I ask my father, as I am about to leave the research outpost, which we have rigged to explode because we accidentally built it on a live Sloar colony that not only contains Sloars but is itself a giant Sloar–if he could write some sort of final note to me on this piece of paper that I have been carrying around for the last couple of hours. He scribbles something down that I can’t see while cracking some sort of joke about Eddie Murphy’s stupid t-shirts, what the hell is Eddie Murphy doing wearing these stupid t-shirts lately, and with a Predator-esque Dylan You Son Of A Bitch man-shake we laugh maniacally as I escape in the Pod, a single tear rolling down my cheek. I glance down at the paper. There is no note but a crude pencil drawing of the research lab we were just in, it looks like a toddler made it. “Thanks Dad.” The thrusters blast off and I see the entire Sloar explode and the credits roll. This is the construct of my remake of a six minute amateur film originally shot by James Cameron, his first film, the re-imagining of which I have been tasked to complete as a master auteur on the fiftieth anniversary of its release. My finished short will be used as a promotional vehicle for the release of Mr. Cameron’s newest cinematic masterpiece. For my trouble I am to receive a special vending machine that can open plastic drink bottles automatically and dispense the contents into a separate cup, this is some kind of revelation to me, I cannot live without one.
I had this dream last night after eating dozens of nigirizushi at our local-ish sushi-go-round, Kura, the one where almost every plate brings you two pieces of sushi for a hundred yen and you can order specific pieces off an electronic touch screen and then enjoy them after they are automatically carried to your booth by a little train with slots for your food. I got home barely able to speak, so crammed full with fish and rice that I lied down on the bed at about 6:30 and didn’t wake up until about twelve hours later. Actually I briefly stirred at around eleven in the evening and asked Jessy what time it was, she told me it was eleven and I was like “psh whatever it has to be at least four in the morning” but it was indeed eleven. Then the cat went to sleep on my head and I didn’t fight it.
The holiday season is HERE, with the brunt of my break approaching more quickly than I had previously imagined it would. Beginning Friday I’ve got fully twelve days of vacation from work, during which I plan on digging into a huge box of media that I have ordered from Amazon to be shipped to my parents in the States, in the hopes that they will kindly pack it all up and ship it to me in one enormous box of joy. Since Jessy will be in America with her family for the season and I’ll be here in Japan owing to the massive cost of my student loan payments and the equally massive cost of flying to America, in addition to the media I will likely enjoy a holiday season in Japan as the Japanese do: by eating lots of food, going to a shrine with thousands of people on New Year’s eve, and perhaps drinking myself silly in the company of others. What I probably won’t do is find a nice lady to get in the sack on Christmas Eve, which is primarily the goal of Christmas in Japan–think of it as a sort of New Year’s Eve and Christmas role-reversal from America.
The most popular songs you hear around this time in Japan are of course Christmas songs, but, due to this obsession with couple-try, every Christmas song you are subject to as they are endlessly piped through the myriad sound systems draping the country has to do with LOVE! Last Christmas, All I Want For Christmas Is You, SIM-PLY HA-VIN A WON-DERFULCHRISTMASTIME–these are the mainstays. If I ever become a recording artist I am going to release an album entirely full of Christmas songs that only have to do with filthy filthy screwing and get a good Japanese record deal that will pay me royalties in perpetuity. I will fill it with such holiday classics as:
– Please Tell Me We’re Boyfriend and Girlfriend First
– All I Want For Christmas Is You (And Some KFC)
– Allow Me To Show You the True Meaning of Christmas
– I Like You
– Let’s Make This Quick, I’m Going In To Work After
– Let’s Go Back to Your (Parents’) House
– I’m Gonna Bang You (I’ll Apologize Before)
– I Learned a New Trick at Cram School
– Is It Alright If I Take Off Your Most Esteemed Blouse, Well Here I Go
– Let’s Shame the Names of Our Families Tonight
The titles probably sound better in Japanese.
I took it upon myself to home-make some Egged Nog on Sunday night, because the pre-made stuff is unavailable in grocery stores around here. I whipped up eight raw eggs, added about a half a cup of sugar, and mixed in nutmeg, vanilla, milk, cream, and a healthy amount of rum. It’s easy to remember when it was just raw eggs swirling around, which seems a little offputting at first, but then you drink it and it tastes just like it had ought to. I’ve taken to putting a little egg nog in my morning iced coffee instead of cream and sugar. I suggest it!
The other day the guy who is always singing Jesus songs in front of Kosoku Nagata station handed me “MANGA MISSION,” which is a Japanese comic-style interpretation of various Bible stories, from the dawn of human life to the death of Jesus. The best part is the ridiculous kid-friendly drawings, depicting Satan as a massive evolved semi-robot angel that looks like he’s something out of Evangelion, and Gabriel as a smooth-lookin’ ladies’ man that happens to slip all swank into Mary’s room and be like “yo, you’re havin’ Jesus.”
It would be no small wonder, I think, if a young kid read this and was like “hey Christianity is pretty bad-ass!” I know I would be converted. Even now it is a pretty interesting story! Also there’s some partial nudity in the Adam and Eve section, which is aces for everyone.
CURIOUS JAPANESERY OF THE LATELY
– The beer companies are releasing their “special winter edition” macrobrews lately, which taste virtually identical to all of their other beers, and, for that matter, all canned beers in Japan
– The pre-orders for Christmas Kentucky Fried Chicken and cakes are closed, yes, there is a pre-order reservation system for KFC, it closed three weeks ago
– Had an “American-size” hamburger at a Hawaiian restaurant last weekend, but it was still just a Japanese hamburgu on a bun, a sort of burger/meatloaf patty mixed with egg and bread crumbs and definitely not American-size but I still ate it and was impressed that it came with ketchup
– Enjoyed going to see the new Mission Impossible movie on Sunday and, while laughing at Simon Pegg’s sarcastic humor, read the Japanese subtitles and realized nobody else was laughing because the subtitles played everything he said completely straight
I had my Bonenkai a couple weeks ago, a year-end event which always involves crowding into a sort of sectioned-off ballroom with all of my co-workers and getting unabashedly shitface plastered on Chinese wine and Asahi Super Dry while my cup is constantly refilled by anyone who notices any empty space in it. This year it was again a Chinese course set packed with delicious morsels. We played a bingo game, as is tradition, and though I got first place last year, this year I came in about thirtieth. Last year’s first place prize? A hand-machined decorative desk pen machined with aircraft-grade metal by Seiko, approximate retail value about $120. My prize this year? A multi-input power strip with independent on/off switches. Guess which one I use more? If you guessed the pen you are wrong.
One year ago today I was in America for Christmas, gorging myself on gas station burritos, getting drunk and killing everyone at beer pong in some kid’s college dorm with Catlin, smoking illegally smuggled-in Cuban cigars in the front seat of my step-brother’s car, watching Tron: Legacy in 3D, drowning myself in some television show called Pawn Stars, and enjoying the devastating cold weather. Today I’m sitting at my desk at school wondering if I should eat the anemic ham and lettuce sandwich I got from the convenience store now or in a half-hour or so, which is almost certainly an inferior arrangement, albeit one that I have fewer chances to experience as time passes. For now I will try to remember the odd smell of the gas heater in the opposite row, the feeling of understanding about 8% of the words people around me are saying, and being able to just barely see the tops of everyone’s heads over the massive stacks of files and papers built up like tiny forts on every desk while I crunch away at this keyboard as though I could possibly have any actual work to do before mid-January.