Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I must have been the Adversary.

I was sleeping soundly, when Batman had woken me up in the orphanage, handing me a little toy telephone that had a red, movable lever on its side. And as sudden as my waking blinks were over, he was gone again. What the hell was this little thing, I wondered. I pulled down on the little lever and suddenly my ears were in pain. There was an indistinguishably horrific sound coming from this little toy phone. Instinctively, I pushed the lever back up and the noise seemed to diminish by a couple decibals. Then, I noticed that the lever kept trying to go down. So I fought with the lever, holding it up while it insisted on going back down. I began to wonder how long I could do this before giving up. I decided to step on the phone, but something in the back of my mind told me that was not going to do any good. And it didn't. I smashed the toy and found the source of the noise. It was a flat, metal, circular object that resembled a watch battery. It vibrated when you touched it. Suddenly I was outside in an urban, American neighborhood that could have been Oakland, Long Beach, etc. I was walking quickly through the streets trying to find somewhere far to dump this annoying sound.

The thing i wonder now, as I recount my dream, is why I thought I was in an orphanage. There were many creaky metal beds with white sheets but no one was in them. I was in an old building, sleeping in a bed among many, alone. In my mind, that must be an orphanage.

Anyway, I finally was sick of looking, and wanted to drop this thing NOW. So i looked around, and just saw a couple of homeless masses huddled in the corners. So I flicked it the way I would a cigarette. And it landed on the white part of the street next to the curb. I turned to walk away, when I heard "hey, get that thing out of here." I looked to see who spoke, you know, to see if they were any real threat. It was an early 20 something with a grimey face and bleached blonde hair, so i decided to pick it back up and find another place for it. As I walked back and scanned the floor, I realized that the sound was gone and I couldn't find the stupid phone heart, plus I had to pee so I turned and walked away.

I came upon a Konbini....AMPM, to be exact. There was a big group of people there that looked like they were just taking a break from the bar across the street. Most of the kids looked pretty young and drunk. I stood in line for the bathroom outside. I was third, behind two guys of whom one of which had a Brooklyn accent. Though I can't remember the specifics, I do remember finding their banter to each other funny. In waiting, i felt a sense of urgency. I think i had to pee pretty bad.

And in a flash, the three of us were standing in the back of a big truck. I'll admit that my first thought was "this is fun" until i realized that this didn't make sense. How did I get into this truck? Why was i there? And who was driving? As I was about to ask the boys, the truck turned to block oncoming traffic and i watched a car slam into the side. I tried to pay attention to the trajectory of the truck to see when the best time to jump off would have been. The truck never flipped, though, nor did it incur any damage from any other cars besides the one that just slammed into it. The three of us were okay. The driver got out of the car, and she looked up at us. Then she pulled a Zippo out of her pocket and lighted it. As she walked toward the gas tank she said, "well, i guess I'll just blow you guys out". That's when I climbed over the wooden gates around the top of the flatbed and jumped. I was expecting a sharp pain in my feet upon landing, but i never did. Instead i was flying a little.

It was one of those uncontrollable flies, where i begin to lower down without wanting to, and i was soon on the ground, running. I got back to the same gas station, and this time there was no line. I went and used the bathroom. (I did not pee my bed).

When I came out, i saw the guys again, and asked them if they knew what was going on. Before they could answer, the truck was back. I saw it turn into the driveway, and i ran to the only place that looked safe; a tall iron gate that was painted light blue. I began climbing to the top past the height of the truck. But as I was climbing a big commotion broke out and all the people outside were running for this gate. The truck shined its headlights on our backs. I could feel it. The people were pulling on my legs trying to get me down. I knew she was going to plow at any moment. I knew my only chance for survival was to get to the top of that blue fence.
I kicked at the guy who was pulling me down and again tried to ascend the bars. I was still being pulled by my pants as i struggled. Just then, someone grabbed my arm and helped pull me up. I was looking down trying to keep my feet from people's hands. I reached the top and watched about as a 8 layer people sandwich was made. I heard the engine revving as it pushed against group of people. I noticed my friend Glen from Shimada as one of the people on the gate, and i figured it must have been him who helped me up. Before I could thank him, I saw the girl get out of the truck and point a gun as us stupid ducks sitting on the top of the gate. Easiest marks. I screamed and awoke. Not screaming but kinda moaning a little.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mood swings

As I was leaving the supermarket with my quartered cut watermelon and pack of gyoza, I saw the most fantastic sight. A tiny Japanese grandma smiling into space. If I were her grandchild, I may have believed myself to be in an anime cartoon. It was almost as if I could see the twinkle lines on the side of her cheek. She had her soft white hands folded and relaxed just beneath her tummy. By my estimation, I'd say she weighed about 80 pounds. I only mention weight as a way to describe how small and light she appeared to be, about the size of a 9 year old. Something about her was much more innocent than the sleeping infant I had passed in his mother's arms only minutes before. As I relished the few seconds I spent staring at her, I admired her soft-apron dress whose fabric appeared to have softened after hundreds of washing cycles and balcony line dries. A swish of emotion stirred inside me but quickly settled. I stopped my thoughts before they became a catalyst of embarrassment. I had begun to imagine how nice it would feel to bring my head to her chest and feel her wrinkled arms around my shoulders, as I closed my eyes and weeped. At that moment, there at the supermarket, across from the ridiculously expensive loquats, I was the saddest I had been in a very long time. And upon realizing this, I allowed my imagination a quick little swing through its playground. I imagined what would happen if I were to go up to this tiny octogenerian, crouched down and put my head to her heart and my arms around her waist. I imagined her scream, her face, her confusion, her fear and I laughed. I LOL. Suddenly my sadness had vanished, and all that replaced it was a minor afterthought before I opened my umbrella and mounted my bike. They must think I'm fucking insane.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ah, Shokuinshitsu!

