Tuesday, November 28, 2006

When hearts attack! by toby

If you can't see, click for a larger picture. You knows I ain't no professional.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I love boys. And most of all, these boys. I first noticed the divide between boys and girls, men and women, when during my first weeks at school. Actually, during my first week in Japan, when a group of us got in trouble for the mixing of the two during onsen.
But I didn't fully catch on until the day the kids were allowed to choose their own seating arrangement in class. I arranged the chairs into a circle for a class where the students had to give mini presentations. It was amazing to see how half of the class sat on one side, boys, and the other half on the other, girls. And their were 2 empty seats between the two groups.
"Whaaaaat?" was what went on inside my head. See, in Japanese society, the two genders work very differently than they do in many other western places. Men sit and work with men, and women with women. Very simple.
And though this is the standard practice among all age groups, it still confuses me when I go to group functions, and I always end up chilling with the guys. Even tonight at our Nomikai after the hike, I conformed to the rule that we should sit where our elders expect us to sit. The teachers all motioned me to sit at the other head of the table where I was two tables away from where all the women sat. I wondered why I wasn't put with them, but didn't argue since I tend to prefer to sit with the guys anyway. I mean, I seem to get along with Japanese males much better, for some reason.
The thing is, though, that the boys and girls learn this behavior very early in life, and it is a bit surprising to see the degrees of intimacy that similar genders share here.

The baseball team is highly exclusive, as they do not sit, walk with, or even really chat with others who are not the baseball team.
Even the boys can be very intimate with each other, and it is not seen in any way strange.
I mean, they even hold hands with each other. Seriously, isn't it cute?
It is a very friendly atmosphere despite the divide.
I mean, isn't it cute?
Do you see how these boys are pretending to kiss each other?

Finally feelin it......

Leaving the classroom is the funnest part of teaching in Japan. Today the Ichi nensei took a field trip to Yui, a center point on the coast of the Suruga bay that would probably be terrorized by tsunamis when the big Tokai earthquake strikes. We hiked on the famous trail that used to be one of the most taken routes from Tokyo, or Edo, down south. Supposedly, the beach did not exist during this time and only appeared until the last gigantic Tokai earthquake pushed the landmass upward and made some beach below the beautiful mountainous terrain on which we hiked. Apparently there are signs that explain all of this throughout the hike, however, I was not informed until the Nomikai hours later. Because remember folks, I cannot read.
Today acted as the transformation that I knew would come eventually. I am speaking about the actual desire to bond. I already knew that the kids are pretty cool, and they were alright with me. I mean, they talk to me enough but it wasn't until we had this chance to spend a whole day together where I actually felt it was appropriate to speak my broken Japanese to them. Upon hearing me, and laughing at me countless times during our hike, I noticed that they ignored their usual fears of speaking English, and actually responding to my Japanese questions in my own language. I had two particularly exciting dorky English teacher moments where I felt accomplished in my job.
The first was when I was walking with a group of boys who found it halarious to make ordinary things be pretend objects in the forest. For example, we walked past this big long pipe, and one boy said, "Oh, Toby, a snake!!! Be careful!!!" I pretended to be frightened and run away, and so the game continued. "Oh, these are traditional Japanese apples...as they pointed to the Mikan trees." "Oh, do you want a cherry?" as they handed me small poisonous berries. Of course, I pretended to eat them, and they pretended to be concerned.
My second favorite part of the hike was when a group of girls started pointing to objects and naming them in English. "Bird, flower, worm, mountain, river, mirror...." I replied after each word, "tori, hana, mimizu, yama, gawa, kagami" but when they knew a word, and I didn't, I asked them how to say it, and tried to remember. That is how I learned mimizu and kagami...new words for the day.
I was happy to finally see the beach, which I haven't done while in Japan, not even from the train. As a huge lover of the sea, I spent our 30 minutes by the beach just watching the waves and pretending I could see the California coast.

