya...so, i have a feeeeling we will win the election...and this feeeeling seems to be coming from the south western tip section." Uh, all i can do is sigh and look away.

Another addition....

just wanted to share tha you should see my school's website.....
The ids are so cute and so Jouzu, desne...

Osaka no Shumatsu no hokori--Osaka Pride Parade

Stonewall gathered, hugged, marched, and partied out in Osaka for Pride and here are the pictures. Looking forward to Tokyo pride.

Subarashi dayo....
atarashi tomodachi


And some video for u!!

Smoking in Japan

There is quite a difference between smoking in California, Las Vegas, Europe, and Japan. In California, you know the rule....Zero Tolerance. That is, the laws have reached the point where technically it is wrong to smoke anywhere really. Parks have been banned, at UCB, signs are posted everywhere that you cannot smoke within 20 feet of any doorway. Public parks are also banned. In Vegas, you can smoke anywhere really. Europe is the closest to Japan in regards to the laws, however everything is in the state of change. Here, you can smoke in most restaurants and bars, but on the street, No. Well, there are designated areas where you can smoke, and that is usually marked by a sign and an ashtray. The ashtrays here have water at the bottom. Brilliant. I've posted a few pictures of the things I have encountered while being a smoker in Japan.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh my God, she CAN read!!!!!

I have experienced a break-through, which I have fully realized today. I have developed an interest in Politics! Strange, I know.

Now let me just preface this by saying that I think I am more interested in the jokes surrounding the current political scandals. I think that the extra time, and lack of reading material stirs my hunger for a newspaper. Admitting to my shameful apathy is a little embarrassing, yet completely warranted since I am a sensitive soul, who has a tendency toward a overwhelming sense of fear and paranoia that sometimes accompanies the absolution of blissful ignorance.

Therefore, my darkness was my choice, and quite an informed choice, but I'm coming out and the light is freakin' halarious!!!!!

So who is this Tom Foley and why is he the butt of everyone's jokes? That's how it started. So he was hitting on underage "House pages"? Now do they mean page, as in Cervantes' secret draft of Don Quixote where Sancho Panza was actually named Sancho GuapJoven? Well, i hope so. Oh those silly Republicans!

These journalists, who I have a sneaking suspicion of being Japanese, cuz of the way they structure these articles, are comparing the scandal to Clinton's escapade while commander in chief. They mentioned a little anecdote I had never heard before regarding this period of the 90's. When asked, "there was absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape, or form?", Clinton's response was "It depends on what your definition of "was" is." Classic! Truly brilliant.

Now onto another big Daily Yomiuri topic--North Korea's atomic blasts. So in a newspaper completely Japan centered, you can imagine how many articles soak into the front page daily. I've learned the following...North Korea takes the UN's sanctions as a declaration of war. Interesting. Also, I find it amazingly interesting that if there is one country more hated by these folk than the U.S., which seems to lead the list of most despised countries among the world, is Japan. Oh, silly Japan!

81% of the Japanese polled in a national survey believe N. Korea to be a real threat. Also interesting that China, N. Korea's closest buddy, has used the kanji "han", in an official statement. Apparently Han means strong opposition, a word they haven't used in regards to world affairs since the US's accidental attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Oh ya, and what was that all about? I totally forgot about that, somehow that news sunk into my darkened box of self seclusion from World News. China seemed so far away back then, i hardly gave the news any more thought than, "God, the U.S. is retarded."

This morning reading over CaRoRi bar and green tea has fueled my desire to read a North Korean paper in its original North Korean go.

But back to other things I learned from the great DY. So Madonna has jumped onto the Angelina Jolie train of adopting babies of color from 3rd world countries...oh silly Madonna, you and yr biological clock! Can't we just go back to publishing books of your raging Detroitian nudity?

And last but not least, if only the U.S., North Korea, Asia, the middle east, and other Uranium enriching souls, could follow the lead of the ladies sporting the Simple Life. I mean if Paris and Nicole can resolve their differences, can't everybody?

upon reading my last post.......

I decided that my stray from being a good girl, sounds so good girl-ish. But should I really describe what i wanna do, i'd be so fired. So there's that....I'm stuck here, being a good girl, at least on the internet we can see.

why i post things like this, i know not........prolly cuz im drizzy in the middle of the night....of all the things i'd like to avoid.

