Tag Archives: citra

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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You don’t know nothing

It’s my thirtieth month as a high-school English teacher in Kobe, and there is nothing of any profound and shaking significance to report. This morning an old vagrant sat across from me on the train, then moved next to me and said hello, and immediately asked what country I was from, before volleying into some kind of conversation about my 3DS, which he could not see because he was sitting beside me, and it’s in 3D. He was like “can’t see it, can’t see it” and I was like “you sure can’t” and he was like “aha aha” then he got off the train before me. The two businessmen across from me to my right made some comments about how the weird vagrant man was a weird vagrant. One of the businessmen was wearing a facemask, which is totally normal.

We started watching this series called “Game of Thrones,” it uses a high-fantasy setting and started as books, which means I will never read them. The series was produced by HBO and, as I understand it, cost $60 million over the course of its ten episodes. One of the more charming points of the show is that the Exceptional Content is never wishy-washy–the series opens with two lingering decapitations, is followed by a minute-long scene of full nudity by not one but several women, contains conversations in which people bypass the social pleasantries of gateway curses and skip straight to Fuck, also some relatives bang each other and later in the series some throats are ripped/bitten out and or stabbed, also more banging. The characters have names, but I’ll be Fucked if I remember any of them, they’re all like Hodor Dargantio or L’Orealdrious Salafoop. The few that I remember are: Agent 006, Dwarf, Hot Naked Savage Wife, Tinymouth Bitch-boy, Bastard, Climby, and The Fat King. This show is pretty sweet let me tell you.

grapefruity slatherhog

JAPANESE MINOR ENCOUNTERS
– That soda called Citra is back, it’s called Citra, I haven’t had it in like fifteen years and here it is in Japan
– Ate a “chicken nugget sandwich” today, it was literally a chicken nugget on a bun, wrapped up and sold in the cooler section of the convenience store
– A man is balancing on one foot in front of the small gas heater, he has taken the shoe off of the foot and is trying to get the foot warm, I think he is finished now
– I thought I’d make some pilaf the other day with supper, thought I’d just see if I could find a pre-packaged rice mix of some sort to boil up all quick, but that is not a thing in Japan, I made homemade dumplings instead aw yeah
EAHRG

Jessy was gone for like three weeks during Christmas and I was all alone, so I had a forgotten taste of the bachelor life. I engaged in such scandalous activities as roleplaying as a female and marrying another female in a video game. Also I drank alone and with friends, watched Masters of the Universe back-to-back with Dragonslayer, ate at the sushi-go-round, stayed up until six in the morning twice, bought grass for my cat, and I guess some other stuff. Sometimes it was awesome to be alone again, and other times I remembered that the thing I notice the absence of most when Jessy’s gone is my random source of entertainment and companionship. On the other hand I did get like 70 hours of video games played.

I made mochi last week with the night school kids, and I remember to wear my jacket when the beatings happen because the splatter. I wielded Big Hammer, our third encounter, and it was like hoisting an old friend high above my head then slamming him down against a pile of squished grains to make stretchy goop. We ate the mochi with anko and the other orange powder that I forget what it’s called all the time, oh, kinako. It tastes like crushed up Cap’n Crunch cereal. Also we had ozoni, which is “soup.” You put the mochi in the soup. Another weird old vagrant next to me asked some questions about American Baseball, then when I mentioned the Orioles he said “Buruku Surobinson Buruku Surobinson.” I was like “yep he was good” but I dunno man Brooks Robinson stopped playing like six years before I was born.

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