There were many things to see on our hike, and one of them was this cemetary.
I like when the kids know how to represent.
The baseball team tends to congregate outside of the team teaching room on the 4th floor, and I often see them eating lunch as I leave 3rd period. My greeting is always the same, "Hello baseball team". "Hello, Toby".
The thing that amazes me about school is that the kids really seem to like their senseis. Here is one of my favorite senseis to work with mostly because he is pretty witty and likes to talk to me with slang. I always appreciate when people greet me with "What's up?"
over the edge
These were the girls that played the "Let's name that object" game with me. They also did a little song performance, and I will import it once my internet speed gets a little faster.
I find the kids to be amazingly communal. I loved watching their lunchtime mannerisms. Each one of them brought snacks like Poki sticks, cookies, those crunchy french fry things, chips....and passed it around and greatly thanked each other after the snack made its rounds. They are so cute.
And last but not least, I found it incredibly special to see this group of boys walking hand in hand with each other. I see the girls doing it all the time, but this was just too adorable not to post.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And as a Tokyo digression

I just wanted to tell you, Ricky, that I have finally found the stupid MIDI cord that I've been searching for. I haven't been able to put the GNX to full use since you gave it to me on my birthday, but now i will have not boundaries. Tomorrow or the next day, I will venture to Hard Off, a used electronics store in my town, and purchase a MIDI keyboard. My music stand will now be complete, and I can get right back to lazying my days away recording strange noises and making musik. The brass band club has such an unusual sound as they simultaneously practice their instruments. The noise is so bizarre. I can't wait!!!111

PS. It is strange that none of the electronic stores in my immediate area have been able to supply me with such a typical item. Another thing that they have failed to make available are those lights on cords that allow you to hang up your paper lamps. What's up with that? If you can find one of those for me, and send it, i'd be eternally grateful, as my living room is in dire need of soft pink light.

Finding Tokyo

This weekend I had a solo adventure into Tokyo due to the inability to convince anybody that Butoh, or creepy Japanese dance perfomance, is a really neat thing to see. True, I had never seen anything like it before, but the pictures on their website was enough to convince me. During the performance, I intended on breaking the one rule they gave in English, which was no photography allowed. I had my camera out, ready to show you all how cool this was, until I realized that it is too cool to show here. Instead, I decided to give you my written descriptions, and recommend that you see it yourself.
If I could describe it, I'd mix 3 different experiences I've had into one. It was a little like a Japanese horror film, in that the costumes and set design were extremely strange and unworldly. This performance included characters covered in talc powder, dressed in school-girl uniforms, men covered only in a minimal G-string, hanging ropes that served as meat hooks, Poki sticks, all moving and dancing like insane, or perhaps near dead entities from another world. There was little conversation, which I was relieved to find because I was given the same chance of figuring out what was going on as the next Nihon-jin in the theatre.
It also reminded me of the pretentious, yet amazing performance art productions I used to visit during my days at Berkeley. Those art majors were some serious freaks, and I saw a performance that was strangely similar of girls dressed in white, slowly dousing themselves in black ink while pretending to be birds. The third image that this play invoked in me was something straight out of Endgame, by Beckett. The story line seemed discontinuous and absurd, yet simultaneously having the audience completely understand this other world they presented.
My last comment will be on the musik. It was awesome. It was a fusion of traditional Japanese musik box ongaku, and electronicky melodies that would be great to listen to on your ipod while riding on the train. It totally made the play. The digressions from playful and melodic to dark and terrifying made me want to join the dead and insane and make my own Butoh play. I liked it.

My journey began on train. I was drinking beer on my ride, so of course, I had to pee several times. The Shinkansen is great in that there are bathrooms, however half of these bathrooms are traditional Japanese squat toilets. It is very difficult to manuever yourself while the train is moving.
Shimada to Tokyo allows one to pass our famous Fuji-san. He was happy to come out and play today, which really just means that the clouds did not hide him, as they usually do.
Once in Tokyo, I had to figure out the horrendously confusing subway system. I hope you can see why it is so confusing, as the signs are in Kanji, and luckily I copied the important Kanjis that I thought I might need. Yay for preparation!!!!
Shinjuku is where I had my first dose of Japan merely 4 months ago. It is one of the centers of Tokyo.
I found this child incredibly adorable. She is showing this chili pepper her book, and really expecting a reaction out of this spice.

