Wednesday, June 30, 2010

belly dancing

I saw this porn once where this guy was banging Lela Starr and at one point he just yelled at her "OOOH YOU'RE SO FUCKIN SEXY!" That's pretty much how I feel when I am failing miserably at learning belly dance moves via Youtube and making the earth shake in my paper box house while wearing a wolf shirt, sweating all the while of course.

My latest crazed plot to weigh significantly less than right now is to incorporate copious amounts of dancing into my daily routine. This is a pretty recent thing; I'm tired of being stuck at a plateau for like a month straight so something's gotta give and dancing is fun. After I've humiliated myself thoroughly by not being able to follow Billy Blanks (who may be the king simpleton of all exercise videos) for 45 minutes, I'll fling myself at the ground and do pathetic knee push-ups because I can't do real ones, do 200 crunches all in rapid succession which I'm sure is not how they are intended to be done, and then dance. On Monday it was drum and bass. Today it was the song "Tangerine Speedo," with some Crazy Town and Wheatus and a little Lou Bega (mix CD from my teenage years). I also tried to do the Mashed Potato but it gives me really bad rugburn on the soles of my feet. Possibly unwise.

Meanwhile my insatiable fetish for Lebanon rages on. Inspired by Youtube videos of sexy bitches with fake tits wiggling around on Lebanese TV, visions of hedonistic nights clubbing in Beirut, and the fact that I ALMOST got a falafel on Saturday, I'm mapping out a trip in my mind. I'm looking at you, Wael Abifaker.

Monday, June 28, 2010

rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, raining, rainy, rain

If you've never walked 45 minutes from work to your house through rice paddies in a torrential downpour while listening to The Smiths and screaming along, you should. Never mind the occasional old lady who looks horrified at your atrocious squawking and wild umbrella waving, it's your world and no one can hear you sing if you can't hear them say anything.

I love headphones invincibility. It's why I pick my nose shamelessly on trains. If I can't hear them, they can't and are not judging me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Typical work garb

Looking like a lemon (or dehydrated pee) with salt, pepper, and a dash of demure 1950s housewife.

Believe it or don't believe it, but this outfit is totally wild child compared to the rest of the ladies in the teachers' room in their muted short sleeved sweaters (edgy!) and suit coordinates. Sometimes I feel like a lifelong 14 year old refusing to simmer down and fit in, but most of the time I'm content to sit around feeling smug that I'm the only female teacher at work who isn't wearing hose. And since I don't shave my legs, I am definitely the only female teacher parading her leg hair around at school.

Bring it on.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I spent my Father's Day with Miho and her parents in a beautiful restaurant and pottery complex in the mountains of Soeda. They treated us to an incredible lunch that easily puts Gonpachi to shame; we had our own private air conditioned room with ROTATING CHAIRS, a seemingly bottomless supply of quality green tea, and of course (ha) course after course of wonderful delicacies. After lunch Miho's dad, an artistic man of few words who once carved a gigantic Buddha out of wood and who grows his own vegetables, took us on a mini pottery tour. Apparently the resident artist is well known for his creations using rare red clay.

I think I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

P.S. Tell your dad you love him today!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chicken woes

If there is anything in this horrible world that is grosser than rectovaginal fistulas as a product of violent sexual assault or sitting next to someone who is vomiting into a barf bag, it's the "grilled chicken" you can order at cheap restaurants in Japan. Shit on me all you want for giving Joyfull and Big Boy my business - you and I both know that even Friendly's and Denny's have proper chicken back in the U.S.

Boy oh boy I could just heave up everything I've ever eaten ever just thinking about how fucking foul the chicken I had for dinner was. Imagine a slab of succulent, low-fat, lean, skinless white meat chicken breast, perhaps grilled to the point of browning on the outside and firm enough that a knife is required to cut it. Now imagine the complete OPPOSITE of that.

The meat is all dark - hardly preferable but still edible right - wrong. The dark meat is what ribeye steak defenders would call "marbled" with fat, so it is pretty much impossible to separate food from fat. The skin remains, which would be fine except it is approaching ONE CENTIMETER THICK and completely taints the flavor of the cheese and sauce sitting on top of it. I believe the preferred term is "Juicy" for this kind of chicken, and juicy it is - juicy with GLOBULES OF FAT, as well as the extra saliva that comes when you are about to toss your cookies.

