Thursday, November 19, 2009


failure is human destiny.

failure teaches us that life is but a draft...a long rehearsal for a show that will never play. - amelie

a man who knows proverbs can't be all bad.

one swallow doesn't make...a summer
practice makes....perfect
curiosity....killed the cat
haste....makes waste
rolling stone....gathers no moss
it's a steal a pin

absence makes....the heart grow fonder

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

star potatoes

The strangest (okay, not the strangest) thing happened yesterday. My lunch was served with star shaped kerage (its like a potato knish). I thought..."oh, how cute. It's Japan. They made stars out of my potato." But then I noticed that in my soup - they had cut the meat into star shapes as well. Hmmm? Well, I guess it's a set meal. But then upon opening my yogurt container, sitting inside were 2 pieces of pineapple cut out in the shape of stars as well.

It was a Wednesday.

I had a sneaking suspicion I was missing out on something.

I asked one of my favorite teachers, "what's with the stars" and she told me it was Tanabata. "Oh. Right.... What does that mean?" She explained...

It is a Chinese story that (apparently) everyone celebrates. A long time ago, there was a princess, Orihime (hime means princess) and a man named Hikoboshi (boshi means star). And they loved each other. The King, Orihime's father, would not allow them to be together. Somehow the young lovers were separated by a river (and I'm guessing a curse). But! On the seventh of July, if it is a sunny clear day, the two can cross the river and reunite. But if it is a cloudy rainy day, the two will remain separated until another chance comes the next year.

So, on the seventh of July, the story goes...Orihime and Hikoboshi are two stars in the sky. And, if it's a rainy, cloudy evening the two stars will not be able to cross the river (or milky way) and meet. But if it is a clear evening sky the two stars will be reunited.

I LOVE a good fairytale. This one is no exception. However, I was also told that July 7th it almost always rains. So I wonder if this fairytale is actually some sort of fable, telling children that most of the time, it won't work out if you try to love outside your "class" (be it age or income or any restriction your culture puts on love). But, the magic within this story is that, every once and awhile, it's a sunny day and the two lovers will be reunited. There is hope. Hope and stars.

This kinda takes the whole, you are what you eat thing, a bit far. But I like it. Oishii!

Monday, July 6, 2009

spiderwebs and black underwear

Such an interesting day so far. Sheesh.

My Aunt Martha finally responded to a quaint email with a simple photo attached. Her response in a nutshell : you’re the ONLY person missing your (favorite) cousin's wedding and hope you don’t regret your decision to return to a jobless, shitty economy. Can’t wait till you’re home.


Then last night I got online to pay my credit card bills which I have been SLAVING over to pay off…and on one credit card they jacked up my APR by 17% and then on my other card threw in about $200 extra in debt. WTF. Don’t panic. I called them today and got the f*ckers to a)reduce my APR back down to 10% and they are reimbursing me about $100 for their mistake HA! b) explain where all the charges came from (skype) and lower my APR.

I wonder why my chest seems to be collapsing in on itself today?

To add insult to injury, the world is throwing every single person in this world that makes me feel inferior at me all at once. Okay, so I feel like a pretty secure person, but there are a few people out there that I haven’t fully sorted out yet. 1) My ex boyfriend. After a 2 year, of what I would call an emotionally abusive/draining, relationship and 4 years since, I still get hung up every time he wants to facebook friend me. I think I have denied him 5 or 6 times this year – succumbed once, only to cancel it seconds later. This time he sent a message attached…”why is it so hard for us to be friends?”. Um…because of all the times you told me or showed me that I wasn’t worthy of your time or love….how bout that? About 3 months ago I sent him a pretty straight forward message explaining that though he is adorable and witty he mostly just annoys the shit out of me and that I would rather him not be in my everyday mind and vice versa. If he had something important to say, my gmail was always available to him. His constant requests to facebook me implies a sense of disrespect for my wishes and just goes to show I am dealing with a petulant child who just wants his way. He wants his toys but only to throw them on the floor and forget about them. Well I wipe my hands clean of this!
2) Good ole college competition. Why can’t I get past feeling so incredibly inferior to this one girl from college? Her and I were toe to toe on our projects and yet, she is an interior designer, married with child and I am….just trying to figure out where I put my head in 2004. Her face appears all over my facebook reminding me of these old tender memories. Hence why it would be gravely unwise to add an ex with such flagrance for fairweatherness.
3)Salt to the wound…upon doing some emotional cutting (facebook photo stalking of said college competition) I came across a picture that she was tagged in. I tried to see if I could recognize anyone else in the photo and low and behold there was a girl who I fell out of friendship with. Not just fell like lost touch, fell as in was ousted and ousted right back. This girl and I were good friends in school until it became apparent the only reason why we were friends was because of her interest in my then boyfriend now ex boyfriend who won’t stop stalking me on facebook. I don’t have that many friends that I have stopped being friends with but she is one of them. Maybe the only one I can think of off the top of my head. And I can’t help but wonder…why? Why are there relationships that cannot be reconciled? Why are there people that you just don’t get along with? I know it takes all kinds but if you were friends at one time…how does that change?