Tokyo Found

People have asked me if I see Geisha walking around, and I often tell them that I do not live in Kyoto, folks. However, Yukata looks very similar to Kimono, so I took this picture of a girl I saw in Tokyo.
Eating in Japan can be really fun. It is even more exciting when you get to see your food being made right in front of your eyes.
As much as I love Nintendo and Playstation, I cannot fail to lose my money in mere seconds, due to the fact that these arcade games are extremely difficult to play. At least, for me.
AmPm exists in Japan. Did you know that?
I found a little district of Tokyo that resembled San Francisco/Berkeley soooo much. This picture does not do it justice, as I wanted you to see the Mikky D's and Starbucks, however, I found the coolest second hand clothing stores, and used guitar store will I will surely revisit once I decide that I will buy an electric guitar instead of going on these overpriced vacations to Southeast Asia. I will save the travel for March, when I am better prepared....
Part of my joy in traveling by myself is that there is nobody around to tell me no. I oftentimes have urges that drive me nuts if gone unfulfilled. And one of my urges has been to jump down into the tracks and cross to the other side. Having nobody around to keep my idiotic behavior in check, allows me to do such things, and photograph it.
Did you wonder why I called Shimokitazawa, little SF/Berkeley? Well looky what I found!!!!! Look familiar? This reminded me of Sherin, and also Moto and my days in Fenwick with the making of certain shirts. Member?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

More things I ignore, and fantasy not

Senior year of high school, we had to read Walden. I hated it. Still, I was a nerd so I finished it. I read it out loud to my grandmother the week before she died. Thoreau has this opinion upon owls, predators of the night believed to be both symbols of wisdom and strength, while at the same time, omens of death.

"I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have."

Pingüinos Extranos

Zoos in Japan have documented male penguin couples. The couples have been shown to build nests together and use a stone to replace an egg in the nest. Researchers at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, found twenty such pairs at sixteen major aquariums and zoos in Japan. Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany attempted to break up the male couples by importing female penguins from Sweden and separating the male couples; they were unsuccessful. The zoo director stated the relationships were too strong between the older couples.

Friday, November 17, 2006

And thus my Friday night!

Drinking bourbon and coke while posting blogs. What an exciting life I live, ne?
Shut up, and get me my book!

My pride and joys

This is the plant that I am most impressed with! I talk about it to everyone. I love the crazy silver on its leaves. Isn't it beautiful. I call her Sliver.
Second favorite plant. I don't think she likes the cold.
I love the color contrast between her dark green leaves and the reddish vines.
And here they all are in the bath!


Why have I made fort downstairs in my living room, you may ask?

To be closer to my new BFF, the heater!!!

I quite like it! It reminds me of staying over dad's house on weekends as a child. It was always so fun when me, ricky, alex and cynthia would get to sleep in one big mass on the floor. Never going to sleep when were were supposed to, playing the boat game (something like playing house, but on a boat marked by our blankets), and trying to hypnotize each other, then waiting for someone to fall asleep first, so that we could play a trick on them (like the time we put Alex in the bathtub while he was sleeping). That was funny. Only, here in my living room, I am alone, though somewhat comforted by my false Chuck E. Cheese rat.....


So people are always mentioning how healthy the Japanese diet is. I began wondering the veracity of this common comment. If you look at these daily photos I have been taking of my lunchtime bento boxes, which are genuinely representative of the typical Japanese lunches, you will see just how much of the food isn't as healthy as claimed. For instance, every bento comes with a big serving of rice. Health gurus in the US seem to think that bleached white rice isn't really very healthy for you. (Try telling that to a Nihon-jin!) That pink, round thing sitting atop of every photo with rice is called an ume-boshi. These are like wet saladitos. They are very salty, quite delicious little balls. But are they healthy? I don't know, that seems like quite a dose of sodium, there. Now, despite there being a huge serving of rice with every bento, it seems like there's also at least 2 more starches involved with this meal, either potato or pasta, etc.

