Monthly Archives: February 2012

If the flower is to be beautiful

As if on cue, as is typical with Japanese weather, suddenly today it doesn’t suck total mung, and it’s fifty Fahrenheit and the sun be glowin, people are stopping to look at each other’s dogs again, and walking with their heads up, and I took off my scarf and felt great about it. Today would be March if it weren’t for The Leap Year, a day that happens as often as the summer olympics. I am drinking a 7UP, which up until recently you couldn’t really get in Japan except in its “CLEAR DRY” weird sugar-free version, and oh it is nice. In fact, it almost makes up for the fact that Japan has now in the last year or so briefly introduced and then immediately discontinued Sprite, Mello Yello, and Citra.

We’re slowly gearing up for our trip to Okinawa, on which we leave in about two weeks. Okinawa is pretty much the last place in Japan that I have really wanted to visit and still haven’t, so I’m looking forward to it. I heard the food down there is real outta line. Okinawan cuisine in general is markedly different from the mainland, so they say, and they even have their own beer called Orion, which I have had canned and which tastes like every goddamned other Japanese beer but I will still drink myself stupid. They also have taco rice! Taco rice is like a big taco in a bowl, but instead of a tortilla or a shell, it is rice. Taco rice is awesome. Anyway, despite it being basically summer down there and being all kind of beaches and shit, it will still be something new and different and that is really all I ask.

japan in one photograph

JAPANESE STUFF OF THE LATELY
– “Nama pasta,” which is fresh pasta in little plastic bags in the cooler that you boil at home, and which seems like a groundbreaking new concept to me despite the fact I am sure we had this shit in the states and I just never bought it cause I was a tightwad
– This French/Japanese newscaster girl Christel Takigawa who is in all kinds of commercials now and who I will probably have to divorce Jessy for pretty soon sorry jess
– Went to a shabu-shabu restaurant last Friday and ate so much meat that I was like “oh god, I ate so much meat” then I drank a bunch of sake and some whisky and beat up my friends in real life in Street Fighter IV
– This new game show called TORE! which you should really click here to watch some of where talent stars have to answer silly word game questions or get shoved by foam blocks into a bottomless pit, among other ridiculous challenges, it is basically the second best show on Japanese TV behind VS. ARASHI
THAT’LL DO PIG

DOWNER ENDING

I “dealt with” the news that I received yesterday that one of my young students from the blind school had passed away unexpectedly of the flu by googling his last name + インフルエンザ, assuming that the hyper-paranoid infuruenza fearing gods would have already sortied and converged on the news. I tried his name and the city, I tried the school’s webpage, but there is only nothing, just an e-mail from a co-teacher that one of my students, who I had just talked to about foods in Thursday’s lesson, was a hundred and four on Sunday and dead by Monday. I found myself strangely grasping for something, perhaps trying to embrace the false but comforting thought that somewhere there exists a permanence to replace the idea of impermanence, an external source, a confirmation, the idea that somewhere someone has written something, set it up somehow like I always have to do for myself.

One of the things that fucks me most about it is that pervasive Japanese school mentality this whole time that I have completely disregarded as being a total farce, that Oh The Flu Menace, and “we wear facemasks” and “we sanitize our hands” and “we cancel large school assemblies because of flu” but then I mean, they wash their hands in freezing cold water, they turn on the heaters in the rooms and leave the windows open, and whups, one of our students died of the flu, which means they either their bullshit straight up Doesn’t Work or without the worthless masks half the school would be dead, I have no goddamned idea.

All I can remember is we last talked about fried chicken, and he thought it sounded delicious, and we went to lunch which was not fried chicken, and he could never remember what came after August (Septoner). At Christmas he told me that what he wanted for Christmas was Yui, another one of my young students who wears enormous coke-bottle glasses and loves dogs. I wrote two simple English stories for her once about dogs so she would have some dog-fiction. One of them is named Gourmet Dog and it features Dog President Bark Obwanma, “wan” being the Japanese noise for the sound dogs make. I also wrote Skydog, which is basically the story of Star Wars. I wrote it only so I could make a character named Wan Solo.

AN ABRIDGED VERSION OF SKYDOG, BY BRANDON

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, it was Thursday. A dog took a walk. His name was Skydog. He was a small dog and he had blue hair. Skydog wanted to go on the space shuttle. But he had to do his homework first.

On Friday, Skydog met Wan Solo in the city.

Wan Solo said “I have a space shuttle. Let’s go to space together!”

They went to space very fast!

But, in space, there was a big star. It was so hot! It was dangerous to the space shuttle.

“Maybe we can never go home!” said Wan Solo.

But Skydog had a plan, because he studied science every day. He barked very loud.

“Bark bark bark!!”

Then, the big star went away.

Skydog, Wan Solo, and all but one of their friends got presents.

