Monthly Archives: February 2013

Now they grow up sharing McDonald’s and Disneyland

I’ve taken to wearing a beard and mustache, which I prefer to spell moustache, for no explicit reason. Having never actually witnessed what happens when I do not shave my face, I decided to give it the old college try for the first time last November, a month that some people have taken to dubbing “movember,” perhaps because mustache starts with an m and they want a sanctioned excuse to not shave and look like filthy mountain men. It was a short-lived experiment, I didn’t like the way it felt. When I left for Thailand at the end of December I decided not to bring my electric razor cause it was bulky. I haven’t shaved anything off since then except for a little trimming. So here I am, kinda mustachey, kinda beardy. It took a while before people at my schools started remarking on it, but things are in full swing now. It came to my attention the other day, via one of my good co-workers, that “many” of the students have been asking “why” I am now wearing hair on my face. I told him, as I struggled to come up with an answer, that I was basically doing it to see what it would be like. They thought it was hilarious, a reaction I often encounter when I say something that is not funny at all.

I told them that Jessy liked it, that it was just kind of interesting to see, personally, how it would come in, if my mustache and beard would ever connect (they won’t, it seems), what I would look like. I asked them if they had ever grown a mustache or beard and they said no. One of them is probably sixty, the other is two weeks younger than me. I considered asking why they had never tried it, just to put them in my shoes. I did not ask them. In a way this minor act of growing hair on my face almost makes me feel more foreign, since nobody at the school has a mustache or beard–I feel like I’m slowly re-Americanizing myself in preparation for the move back home.

Speakin’ of America I accidentally got into a conversation about old times today and found some pictures that I had of my room when I lived in Pittsburgh, and it sorta depressed me because I looked at them and the first thing I felt was man, I miss living in that place. Like you always think about a time when you are most happy or something, and I really felt “I was more happy then than I am now” and it was kind of a sad thought. I want to be happy! I wonder what it is I need to change or do. Maybe it is just the impermanence of living here that is driving me crazy, not that anywhere else I’ve ever lived has been any more permanent. It kind of seems like the times I get the most depressed are when I’m sitting here at night school doing jack shit except thinking about things that I used to do, which is probably confirmation of my brand new and groundbreaking theory that idle hands lead to minds that wish their hands weren’t idle but don’t have the ambition to make them move. Yes that’s it

CURIOUS JAPANESE THINGS OF THE NOM
– Today’s gummy snack from the FamilyMart, featuring three different flavors of gummies: melon soda, cola, and lemon sour, and named “Cola up! &Friends”
– My distinctly non-romantic idea that because tomorrow is Valentine’s Day me and Jessy should go on a date “to the curry restaurant in the basement in Sannomiya that we both really like” but hey she was like OH MY GOD YEAH and I was like take that, someone
– The loudspeaker van that I walked past on the way to school that was yelling in the top of its lungs about Japan needs to REVIVAL!!!!! but he sounded so angry about it
– Ate McDonald’s MEGA MUFFIN the other day for breakfast, it was pretty mega if i am to be perfectly honest with you. It is part of their annual “Big America” series of strangely-themed “American” sandwiches like Texas Burger and Idaho Burger that are both nothing like anything available in America and at the same time a good reflection of what a global burger company comes up with when they want to portray “America” to the average Japanese person
mcdsTHE END OF FOOD IN JAPAN

I went to karaoke last weekend again with some pals, a kind of renaissance of karaoke after having not really gone in over a year or so. Evidently, somewhere along the line, the Big Echo place replaced all their ancient fuckin’ TVs and the horrible stock videos that play behind the lyrics with brand new widescreen TVs and newly-shot HD videos. It’s kind of a bizarre change, updating the old fashions for the new. The old videos were really amazing in a way, most of them obviously shot at-or-around the turn of the century, full-frame, people in ridiculous clothes and dated storefronts, hilarious foreign actors recruited by Japanese companies to shoot these things. These new ones are sort of a strange anachronism, brand-new high-definition video matched up to goofy lyrics for Take Me Home Country Roads like some teenagers hangin’ out in an apartment eating pizza or whatever. I feel like there’s a short story in there somewhere, that whole scene must just be the weirdest goddamned thing.