And last but not least, my theory on the ever-present existence of rice stems from the flavors of all the other foods. Everything is either sweetened or saltified, or pickled. The rice acts as the bland food to dip yr brush into when you want to change colors...it's like a towel for the tongue. I don't drink soda or very much juice, and haven't even while in America as a way to cut out unnecessary sugars, however here in Japan, so many of the foods are sweetened. Egg is sweetened, potatos, noodles, fish (teriyaki sauce, anyone?)....So what do I do? Eat sushi/sashimi everyday? Oh man, I wish.

And that is the answer to everyone who asks me if I eat sushi everyday. The answer is NO, i wish. I probably eat it as often as I would in California...about once every two weeks. And there are no California Rolls here....though I wonder why not, since the Japanese love themselves the Mayo. I wish I saw Unagi and avocado together more. Don't the know what they are missing, I wonder? I don't know.....

Here are some photos.

This egg is sweetened. I think that was breaded and fried white fish. Underneath was sweetened spinach, japanese bell pepper, onions. The noodles had alot of Mayo and ham slices in it. Those beans beans above the noodles were also very sweetened, like candy. The pink things on the rice are pickled something....not sure what...maybe daikon? Anyway, i like them, but not as much as the light green pickled things.....Notice my phone and it's owly keychain?
Ohhh, yum, this was a good one. First, it had the green pickled things that I really like. Also, that purple stuff in the corner was nasu, or eggplant...and yes, sweetened. The tofu in the goo was really fucking delicious but I am a sucka for tofu and goo. I think that breaded and fried circle was mashed potatos with corn in it. It was okay, but weird.
Yum Yum Yum, tempura day!!! Tempura day, Curry day, and salmon day are always my favorite days....The gooey purple thing in the noodle section is called tonyaku, i think...it's really weird, and usually sweetened. That white stuff was some kind of wasabi tasting thing, or ginger maybe? Don't know but i didn't like it. Those round balls in the noodle section are these delicious potatoes that are so much more tender than normal potatoes. I love them.
The potato salad also had alot of mayo, definitely not like mom's famous potato salad. That little pork won-ton on the top was pretty tasty if you ask me.
The pumpkin was sweetened, which I which it wasn't because the pumpkins here are so delicious that sweetening them is soooo unnecessary if you ask me.
Now today I had a doctor's appointment and I did not go to school, instead I went Xmas shopping, even though I'm down to my last ni man, but I'm getting paid on Monday so it's all good. Anyway, i bought some lunch and here's what I chose. I love anything in Inari pockets...okay, so maybe I'm attracted to the sweets like an ant. Kalila, what do you think about this?
This was my lunch today, now i know I look like the biggest pig with all this food, but i was really hungry and i hadn't eaten, and I got full by the time I got to the spagetti, so there. PS. Gabby, look at the drink, It's called Gabu-Nomi....i bought it cuzza you, and it was actually really good! Good job, Gabunomi....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dueling Tangos

Two anonymous quotes lying naked on the page
one singing love while the other squirms with rage
dueling for the eye to lift her shoulders up in praise
while the one bleeds in pink and the other stains with grey

while size and shape tend to give chase, punctuation plays her cue
as the only source of movement that is shared between the two
and with the passing of day, the words rearrange
yet the overall tone remains,
the same.

"Let's dance, put on yr red dress and dance the blues."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ten things I want to write about this week....

