Tag Archives: dogshit tacos

A positive, get-it-done city

For all they say about Texas bein’ the land of the yee-haw and cowboy bewts and root-tootin’ assless chaps spurs kickin’ up a dust trail gitalong, little dogie, all I have really seen that was way outside the realm of the ordinary was a bar fight culminating with a man pulling a literal switchblade and brandishing it, like in the movies, then apologizing to the whole bar profusely after the man left (and mere moments before we got the fuck outta there).

But then, what kind of operative word is “ordinary,” anyway? To me, fresh off four years in perhaps the least ordinary place in the world which had become Most Ordinary to me, virtually anything different is of note. I derive no small amount of enjoyment from being able to purchase bottles and draughts of my most favorite beers from a variety of excellent drinking establishments and supermarkets, only one of which I was ever afraid I might get stabbed with a switchblade in. There are tacos, tacos everywhere, generally of the soft variety and in great quantity over burritos, which I for some reason imagined would be more popular. No, in the few days since moving here I have eaten pan-fried fish tacos, a tikka masala chicken taco, a few shredded pork tacos, a mushroom and cream cheese taco with lettuce as the tortilla, fried crawfish tacos, beef tacos, chicken tacos. I am even eating a frozen burrito as we speak, which seems less than exciting after all them good real tacos I been eatin’. I have yet to eat a single piece of “barbecue.”

My current state of affairs affords me a peculiar and unusual viewpoint. For the first time since when, eighth grade? I have no school work to do, and no job lined up, and am on the verge of being unemployed and thirty (yet well clear of a basement belonging to any of my parents). Having now become accustomed to the unsettled drifter lifestyle over the last three months, I face no real problems living out of just a small duffle bag, and wonder “what do I need all these other boxes of items for, and where will I put them? Surely not on the furniture I also do not yet have–I am writing this sitting cross-legged on the floor with my laptop resting on a black trunk. With enough money in the virtual safe to last me a few months of paying my rent and student loans (along with the occasional purchase) I’ve been afforded a unique opportunity to have time to write and square away all the things that I need to get squared away. But surrounded by my fresh young upstart roommates who are all working impossible hours as new teachers in the Dallas school district I can’t help but feel like a bit of a lowlife. I’ve given myself a full month at least, to pound out as much as I can on the novel, to get the steps put in motion to get a new driver’s license, to take care of picking up the Huge Load Of Shit I Mailed from Japan at the warehouse in a couple weeks, to absolutely walk three buildings down to the Garden Cafe this Thursday for what is apparently some seriously sublime chicken fried steak.

Can I still do this hmm i wonder CURIOUS AMERICA THINGS OF THE NOW
– The local big supermarket FIESTA and its extensive selection of Jesus-themed glass ensconced votive candles (also plenty of chorizo)
– There being absolutely no bottled green, or any other kind, of tea that does not include fifty grams of sugar, citric acid, or a battery of artificial sweeteners
– Having no phone “Where did you leave it?” “No, I don’t have one” “Oh, did it break” “No, like I don’t have a phone number”, which makes me feel strangely less on edge but also isolated from The Cool Kids
– Dollar Tree, a store where everything is a dollar, and mostly I mean there are three-liter bottles of soda and bread products branded with Larry The Cable Guy’s fucking face
– A surprising assortment of bars that have really excellent beer and at which I can order different beers instead of just doing what I did over the last four years which was say “beer please”

It is probable that you’d have already noticed this, seeing as how you are now viewing this very article, but the dickrats over at Go Daddy dot shit decided to not automatically renew my nomaday dot com address and would like to charge me eighty dollars to get it back. I am not cool with that, so in the spirit of America I have changed the URL to nmdy.us. You may notice the .us! That is because I am now in the US. Simply remove all the vowels from “nomaday” and add a .us! The domain cost me 99 cents for a year, which also seemed quite American.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Kissing a girl who is leaning away from you

At a fancy table I mentally fidget with my lines–I am a couple minutes away from getting up in front of everyone who holds any sort of employment at my school to give a short speech in Japanese. We’re all piled into a fancy dining room on an upper floor of the ridiculous monstrosity the “Meriken Park Oriental Hotel,” a triple-A lodgery which according to Wikipedia was designed by “a corporation” to resemble a luxury ocean liner “for some reason.” If you could move the upper image on my website a little to the side, you’d see it there, a staple of the waterfront view. I’ve had a few beers at this point, though it’s hard to say exactly how many due to the irritating yet awesome Japanese office party custom of always refilling the drinks of anyone next to you any time you see they aren’t completely full. When they call my name I realize that the speeches everyone else have given have been pithy, short introductory missives, cursory pap delivered obligatorily in the native language of this country. Mine is a two-and-a-half minute jaunt down ha-ha road, originally penned by myself in simple English, simplified even further for easy translation, translated by a co-teacher of mine, then personally re-simplified to make the Japanese sound like it could theoretically have been pieced together by my infant brain. Before I get up there, I realize I have no idea what the fuck I have done.