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A fly lives 10,000 years

I got on the train after work the other day, had been stayin’ late with the ESS (that’s English Speaking Society, though I often feel like the only member), and all I wanted to do was sit down and play some Fire Emblem on my little game thing.  And it was so full, I had to stand, and we weren’t moving, so I walk over into the next car right, and I sit down and get ready to play and this kid he sits down right there next to me, almost on me, starts jangling the little plastic chef thing I have hangin’ off my laptop bag like he’s a farmer and I’m the bull to be used in his latest foray into husbandry, floppin’ em around there.  And I kinda check over at him, yo man, what you doing there, and he gives me this weird distorted thumbs up, like his thumb is bent all the way backward.  He must be like fifteen or sixteen, whatever, I figure you’re janglin’ my sack around a little bit if you dig it roll on my daddy-o, I will be into Sannomiya in like five minutes.  But we just keep sitting there!  The damned train ain’t be moving.  And then he starts getting frisky.  Before long he has his hand slid under my bag onto my thigh, and he squeezes it a little bit, and I say like “whatchoo doin, there, guy,” only obviously he can’t understand me and I don’t feel like straight up telling him to fuck off in Japanese yet, and then he kinda slides his hand into my pocket, he is right on goddamned top of me!  There are seats free in this car, I should say, like all the way over to the edge.  I sit for a while he’s just grabbin’ on me, I figure whatever the kid is obviously mentally Disadvantaged and whatever I will be to Sannomiya in like five minutes, BUT WAIT WE ARE NOT MOVING YET WHAT

Eventually I pick his hand up off my leg and put it over onto him, and say “No” and shake my head, no, but he puts it back, I look around the car to see if anyone is getting this shit and every single person has their head turned as far away from me and this situation as possible, like only Japanese people can do, like I am emitting a blinding, sun-killing light and they have to turn their faces away, oh god, oh god don’t let it get in my eyes, eergh, eughhh, aghhhh, but there is nowhere left for their heads to turn cause if they turn them too far they will be up in someone’s FACE, and I say aloud, 

“nope”

and I get up and walk off the train and not sprint or anything but brisk walk down the train platform to a different car, get in it, go through the inner-car-door to a different car, and sit down in a free seat and pull out the goddamned Fire Emblem.  “Then it still takes for fucking ever for the train to get to Sannomiya” jesus christ i swear it took like 45 minutes for that train to go 10 minutes there was some crap on the track or maybe the kid ran into the conductor’s booth and started grabbin’ his coin purse or something holy god.

CURIOUS JAPANESE DOINKS OF THE PERIOD OF TIME ELAPSED BETWEEN BEFORE AND NOW
– Gotta give a presentation in the computer class at night school here tonight, they told me “just do something” and so I am going to show them where I am from on Google maps then nervously stammer for the remaining 44 minutes
– Jessy is sick again somehow and my throat starts to act up every now and then but then gets better, it’s just kinda tellin’ me, hey, hey you, I could kill you if I wanted you know
– Wait does that count as a Japanese thing of the week
– The new Twinbow gummies come with a VITAMIN SOUR pouch in them now, you’re supposed to empty the sour pouch into the gummy pouch and shake it up to make them double sour, I did it and man they were lyin’
– I tried explaining some Iowa foods like a breaded tenderloin sandwich and tater tot casserole to some Japanese person the other day, that sure did not work out as I had planned
– Tomomi Itano is graduating from AKB48!!! How on earth will people find my blog via google search now without lots of references to tomomi itano duckface tomomi itano naked pictures akb 48 akb48 girls with mysterious smile and expressions cpt. pee pee jumbo book osaka dogfart game
– I kinda felt like going and doing something jappy during our upcoming three day weekend cause of the holiday, but instead Jessy scheduled us a dentist appointment ha ha ha thanks baby
– Wait does that count as something Japanese
END OF CURIOUS JAPANESE THINGS

The other night I went to a Sukiya place for dinner with my peeps, it is my favorite “beef bowl” place and man it sure was good.  For a minute I was like “oh gosh if i leave japan i cannot eat beef bowl at sukiya anymore” but then I remembered that I know how to cook and also you can buy “international foods” in America so I will just cook it and pretend I am at Sukiya when I eat it. Or maybe I could just eat 30 pounds of awesome Texas barbecue and Mexican food, yeah I think I will do that instead.

Speaking of food, last night I made a food my grandfather used to fondly refer to as Shit on a Shingle, though I don’t know how fondly.  Turns out that apparently I love to eat shit.  I am a shit eater

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