Tag Archives: guitar

Ace’s guitar flies through space


Maybe I should have changed the name of the page to Nom a Month.

The truth is that I’ve been occupied with real, honest-to-goodness stuff! I started reading an enormously long book called 1Q84, written by a pretty notable Japanese author named Haruki Murakami. In Japanese you pronounce it “ichi kyu hachi yon,” and it’s kind of a fun little pun because in Japanese the letter “Q” and the number 9 are both pronounced “kyu,” and a q and 9 look kinda the same and the book is sort of about an ALTERNATE 1984. But in the book’s English-translated form it doesn’t mean shit. Also I got this game for my Playstation called Rocksmith, and how it works is you hook any electric guitar up to it with a special cable, and you can learn to play songs along with it. I’m getting pretty good. Just last night I played a four-song set at the “Mouse Hole” and even performed an encore. I asked Jessy if she liked my “whip-ass bends,” but she did not seem to notice. The calluses on my left fingers are becoming formidable. I plan on using them to light strike-anywhere matches pretty soon, and once they are lit I will set fire to Jessy and ask if she likes my whip-ass bends now.

Work’s also been busy. We had exams last week, which meant I got to check and grade 320 separate English composition essays for the communication class I lead, in addition to 320 more essays that we wrote for a “presenting your opinions” review project we just finished. It was a pretty frantic time, during which I was alarmed at how not-bored I happened to be when I had work to do.

The weather is getting colder yet, with us, nearing the end of October, having finally entered the realm of temperatures that are routinely in the mid-60s during the day. Aside from a couple freakishly warm days last week, I can say that I’ve been unequivocally pleased with the general state of nature in my life lately. Sometimes we have the doors open, and the cold autumn wind rolls through, and I imagine how all those people who love summer must feel, and then I laugh a vengeful cackle as my black bones chill to their iron cores. It is my time! MY TIME

– I went to the “Hard-Off” store about a week ago and got a ton of old Famicom shit for about 20 bucks, and it was the greatest day so far in my life
– On Monday I forgot to bring lunch, and when I got home I made linguini with homemade tomato sauce and a pound of burger in it and ate it with a huge chunk of crusty garlic bread like a savage and it was the greatest day so far in my life
– Got some beer the other day
– Captain America was a pretty awesome movie
– My birthday is in a couple weeks, I will officially turn 13 years old and finally outgrow this childish video game phase
– Jessy’s leaving for America pretty soon and while she is gone I will give her half of the wine bottles I open to our cat, who will not be seen with me around our friends when I act like this what is your problem
– One of my students wrote a review of Eric Clapton and called him “her god” and I thought girl you are too good for this country

MMMMM goodies

My work-snacks today have been based around three cans of clearance mandarin orange drink I got for fifty yen each at the Yoshiya store, they have little bits of orange pulp in them. Also I ate a rice ball with a slice of egg and a slice of bologna on it, and Mom always used to tell me there’d never be any market for the Eggy Meaty. Who is laughing now? It is me, I am the one laughing.

No but seriously all my time lately is being used on being at work, reading during my commute, cooking and eating supper at home, and playing guitar or some old video game with the time I have left. The last two weekends Jessy and I have packed up the picnic bag and took it down to the harbor and had a little picnic and it’s been pretty nice. It rained last Saturday and I wanted to go to Osaka and prowl around for a copy of The Goonies for Famicom but then it was raining and I was like nah I don’t wanna go to Osaka. No big adventures, no big trips, very few biting insights about Japanese culture here during my 26th month of life in Japan. Life continues.



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Ret it Be

Shinki-bus stinks like wet country, but I take it–it services the rather remote area where we’re to be trained for three days by the Board of Education. I leave from Sannomiya station, a multi-level transport hub bigger than Sears and busier than Krispy Kreme. It’s an hour-plus trip that stops to pick up old ladies from isolated benches roadside amidst Maxvalu supermarkets and rice fields. As with all places I’ve so far been in this country, the cicada calls are deafening and, in conjunction with impossibly high overhead power lines, virtually define the landscape. I step off Shinki-bus and there they are, out here in Yashiro, ree-ree-ree-raaaaaaawwww.

I refuse to concern myself too explicitly with the occasionally redundant training seminars, satisfying my requirement of compulsory attendance but preferring instead to let my thoughts drift to our meals, which are frequent and enormous. By day our chefs, one older and with a shagtop haircut and classic ‘stache, prepare curry, shrimp katsu, and strange “tofu hamburger,” then at night when the Kirin flows pull worn acoustics from god-knows-where and hammer out 60s and 70s rock like there aren’t 45 English-speaking 20-somethings clapping and singing along. One of them, the younger one, rolls a pack of cigs into his black t-shirt sleeve like an anachronistic 5’4″ James Dean.

Between songs we are mindful of our poker hands, elements of a foolish no-limit game played with toothpicks broken in half and devoid enough of any value to prevent anyone from folding their shitty cards. 4-5 offsuited takes a pot before we forget about the game all together.

Their repertoire is dumbfounding. When they play Johnny B Goode to heed our rabid calls I see the young one morph into Michael J Fox from Back to the Future, kicking the air to cheers, thrusting the guitar around the like some sort of primitive implement. The kitchen becomes a concert hall: I sip beer and rest my elbow on a plastic milk crate containing a dirty chef’s apron, figure this is the strangest venue I’ve ever caught a show, industrial food prep in governmental training compound, rural Hyogo prefecture Japan, 1-2-3 o’clock 4 o’clock rock.

The morning after, one man from the Board of Education rubs his face in fatigue as though tenderizing choice Kobe beef, having imbibed far more than the requisite beer the night before. The other staff and teachers vary: half-asleep, half-awake, toeing the line between feeling patronized and liberated.

As we finish our dichotomic breakfast (rice and miso soup among American-style bacon, french fries, and coffee), I carry my tray back to the kitchen and there’s our shagtop rockstar for a night, two hands on a paddle stirring an honest-to-god cauldron, sweet aromas. He gives me a nod. I rinse ketchup off my chopsticks.

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