it's on the right

The topic of the speech, an introduction and farewell to one of my coworkers, who has been recently transferred to another school but returns tonight to receive the honor of this speech (along with a couple envelopes of money from the PTA), is the concept of the relative humor that we share, and how sometimes during our conversations in English, neither of us knew exactly what was funny and what wasn’t, leading us to ignore jokes and laugh at the mundane, which is perfectly enough what I tend to do even if I can understand you. In a case of art imitating life (intentionally), my speech, written in English and delivered in Japanese, finds itself bouncing around in my mind like an enigmatic memory, constantly analyzed: which section of this is precisely when “the joke” comes out? Will their sensibilities allow them to find it funny, or will they, fearing staff retribution, laugh only at the safe parts? Perhaps appropriately, even though I analyze my own speech on numerous occasions prior to delivering it, as I orate in a foreign language I barely understand even as speaking it, I receive laughs at unplanned junctures, and my perfect pronunciation of “Iwasaki-sensei wa naze KONna ni waratterundaroukaaaaa” gets only a few titters. Jessy suggests that perhaps the inflection of the line was too good, making me sound serious “why the hell were you laughin’ at that, Iwasaki?!” instead of endearing “wonder why she’d laugh at that, hmm!” It’s happiest for me to imagine that for just a moment I sound like a violent, rough-and-tumble Japanese gangster with a knife to the throat of my dear old lady coworker, but not at all out of line for me to believe that, as with English, they just can’t tell if I am being sarcastic or not. Then I tell them all to choke on their fried mayonnaise shrimp and flip themselves inside out.

One teacher later on in the evening stops by to refill my drink for the seven-hundredth time and tells me that my speech was “by far” the best one of the night, which mentally I assume is because I had actually written one and liken to defeating a gang of Antarctican six-year-olds in the indoor-heating knowledge Olympics. Still, the victory is sweet, sweet like Chinese wine, which I glug down until I cannot remember who I am. Another office party victory, filling myself up with open bar liquids and Chinese food that is too fancy for me to appreciate.

Yesterday’s solar eclipse offered the fun opportunity to watch various Japanese humans stop themselves in their tracks and stare directly up at the sun, searing their corneas into ash. I, never one to over-prepare, determined that I did not need the special glasses and that taking a peek using the reflection of my cellular telephone screen would be enough. It kind of was, I could see that the sun looked like a little ring in the sky. I read a story that at a zoo here all the lemurs went apeshit cause it got dark so they thought it was night and then it turned day again. I like to imagine how crazy that crap must be to you if you are a lemur. “Holy shit, the day only lasted five minutes and now it is night again, does that mean there is a new episode of Jeopardy already or.” Knowing that, if I was privy to that information ahead of time, I think instead of just planning to watch the eclipse I’d have tried to get me a ticket to the zoo and go watch the lemurs go crazy instead.

I also enjoyed considering what the prevailing mentality must have been way back in the turgid-cortex brainflop days, before people could understand at all what was happening and perhaps, for a time, assumed that this was truly the end of days. Did they resort to the mentalities of unrestrained monkeys, ranting and raving? Maybe for a time they all picked up ancient acoustic guitars and told it near the train station, hurry and adopt Our Lord And Savior before it is too late! At any rate, by the time I was at my desk doing my “job” which during midterms this year means “nothing,” things in outer space were all back to normal. I celebrated by eating a old rice cracker I found in my desk that tasted kind of like dried squid for some reason, and maybe the reason is that they made it taste that way on purpose.

Defying the odds, Mello Yello is somehow back, or maybe it just never left and they’ve brought it into higher distribution for the summer. I bought a bottle because I missed seeing it, which might lend some credence to the Coca-Cola company’s theory of seasonality. Surely if it had been here all along I’d have paid it no attention, a cruel and shocking allegory for what my daily life truly amounts to as I pump on through the days and nights. A few weeks ago just to make things different I switched the living room again. That’s when I move all the stuff that’s on the north wall to the south wall, and move the stuff on the south wall to the north wall. It tricks me into believing things are fresh and new, regardless of whether they are or not.

– Osaka’s mayor, who is on a personal crusade to fire anyone who has tattoos, is prohibiting dance clubs from allowing dancing, and who apparently never saw the movie Footloose and thinks the current year is 1928
– The popular American movie “The Avengers,” which, despite having been out in America for a few weeks, will not release in Japan until August 17th, by which point several people who are alive today will certainly be dead
– Television

I’ve been doing a tongue twisters lesson in class for the last week or so and I have so many stupid tongue twisters memorized that I cannot handle it. If two witches could watch two watches which witch would watch which watch ripe white wheat reapers reap ripe white wheat right we’re real rear wheels scizzors sizzle thistles fizzle six thick thistle sticks eleven benevolent elephants betty botter made a batch of bitter batter but with butter it was better rory the warrior and roger the worrier were reared wrongly in a rural brewery.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,