10) I have been collecting daily photos of my lunchtime bento boxes that I feel needs explaining, as I'd like for you to see the traditional Japanese foods I've been ingesting.
9) I have been missing Griselda and her son, Aiden soooo much. I want to share the story of the time I accidently got a 5 year old high.
8) Japanese is a very difficult language to learn. I want to explain to you why that is so. Despite my inablity to study after long days of trying to understand simple conversations, I want to teach you some things. It is truly one of the coolest languages I've encountered so far.
7) I want to discuss my reasons for recontracting, which will include why I love Japan so much, am amazed by the people, despite recognizing myself as a true American who will probably never be able to fully adapt to way of life here.
6) I'd like to share what if feels like to come to terms with being American and both the positive and negative aspects that that status holds.
5) I'd like to talk about the weather. What it feels like on your skin to walk out in summer, sweating. Then a few months later, shivering in Autumn. What on earth is winter like?
4) I'd like to predict the interpretations of Japanese life from the possible perspectives of all my family and friends once they get off their asses and decide to come and visit me.
3) I want to share the experiences and thoughts of all the other wonderful and not-so-cool gaijin that i've met as a participant in the JET program..
2) I'd like to get back into my original plan for Fantasy World, where I bring my fantasies here into Japan. They are running rampant in my head, and I need a cage to store them.
1) I'd like to explore all the ways this place is changing my perspective on everything I know. I feel like I have already begun to change....into a teacher, a gaijin, an closer observer, an asshole, a friend, a lover, a past lover, a griever of the past, and of course, a writer. I want to write you letters, posts, messages. I want to be your friend, I want to be everyone's friend in some way...but I'll be satisfied on staying your mistake...your mistletoe, your clandestine bottle of wine, you life's worth of mimicry and deceit, your fabled student and teacher in one!!!

Number 1, I'm talking to you!

Drinking it up in the Fantasy World

Occasionally, I will wake up the next morning after I engage in drunk writing and draft my blogs without even re-reading them. When i wake up feeling yucky, it usually floods suddenly into my morning grogginess that I stood at my computer the night before and wrote uninhibitedly. These mornings scare the shit out of me.
I suppose this comes from knowing myself and my tendencies to become uncouthly candid during these moments and when coupled with my inability to remember, turns to fright. So I'll sign back on, and draft. Without reading, of course. Luckily after a few days, my embarrassment fades, and I can return and review. I suppose that my normal, sober writing self is extremely censored due to knowing who my audience may be. Of course, my family will read this at times, and send me an email out of the blue, refering to something I never directly told them. Then I remember that I sent out a mass email to everyone I knew when I moved to Japan, telling them that there is no need to worry about my safety or well-being here in Japan as long as they see that I've posted in the last few days.
So maybe my rambled fondness for windy days and drug use isn't the best reading material for most folks, but honestly, "I'm a 28 yr old man, and I can eat chicken sandwiches if I want to". Anyone know where that's from? Well, if you accompanied me during those Berkeley-infested days, you'll know. It was my catchphrase for years. Okay, so I am fully aware of scattered display of inappropiate subject matter.
So Eko died. And both Michael and Walt have left the island as well. What the fuck's up with that? Do you see where I'm going with this? Well, do ya, punk?
Right now, I am again smoking in my house, and I hate it. I don't want to smoke anymore. In about 8 months, it will be my 10th anniversary of tar ingestion. And this disgusts me. Also, I am missing home. I didn't think that I'd have the desire to visit during the holidays, yet all I can think about is how nice it would be to walk out of LAX, and have my mom's luxurious van come into view and hug my family. See, in my newly developed fantasy, I see my mom driving, my brother riding shotgun, and Rayna poking her head out of the back window. The van stops, and they get out of the car despite the man with whistle blowing it into my mom's face. We hug and put my bags into the back, and we drive off as I am too excited and begin opening my luggage and giving them their bottles of sake, absinthe, and wrapped omiyage. I bring perishable goods, just because i can, and they scoff at the soba. I then tell them that they won't be scoffing once I prepare it with ebi and nasu tempura. My sister will get especially excited when I bring out all the different origami animals that my students made. "Wow", she'll say. And "Sugoi", I will correct her.
On our drive home, I will see the DelTaco sign from the freeway, and of course, my mom will veer onto the offramp. I mean, I am the guest of honor, correct? We'll go through the drive-thru and I will grow full after half of my 7-layer burrito. "My stomach hurts," I'll say, but soon we will arrive home. Once there, Ray will have gotten off of work, give me a hug and hand me a Corona. It is here, that we will begin. After a few hours of chatting on lawn chairs in the backyard, my mom will offer to make me a tamale. I made 3 kinds, she'll say. Beef, pork, and green pepper with cheese. We all know I'll want the cheese. Soon, my dad will have arrived with Cynthia, as he has just come home from work. We will continue to chat, and then I will sleep.
My timing will be all screwed up, and I will sleep until 2pm. But no one will even dare try to wake me since I am recovering from JET lag...hahaha, get it? Once up, I will have missed messages on my phone from my friends from home with messages asking me when I'm coming over. I return their calls, and say "Tonight". The week continues in a similar fashion of cycles of having me reach into my bag and surprising them with fantastic gifts from the far east. After a few days in, I will visit Target. Here, I will purchase about 5 bottles of my favorite flavor crystalled toothpaste, Secret baby powder deoderant, hoodies of every color, and thermals. Next, I will drive my mom's stick shift Jeep over to Trader Joes and buy 2 bottles of my Dr. Bronner's lavender body wash. Of course, I'll throw a Nicoise salad, Emer-gen-C's, and Calistoga bubble waters into the basket. After this shopping journey, I will stop at my brother's house, and drink some Charles' Shaw and play guitar. We will engage in ship-shod Karaoke, and of course Janine and Kenny will then arrive. We may go see a movie, or perhaps rent videos, and smoke pot. From that point on, I will be stoned until my butt gets back onto my plane back to Nihon. Of course, I will make my rounds to all the families' holiday affairs, but I cannot promise to be sober. Not on a vacation away from Japan, and should you spend enough time here, you can understand the effect that potless country can have on a person such as myself.
This fantasy will probably not make its way into fruition. And the reason lies in the fact that I only have a limited amount of opportunities to visit places like Thailand, China, Korea, Russia, etc. Should I succumb to my sentimentalities, then I will only allow for these opportunities to fade into regret. And if there is one thing I fear more than attachment, it is regret. I shall never succumb to that, again.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The wind blows everything back into my Face