And so there's always this to amuse you........I can just hear the wifey saying...."oh so ya think tonight will be the night? Will i see a toaster just once in my life." Pachanga's got nothing on this bitch! If you can't tell from the pic or my dumb joke, he's playing the claw game for a toaster!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Three things you can do to feel like you are in Japan

1) Ride yr bike. Go ahead, mount that bitch. Ride it the next time you go to work, or the store. At around 9pm, get into yr PJs, put on some flip flops and ride your bike to the nearest convenient store and buy some beer. Call it Biru. Preferably purchase Kirin green label or Nodogoshi. Ride home very fast and feel the cold night air tingle yr toes, and ruffle yr hair. Trust me, it is fabulous.

2) Drink only whole milk. Don't waste yr time or calorie counting on 1 or 2 percent. And don't even think of soy milk anymore. Don't waste yr time on half gallons. Stick to small pints. Pour it on CoN FuRaIku or mix it into some hot green tea. Some hot, Shizuokian green tea. Ring me up, and I'll send you some.

3) Every place must be famous for something. "Oh, your mother lives in San Bernardino county?" What is that famous for? Uh....I don't know, crack houses? Crack capital of the world? There are mountains. Ya, ya, that's it, beautiful, snow capped mountains. Um, no, it is not higher than 3776 meters. So no, these mountains do not compare to yr Fuji-San.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Viviendo en los dias de los Muertos

So my neighbor is nice. And she likes halloween. She invited me inside to see some decorations, and ya, she really likes halloween. Her living room area was covered in orange and black. This reminded me about my own fondness for Halloween. This made me consider what else i am beginning to forget. Though outta site, outta mind tends to be my way, I then remembered that I have a wide range of hearing. I own a telephone, that lets my ear connect to sound over XXXX miles away. Today, Moto told me one of my friends is in jail. In fact, her court date was today, or yesterday as some people may see it. I was relieved to hear this news.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Where's the Beef?

It's right here, with blogspot. I don't like how it limits the space of how many pictures you can put in a single posting. Booo! Anyway...anyone wondering where rice comes from? Well, not me....anymore. Watch this.

First, it grows in these tall, light green bushes for a while. A summer maybe? It soaks in a big puddle of water. I guess now time is harvest. This is when all the little grains begin to appear. and it is time to choppy choppy, baby baby.

Is this interesting? I don't know maybe. I like it. I like to see cycles. I also like to see and smell field fires....something really is nice about them.

I cried when i saw this. Then again, I was listening to Godspeed, you black emperor and wishing the person who wants to see this place the most isn't here seeing it with me. I did get my fortune from a temple, and one of the things it read was "the one in whom you are waiting for will be here soon."

One last look at......this.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kinki---The Sequel

I finally managed to recuperate from Biwako around Thursday, which meant it was time to start right back up again on Friday. After school, I went home and read for a bit, wait, no, my mistake....bought 2 Asahi tall boys from the vending machine around my block, and yes, read. So I have decided that I feel much more comfortable buying beer from a vending machine even though it is about 50 yen more takai (expensive). The vending machine allows you the anonymity of making numerous returns to the perverbial beer tit, instead of being judged at the Konbini. I could have sworn i was given the crook eye last time I bought a sixer at 6pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Anywho, I waited for my company to arrive, and by that time, i was maybe 3 drink deep. Anyway, once Stephanie arrived, the weekend had begun. We drank, and talked and wondered how this trip would be. In the end, I guess the only word that could describe it is....uhhh, awesome! So Saturday morning began with our meeting the Shiz crew and J-Friends at the Shimada eki (train station). Thus, boarding the bus.

The bus-->about a 12 seater, fully stocked with an ice chest full of beer. The journey began at around 8am. As being hungover from our chatfest on Friday, I passed on the bi-ru (beer) for the first few hours of our drive. My head hurt but I knew that would be solved as soon as I felt comfortable to begin drinking again. It wasn't until after lunch that things began to get interesting. I believe that it was maybe during this point when our group came across our first japanese retard thus beginning a divide...those who like to make fun of retards, tell dead baby jokes, display the love of KinderSnuff, and be as ridiculous as possible, and then those who don't. I'm sure it is not difficult to guess which side I chose.
Our first official activity was in Nara. We went to some temple that I forget the name of, and is easy enough to look up, but I kinda don't care. What I do care about though, is that there was this gigantic buddha chillin' in this big building and I liked looking at it.

This guys just telling me that I've gotta chotto matte (wait) five minutes before my table is ready.
Again, I am cheating. This is not at Nara park. This is in Kyoto at that cemetary-esque place on the top of that one hill. Ya, you know...that one hill.
Ya so you know how the geese chill in Lake Merritt? Same idea here with the deer in Nara park.