And more important how did I end up in this triangle of funk? Talk about walking through spiderwebs.

My coworker is wearing black underwear under his light linen pants. I just shake my head.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson died.

I think death is overwhelmingly sad. Mostly because life is so beautiful. But then I remembered all the sorted things that Michael Jackson was involved with and wondered how I should feel about his death. It was weird to have that reaction but I think death makes me realize how insignificant certain things are - I mean he's DEAD.

Granted all those things he did to the children and being a weirdo and everything - does that make his death something a little less that we should mourn? It all plays into this same issues everyone was faced when he was charged with molesting kids....does his star power and the music he gave to the world forgive him of his abuse?

Its all sorted and weird but I feel sad about it. Its MICHAEL FUCKING JACKSON. Weird or not weird, he was at least alive to have an opinion about and now he's DEAD.

Okay...I realize I am getting a little worked up but I just needed to say a few things. I don't like having to grieve silently and singularly.

And further more...everytime I leave the country, someone famous dies....first trip to Europe, Berry White, third trip with Katie - come back, Anna Nicole Smith then son. Now - Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and MICHAEL JACKSON! This last one is going to take a little while to figure out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In the land of the technologically advanced, dust-off still wows.

Am I really in the land of the technologically advanced?

My co-worker/desk neighbor, just pulled out a can of "dust-off" and sprayed the canned air over his keyboard to clean it. I, along with many a people, have done this to clean the dusk and grit off our computers. Granted, in a quiet office the noise can be startling at most, but the reaction to simple cleaning was incredible. It drew in 3 people, with "ooohhhs" and "aaahhhhs" trying to figure out what he was doing and what that spray could be.

If you have ever used this magical air-spray, maybe you'll know how fun and theraputic it can feel to intensely clean your keyboard so quickly. So I give a simple side nod to how exciting it can be, but these people were acting as if he had pulled out a magic wand and turned his computer into gold.

My neighbor was delighted with the inquiries and simply explained (in Japanese of course - which I was surprised I could understand) "This is good stuff".

I had it in mind to ask to use some, but we're not that well acquainted and I was happy enough to know that it existed in this part of the country.

After spending 10 months (wow almost 11) in this country, I am beginning to wonder if their reaction was genuine or a polite staged act to respond to something with an attention getting volume. Or maybe that is just what I am hoping. Otherwise, this act is one of many reminding me, I live in a really small town in Japan.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

quotation marks and merry go rounds

She said..."we have no mailing system here."


I wanted to know when we find out who the next ALT is. (I can hear her talking about the new ALT or me because I keep hearing her say ALT and August to the other teachers.) She says, "On Friday we will know, today." (Today is Monday). Ooo-kay.

"So, then we find out today?" I ask.

"We have no mailing system here." Was her response. "So and So was going to send the form to the City Building today, but because we have no mail system we have to wait until someone has mail."

"What?" (I am trying to stay polite and smile but lately I am just aggetated and restrained).

"We cannot find out who it is until we have the form and it is at the city building, we are too busy to go and get the form so when we have mail we can get the form from the city building." She "explains".

"Ah. So, where is the city building?" I ask, imagining perhaps this explainable delay is due to distance....


"Oh" I spit out trying to cover up tones and expressions of annoyance. Adogawa is one town away. Perhaps a 7 minute drive, certainly a 10 minute train ride.

I realize this is why it took them so long to tell me where I was going when I came to Japan. Perhaps they don't realize that the person who is getting ready to leave their home in America and travel to Japan is just waiting to find out this information. Perhaps this information will bring them comfort and ease while they are in the midst of saying goodbye to people they love and will not be seeing, some for a year or more. But, the city building is a town away and they don't have a "mailing system".

I was "reassured" that they can check mail on the internet but until they have the actual form they won't know. I find that interesting and slightly less reassuring, considering this information is coming from someone who - after telling me they would email my predecessor to ask for assistance in a matter regarding my home - a week later told me, they were glad I handled the situation on my own because they don't know how to use email.

So, round and round this ALT goes, sitting atop her trusty souless stead, going through the motions and yet going nowhere but in a circle. And all the while, I do this for fun :)