So I've reverted to smoking inside my house again. Also, my windows are closed. Why on earth would a claustro-phobe like me, do such a thing? Well, cuz it is FUCKING COLD outside. I'd say that tonight it is colder or at least the coldest it gets in San Francisco. And I have my heater on. The wind outside is howling like a fucking bastard and I'm wanting to go file a complaint. It sounds like a ghost, and I do not like it at all. Although, this afternoon, I loved it. It may have been because it reminded me of one specific day that lays like a dreamer on the beach of my mind. What does that mean? Well, in about the year 2001, I shared a baggy of magic mushrooms with Fawad, and spent the October-ish day outdoors. Today was that day incarnate.
I remember being in my apartment in Fenwick, eating those bastards in a peanut-butter sandwich. As Fawad, Sahar, and I listened to what may have been the Magnetic Fields, we felt it. So outside we went.....I remember first, we headed up to the roof to get some air and perspective, however, really all we felt was the crazy wind. The windiest day of the year, perhaps, in the bay area. We chilled on the roof, making jokes, talking shit, being stupid....when we say the inhabitants of Apt. 9....Apartment nine lies on the bottom floor, and is built for the handicap. We were house managers at the time, so we knew this. We also knew that wheelchair Nick was a strong presence in the neighborhood. I remember standing on the roof, laughing with Fawad and Sahar as we watched him and Tiffany, the other wheelchair lady getting it on. I remember he was fully reclined in his chair, and she was rolled up on top of him and they were making out like for real.....We were so amazed at their agility, and their freaking stamina. We stared like vultures from the sky as they made their hands into each other's pants. WOW!!! Public handicap nudity!!!! HOT!!!

So soon we grew bored and decided to walk to the park, like any mushroom-trippin' Berkelites would do.....on our walk up Dwight to People's Park, we noticed the wind....and we noticed the dark red leaves falling from the trees. We noticed that Sahar's hair doubled as the agent that made us all crazy that day. The crazier her hair got, the crazier we got. After spending time on the swings and teeter totter, we decided to get some food. Intermezzo it was. Salad does wonders for feeling like this, believe me.