Today, I was standing by the newspaper reel, flipping through headlines while I waited for a copier to open up. Of course, located in my favorite spot, behind page 1 was a small story about a teacher who shot an arrow at a student's head while giving a demonstration on how to aim. I laughed out loud unexpectedly upon reading the concluding sentence. Something like "This teacher was of the lowest level of Kyudo mastery." And of course, who is there but to ask what I am laughing about, but an eigo no sensei. "That's so funny, huh? What is it?" I paused and quickly scanned the nearest articles to see if I could feign amusement at some other article. Bush visiting Kosovo, no. So reluctantly, I showed him the kyudo story. "Oh, that boy is very lucky he did not die." Another one lost in translation.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


School Festival is a time for the students to exhibit their talents and involve the local community in what the school is all about. Though I was a bit upset to have to go to school on a Saturday and Sunday, I am extremely glad that I did. It was really fun.

On Sunday, each homeroom had their own activity going on. Some sold food, some had game booths, some provided entertainment. Most clubs also had a presentation of their work. Saturday was spent at the music center next door to city hall. Here, they exhibit their musical and drama school. I was really impressed with their work.

Each homeroom designed their own shirts.
I love the manhole.

Akie is a sannensei who won the speech contest last year. She speaks really well and sometimes I play with her with the tennis team. She's a cool kid.

I'm a dork, just had to take a picture with Nakashima, the little high school rock star.

And here he is rockin' out.

From the crowd's view.

This is a hologram the science club made.

I did a little tea ceremony, but i'll talk about that soon enough.

Again, science club and their little

Funniest part of haunted house, i thought.

Here is some footage of making mochi. Mochi is made by pounding rice over and over until it turns gooey and sticky.

After the pounding, they are rolled into little balls and covered in a sweet powder.

It is delicious with green tea.

These girls are ninensei. Miki was another girl who I met helping with her speech. She's the one next to me. When we met, I was like....oh, ya, Miki, like the mouse, huh? And she gave me a serious face and said, "but I am not a mouse!" She's also on student counsel so I always find her doing cool stuff like chilling with the bands backstage and organizing activities. I love when she includes me in stuff and explain what's going on. Her friend, Sato-san, in front of her plays bass, and I really wanna play with her. She also likes to tell me about her boyfriend. In return, I made them mix CDs.

On Saturday, one of the performances was Shoji or drawing Kanji's with a big paintbrush. Cool or what? (I oftentimes get Shoji and Shugo confused, maybe even now. One is calligraphy and the other Japanese chess. I'd go look it up, but I'm in a zone right now, so i'll change it if someone calls me on my ignorance.

I'm writing genki. It means enegetic/happy/excited.

These girls are in tea ceremony and flower arranging club. These traditional japanese activities usually call for wearing yukata. Aren't they lovely? The girl in the middle, whose name I'm totally going to find out next time i teach her class, plays phenomenal piano. Also, she's barely ichinensei! Crazy talented, these kids.

See what I mean? Here are some works by the art club. Jouzu, ne?

They also made this cool dragon.

Science club once again with a little demonstration table of the elements. Like my pun? Was it a pun?

A couple of cuties.

Japanese chess. I really want to learn how to play. Better put that on my summer goal list. I'm a big fan of chess.

These are a few sannensei girls who are performing Rollie by the Skakallabits

This is a Mr. Children song performed by two kids in my OC class. Daiki is playing bass looking all rock and roll with his spiky hair, and Hayato is singer. I was really proud of him. He's also really clever and likes to make jokes in the assignments I give the class. I realized from this festival that he's the little ladies man. In fact, there were alot of little socialy things I noticed between the students, but I'll go into that in another post.

I forget this sensei's name. I know, i'm a douchebag, especially because he's always so kind to me. I thought his song rocked, though.
And last, but not least, our school's brass band. Unfortunately, I could not get longer footages of their awesomeness due to having only a 520mb camera card.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Reaping what you Sow

The first day of summer is June 21st. The heat doesn't end until mid October. I will take full advantage of every drenching summer day.

My goals for this summer (in no particular order):
Swim in the Oigawa
Camp under the stars
Climb up a rocky waterfall
Drink my own homemade Umeshu
Ride a waterride at Tokyo Disney
Boogie board on the southern coast of Japan
Beach birthday bonfire night
Make it to California for Mia and Traci's Wedding
Drown a bag of Cicadas
Take refuge in a refrigerated Pachinko parlor
Spend the night in a love hotel
Team teach with my sister
Master photoclub
Go to Ninja restaurant in Tokyo, Hello Kitty store
Buy my bass
Snorkle off the coast of Okinawa
Light skyrockets off the highest tip of Fuji
Get backstage at Fuji-rock
Party it up with departing Sempai
Learn 100 summer related Kanji
Soak in a kiddie pool
Make a Tokyo Posse
Raft down a river
Rent a car, roadtrip to Shimoda
Dance the night away in Tokyo
Party with Gabriel his first night in Japan
Hanabi like its going outta style
Secure tix to Melbourne for Christmas extravaganza with Moto, Angie, Gabby and Aimee