Next, we hit up the kin-ji. Actually it is called something longer, but this is just my nickname for it, which means gold temple. Ya, so it was a golden temple on a behind a pond. There was a rooster on the roof.

And as for this, I just thought it nice, alright?

After this temple, we went to our ryoken (hotel, but not really hotel) and had dinner. I think this meal is called sukiyaki which is fry it yrself meat and veggies that you put into the pan, and then dip in raw egg. I was hesitant but then I saw everyone else do it, so i just said......fuck it!!! It was okay in the egg, but I'm still just getting used to it. It's a little weird and feels wrong but that always goes away quite fast.

Checkety Check Yrself

I suppose it is now a good time to introduce the players. So we will start with Stephy's Eye, Katie, Glen, Yo (notice that I am no longer making the peace sign, instead, I'm changing it to EASTSIDE!!!!! ow ow owow!, Monica, Stacie, Vince, then cross the table to the guy in the back right-Tom, then there is J-Friend Yoko, Shanna, Melody, not forgeting crazy Dave. Unfortunately, a very crucial character is missing...Spunky, another J-friend, our driver, a man with a very unique voice. Dave and Stephanie both can do awesome impersonations of this man who has given himself this name and refuses to tell anyone his real name. We are also pretty confused as to what how he spends his time. Rumors are that he is a taxi driver, who interestingly enough enjoys driving people around on the weekends mo (also). Omoshiroi like for sure.

Okay, so I was way too exhausted last night to finish this, so now I guess that I should finish putting up the rest of my pictures. On Sunday, I was separated from the group, due mostly to my silent wandering. Normally, when I needed to go check out some stupid detail over on the other side of the lake, I'd keep watch making sure the group was somewhere in sight, however, on this day, I lost them, and I flew solo. Though I forgot my money and phone in the bus, I did have my ipod which means I spent my time taking pictures, and just thinking alot. Though lonely, very peaceful. It actually was a very beautiful place, for sure.

These two are for people who like pretentious looking photography showing colorful multiples......

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kinki e ikimasho!

This weekend I went out to the Kansai region to meet up with some of the Stonewall kids. Here are the people I met: Doug, Rachel, and Sam. The four of us stayed by the lake in a ryokan-type setting, wind-surfed, kayaked in a gentle rain, went skinny dipping, ate snacks, drank Chu-hais and vodka on a deck, and talked until late hours. It was great to meet them, I had alot of fun.

This weekend, I went to Biwako (Lake Biwa) and had an awesome time. I met some really cool people and tried some new water sports including windsurfing and kayaking. I was not very successful with windsurfing, until the very end when I finally figured out how to keep my balance long enough to raise the mast and hold it without tipping over, while waiting for some wind to come and blow me somewhere.

By that time, though, our instructor grew bored of waiting for me to pose for the perfect picture.

I had often wondered if I had lost the will to seek good clean fun. You know, the type of fun that does not include an ice chest full of beer and/or other chemical forms of mood enhancers, and it has now been confirmed that I can indeed enjoy nice wholesome actitivies, and yes, even physically exhausting activities without the side thought, "you know what this activity is missing...? Beer..."
Even though I had my Enkai Friday night, and didn't begin my train excursion until about 11pm, and finally made it to Kyoto just fine by 10am, then onto the lake in one terribly exhausted piece. In a train station on the way to Kyoto, I saw this poster that cracked me up, expecially the part about comparing smoking in public to farting in public.

After windsurfing, we celebrated our nice day of activity at dinner by drinking Chuhai's, greyhounds, and ume wine, eating bar-b-que it yrself beef, fish and veggies, taking steamy hot showers with excellent water pressure, sitting in our pajamas on the deck overlooking the moonlit lake, drinking and sharing fun stories, ended by a surprisingly warm naked midnight dip into the lake.
It had been raining all week, and stopped from Saturday until Sunday afternoon, curiously right before we were to bring our kayaks in and have lunch. If that wasn't a sign suggesting this weekend was meant to rock, then i don't know shit....

PS. I am severely achy and scratched up from my continuous climbs upon that windboard and falls back into the lake. Also, kayaking appears to be an excellent source of exercise that has my entire back and stomach area all pissed off at me right now. I can't make any movements that doesn't hurt some part of my body. This is pretty interesting because it allows me to figure out what muscles do what during normal activities like walking, picking up a bag, going up stairs, settingly into bed, riding yr bike since only certain areas will feel sore as I do these normal everyday activities. This has motivated me to begin a real exercise plan that isn't directed at my mission to become healthy, but more at my mission to be better at these random sports activities that I come into contact with here. I want to be able to do stuff, and do them well.