THE END

Anyway, he will not get Yui for Christmas. I also used to put a chicken hat on his head during Halloween dress-up days, which seems to be too many chicken-related memories for one person. I believe that it hasn’t affected me in the sense that composure-wise, I am the same person, and I still joke with Jessy about horrible terrible things, and I still laugh at stupid crap, and I still cook supper and drink tasty drinks and swat Kiki around. I suppose if you teach for long enough and meet enough people it’s bound to happen, especially at a school where kids have disabilities of various sorts. But it’s lodged in there somewhere, the idea of it, without any other pretense, so there it stays. I don’t feel less or more but it’s just stuck, cause I thought about it while I was going to sleep last night, not with any real feeling but there it was, and here we are again, even though I don’t feel like I need to say anything. But I was googling for an article, and I guess I need there to be something about chicken hat boy, who has ceased to exist, even if the article is only for me. So here it is, for now or later.

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Drive a striped tomato

Back during summer I went to some kid’s house, well it was actually his mom’s house, and I work with the mom, but she wanted me to go to her house during a summer day off and we would have a grand old time, and I could speak to the kid in English, and his name is Shuhei, and that is what I did. They fed me this massive, unfinishable lunch as a way to say thank you, I said thank you for the lunch and then I internally exploded, half my body make-up is sushi rice now, I’m kinda like an onigiri but in reverse. They gave me like 20 packs of soumen noodles as a gift cause I mentioned I liked them, all of this is not important. In the car on the way back to school I showed the kid my 3DS and he lost his fuckin’ mind, and that was the last I heard of all that. Then last week his mom came up to me and tried to put words together to represent the abstract concepts of a 3DS data exchange (called “a StreetPass” in the localized English), and explained she Wanted To Do A StreetPass, cause Shuhei got a 3DS from Santa Claus, holy shit. We made a StreetPass date, I felt like I was cheating on Jessica with a young boy via an Older Woman and we were gonna do filthy green-light district unprotected data transfer. Is the build up for this gonna be worth the payoff? Last week I brought my 3DS, after agonizing over how to set up my Mii, knowing that he would be received by an eight-year-old kid. I tried to figure out what hat I was gonna wear and what I was gonna set my message to and what game I’d play before so that I’d control WHAT HE WOULD GET. But then I totally fuckin forgot and I accidentally left the womanly beehive wig on lookin so beautiful, and my StreetPass message, though I thankfully recently changed it from “Rectal impact,” was “I’m not negi,” an inside joke that is only inside to Jessy and I, and only funny to one of us, and that one of us is me. So this kid probably got the StreetPass when his mom brought his 3DS home, after bringing it specifically to tag me, and then he got to be all like “Brandon is wearing a girly beehive wig and looks like a hostess, what does I’m not negi mean, oh, oh god oh, what” So that was pretty cool. I have like 776 StreetPass tags, which is like 600 more than he does, amateur, get your shit together eight-year-old I am crushing you, jeez. His most recently played title was Nintendo Video.

Speaking of “Rectal impact” I have made it a goal lately to come up with the most depraved online mottos that I possibly can. A semi-chronological list follows, based only on memory, for posterity:

– Corpulent grogan
– Faetus impact
– Hefty rectal egg

Today I thought it was time for a change, so I first wanted to put it as “Magical fuckjuice” but the filter would not allow fuckjuice, and then I thought the word “soiree” sounded pretty funny so I tried changing it to “Violation soiree” but the filter wouldn’t allow that either!!! It also would not allow “Violator soiree” but humorously enough allowed “Rapelay soiree,” which even has cadence. I encourage all of you with Nintendo 3DS systems to get in on the action with a nice phrase like “Quivering donk” as long as it is sixteen characters or less.

MAGICAL FUCKWASTE OF JAPAN LATELY
– My students are doing their final presentations, they are hilarious
– My brain is a goddamned sieve lately, I cannot remember even a thing, holy shit
– Uh
UH

The most pressing issue on my mind when it comes to work lately is I wonder which of my co-workers the Hyogo aliens are going to suck away and send to other schools this April, and I find myself moving through the mental checklists as though I am personally selecting them for what accounts to a kind of “my circle” murder, as I’ll likely never see or correspond with any of the people that are spirited away for fresh blood. Which ones are expendable? I’ve come to the conclusion that mostly whatever happens is okay with me as long as I get a young, cool, attractive replacement just barely fluent enough in English to still make cute mistakes that are funny to me and also who likes hanging out so I am not the only person under sixty when the English staffs goes out to get shit drunk and yell anime songs at karaoke. It would also be nice if they are good at the Internet, then they can Google my name, find this blog somehow, and then see that I, in this post, expressly wished for their arrival, and also realize that I am a sociopath who has no idea what feelings are so maybe we can get along if they are down with a guy like me.

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