Once we made it back onto Haste, into Sahar's apartment, we just laughed. We talked and laughed. We watched her hair be crazy, laughed at that, and then laughed some more. Finally, it was time to watch mindless television. This is when we put on Sex in the City videos and let our brains turn into mush. Not much longer after that, Eugene, their extremely old roommate, returned home and threw a bag onto the table. It looked like crackers, so we all indulged....onto our salads they go....

Only to our surprise, they were acid laced croutons. Here is where my Berkeley life becomes epitamized.....casually chewing on some yummy bread, not to be known that the rest of the night would turn into the craziest night of my life....having solo lectures in my living room at 2 in the morning....being cracked out in my bed at 5am, then trying to get to class at 9am, while having thousands of tiny gadgets chasing you through the streets of Telegraph, while thinking only a Jamba Juice could save your peace of mind. And that was my windy day experience in college, only now but a crazy little reminder of friendships that slip away like gold strings.

Ahhhh, windy days, what memories you do share....

Monday, November 06, 2006

Keepin' it real in the Shizzz--

So I'm thinking that 1.5 times of acting a fool in the span of the 4-5 days I've been in constant contact with people is a pretty good ratio for me. I mean for drinking as much as I did these past few days, I'd go so far as to say I'm impressed by mere 1.5 times of being stupid and regretful. Anyhow, that's not what this post is about, rather it is here to share the good times I had this weekend representing Shizuoka, yo.
I suppose I ought to begin on Thursday (sadly pictureless) when my neighborhood peeps came by and watched Labyrinth. Great film, noticed some parts I hadn't before, which is always pleasant. The night did end, however, in the early morning hours with the 4 of us screaming at the top of our lungs to songs off my Ipod, one particular song, Bohemian Rhapsody. The next morning, I felt extremely bad for my neighbors, and apologized to my immediate neighbor, who I hope wasn't too annoyed by our gaijin ways.
Thus to off-balance Thursday, I DID plan on going to a party but then realized that I was unable to access the ATMs on a holiday. By the way, the holiday was called Culture Day. I didn't do anything very cultural, I will admit. In fact, I think this weekend, I didn't do anything Japanesey at all. Oh wait, i think I lazily made myself some Ramen on Friday afternoon, does that count?
So it's technically Tuesday morning right now, 3am to be exact, and this happened all because of my attempt at a 20 minute powernap. Instead of sleeping to 6:20pm, like I planned, I slept till 1:30am, and haven't been able to go to sleep since. Right now i'm in the process of downloading last week's Lost, which I amazingly went about 5 days without watching...
Ya, so anyway, Friday was chill, and I substituted milk and honey for the usual beer or whiskey. It was pleasant. On Saturday, I went to the Shizuoka Street performer's festival where we found our Northern Shizuokian buddies. I hadn't seen those foolios in awhile so that was a nice surprise for me. I guess now is the time for some pics.

Here were some music makers dancing through the streets.

Here's our little group of Gaijin who made some attempts at tray spinning, but really only succeeded in Kirin-drinking.

Here's our little crew showing some Shimada love....

And last here we are at an Izakaya where some of the items we ordered off the menu included nasu (delicious eggplant), gyozas, and raw horse. Yes, i said raw horse, bitches....

On Sunday, I awoke in Fuji city and ate the most delicious Hfuritata (fritatta) ever. Sorry, Gabby, but this guy, Scott, who made the delicious breakfast is a professional cook, man, and there were noodles in it...So I think it might just beat the fritattas we used to make. Later in the day, I barely made the Shink back to Shizuoka for the viewing of a movie I've been waiting ages to see, Snakes on a Plane. Or, Snako Flight-o. And it was as good as the poster I was staring at that day I ran the red light and almost crashed my car. All in all, I'd have to say I had a pretty good time on another of the many three day weekends.