Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Year Two.

So, I got my second official certificate stating that I am an employee at my school, and, as with the last one, they dropped the last letter from my name. At this point I am so inured to it I don't even notice anymore. Although it's pretty astounding to me to think that I've been here a year already, and that I am halfway through. Part of me is already starting to count down ("364 days to go...") and the other part is panicking a bit at how quickly its gone and how soon I'll have to go back to real life.

Real life. eugh.

Anyway, year two look set to be a doozy, what with the mumsicle coming for a whole month (and a whole week of tourism, yay!), welcome parties for the newbies (who have become universally known as the "fresh meat" which is somewhat disturbing yet totally apt), another 5 months in which I must use the opportunity to snowboard (or at least go watch snowboarding, honestly I'm a saddo), either Thailand or London for xmas, midyear conference (in December, because that's so totally the midyear), snow festival, golden week, shopping, enkais, nijikais,sankais, park golf, pachinko... So much to do, so little time.

I despair of the male gender...

What a week it's been for arsehole men revelations. Aside from the usual Big Daikon misogyny (men who've come to Japan solely so that they can have willing, subservient"hot Asian chicks" who will let them perform facials and whatnot and never expect anything in return...By the way I'm not saying this is what J-girls are like, this is just the consensus on what is desired), friends of mine have been having man troubles ranging from attempted infidelity (I'm not sure exactly what an attempted infidelity is- was he rejected, did he stop at the last minute, did she catch him in the act- but I'm not getting any more details than that at this point) to a journal filled with obscenities, perversion, and bitter bitter darkness. I mean, do men really prefer wanking to hentai than time with their G/F? And for gods sake, who puts cheating on their girlfriend on two "to do" lists even if they are just "being silly". Women just don't DO this kind of stuff! Well, none of the ones i know. Even the privy ones who watch porn.

and these are NICE guys by the way, on the surface... Not overly sexist or mean... But underneath...

do men really hate women as much as it seems? i never used to think so. i believed that under the skin we were intrinsically the same, that there were some bad apples but that most people were decent and wanted the same things out of life and relationships. But.. All the men's magazines and message boards and blogs and websites and pornography... It's disheartening.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shikas in the garden.

Early morning TV here is always a bit of a risk. Early morning TV is, i think, an international phenomenon but it seems especially bad here. Okay, the "deers are eating my garden" segment is kinda funny (ominous gothic-industrial background music--- are they the deer of Satan??) and the reruns of variety shows are... Well, Japanese variety shows. There are the usual children's shows and all... Home shopping... i think it's more the attitude than the content. Everyone is super-genki and more squeaky than usual. i still do not understand the squeakiness. i mean i understand that its meant to be more childlike and hence more "respectful". But its still annoying. Subway announcements should not be made in a squeaky-little-girl-voice. And why does every comedy/variety voiceover guy HAVE to talk like that? i suppose i will never get used to this particular cultural difference.

ah. Now we have people sorting out their drawers and bookshelves. On TV. Being watched by experts with computers.

i can't wait to see how mom reacts to a lot of this stuff. I'm looking forward to rediscovering a lot of this stuff through her eyes. For every quirk i am still not used to, there's a lot that is just normal to me now, and i think it'll be interesting to have that newbies perspective again. also, it'll be fun seeing all this stuff again with someone else from home: people here are great but they're not"home people". In any case it's more fun to explore with someone else...

Monday, July 11, 2005


so. how dumb is this: I accidentally went home for lunch an hour early. Yup. You got it. I accidentally bunked. How lame is that? Anyway, I debated whether or not to stay out for lunch as well, but I figured if they'd noticed I was gone, I'd be SCREWED. So I came back. And now I'm here, trying to look inconspicuous because I'm never actually here for lunch. Damn.
Anyway, my new book (Fruits by Shoichi Aoki) arrived and its really rather cool: the dispossessed yoof of Tokyo all gathered together in parks and in front of Lawsonses (Lawsons'? Lawsons's? How the hell do you pluralise it anyway???), trying to look tough/ cool/hardcore while dressed in babydoll outfits, brightly coloured hair and rainbow brights with platform shoes and braids and.... Let me put it this way, none of these kids has ever worried about overkill.
in other news... Looks like a decent comedy movie might actually make it out of that fabulous country of mine... It's by the Crazy Monkey guys... I don't know how much MTV you have ever watched*, but they do these spots that rip off jackass. The movie is called, apparently, "straight outta Benoni". Benoni, if you recall, is where Charlize is from, and is a mine-dump smallholding white-trash hell with no redeeming factors (small wonder charlz vacated the premises as soon as she could).
anyway, there's a Cape Times article about the movie here-->
and the movie's official site is here-->

*well, it was shown on all MTV channels except in the USA. The Monkeys assert it was because "America lacks irony". They add that Johnny Knoxville referred to it as "the Gay Jackass". No Comment here.

The Bitchery.

Yet another complaint.

this time about the state of womankind, of all things. I think the sisterhood as envisioned by our feminist mothers did not include the cutthroat competitiveness and downright delight that seems to be taken in running down those more successful than us. And nowhere is this more obvious than with celebrities.

now, understand this, I loves me the gossip. The celebrity tattle, the witticisms, the sharp incisive comments, the keen eye for the dropped stitch. If you want to see good examples of good gossip, see Perez Hilton, Conversations about famous people, go fug yourself et al.

if you want to see examples of the lowest, snarkiest, most vicious hatespeech? check out the comments sections. yeah, it's pretty much every day that my enjoyment of said columns is pretty much defiled (defiled!) by the hatemongerers. okay. wait. that sounds like everybody who posts a comment is a bitch, which is not true at all. however, a large enough proportion of posters resort to snotty comments about things that are just hateful: calling people fat, or ugly, or even hobags that deserve to die (I'm paraphrasing here). Really, its more about the tone than the content.

it's this high-school mentality thing that I've always despised--- form cliques and try be the cool cheerleader at the top of the pile, and if you're not, sabotage her any way you can.

Saturday, July 09, 2005



I was browsing the blogs (you know, pressing the "next blog" blogger kindly provides) and out of maybe 20 blogs, I'd say 15 were those bloody new blogs that provide you with links to other sites, kind of like the yellow pages, but in blog form. When did this happen? Seriously, if this is the future of blogging then bring back the infinite legions of semi-illiterate teenagers raging against inept teachers and "tHaT BiTcH hEaTHuR, ShIez sUCh a SkANk!".

I'm all for expanding and exploring the boundaries of blogging, but ffs, this is the online equivalent of the crappy photocopied flyers people shove at you on street corners. In Long street they are always for the gold dealers and pawn places andcorner markets, in sapporo they always seem to be for snack bars with unusually muntery "hostesses".

Something in me just kind of quails at the thought of this: it just seems so artless and mercenary.


So. Dinner last night, Okonomiyake and Takoyaki and Beer and (of course) Chu-hi. Amazement was duly expressed at my ability with hashi and I was asked which I was more comfortable with, hashi or cutlery.


I mean, it takes so little to be entertaining and witty here. I've been giving serious thought about how easy it is to be the centre of attention, and how I'm going to go into withdrawal once I go home. Truth be told: I LIKE being noticed, I even like never having anyone sit next to me on buses or trains--- I LIKE having the damn seat to myself. Little old ladies love me, small children find me amazingly entertaining, and teenagers think I am cute.

I helped cure someone's hiccups (the "think-of-previous-breakfasts" technique) to much amazement and praise and assertions of my magic powers. Now, I know,I know, most of this is blatant flattery and just counts for good manners here but it still panders to my innate vanity and self-love.

eventually, I'll have to go back to being a normal person. And I'm probably going to be insufferable for at least six months.