Remember how I mentioned that tasty lean chicken breast requiring a knife? The chicken I had for dinner tonight could have been eaten with CHOPSTICKS, as there was so much fat that it simply fell apart with the slightest pressure from the edge of my fork. Chewing was an adventure - which soft globule or rubbery cartilage bit would trigger my gag reflex next? The potential extra burst of tasty flavor from regular chicken skin failed miserably; everything just tasted like oily fat.

Seriously, and I do NOT joke about food, when it comes to my 2-week trip home this summer, the thing I'm most excited about is eating REAL, PROPER chicken. There should not be a pile of reeking fat on your plate when you are eating chicken breast, and your body should not violently reject said chicken before it can even be digested.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Tonight I will be attending the wake for my friend's father, who died yesterday of stomach cancer. I'm pretty nervous and apprehensive since this will be the first wake I've ever been to and I am not terribly familiar with Japanese Buddhist customs. I don't know what to expect but people here are kind and accommodating so I should quit stressing.

Naturally the recent events combined with the onset of rainy season have gotten me thinking about life and its dreadful impermanence. I've always had a strange relationship with my father - not in the traditional "daddy issues" sense of neglect or abandonment, but more in that I feel extremely protective of him and spend a lot of time worrying about his health and well-being. He is not well, physically or mentally, coming from a very difficult past and dealing with a multitude of minor health problems which add up. It actually tears me apart to think that he will die someday, and I will have done less than I possibly could to maximise our time together.

I feel guilty for every time I have ever disappointed him by making bad choices, guilty whenever I get on a plane headed to Japan, guilty whenever he does me a selfless favor out of the goodness of his heart, guilty to the point of not ever wanting to live far from him ever again because he will miss me and I don't want him to have to deal with the pain of missing someone. He's not a happy person, has never been and may never be, and I feel responsible for making sure he can live vicariously well through my own happiness. I don't think he knows I feel this way about him, and I hope he never finds out because it would cause him great undue stress.

Since I am halfway around the world, I called him this morning with a great lump in my throat and tears in my eyes to tell him I love him. If you love your father, you should tell him. Life is fleeting.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Together forever?

Today you had some free time between soundcheck and show time. We found ourselves sat like bums on a street corner of the biggest city on this island eating gummy bears and Ritter dark chocolate w/chocolate mousse. The mousse chocolate got really melty and you decided it wasn't your thing. I was too self conscious about dieting to eat it myself, though in truth I really wanted to because it feels so wrong to waste candy. You LOVE candy and I think it is so cute that as soon as we finished our chocolate cake with whipped cream and fruit, you wanted to pop over to the candy store.

I asked you about the future because you are a budding rock star with real dreams and I am merely complacent doing whatever, so our destinies remain entirely unwritten. You smiled and said perhaps you would like to work in a studio because you like the stability of a 9-5 job. And maybe your band will hit it big and you will tour. You're not too hot on staying in New York because the taxes are ridiculously high unless you live in Manhattan.

Then you asked if you could keep me, because you know you would always like to have me around, and is it okay if you keep me?

Of course, I said. And I am pretty sure I meant it. It's not healthy to view lifelong commitment as the end of the world after all, and I DO like you an awful lot and can see us being very happy together years down the road.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sex and the City 2: An Extremely Concise Plot Summary With Spoilers And An Editorial

In the much-awaited sequel to "Sex and the City 1," we follow our beloved middle aged protagonists from their midlife crises (marriage related of course) in New York City all the way to Abu Dhabi (first class aboard a fancy-shmancy private airline, obviously), where they are to receive a week's worth of paid-in-full luxury R&R as some kind of PR stunt to a sheik Samantha meets at the afterparty of her hot ex's movie premier. Oh and before I forget, the movie begins with a fabulous gay wedding where Liza Minnelli sings and dances "Single Girls" by Beyonce.

Anyway Abu Dhabi = the "new" Middle East according to Samantha! They are greeted by some brown man in a white nightgown at the Abu Dhabi airport and receive four privately chauffeured cars. Their hotel is pretty much a gay replica of the Taj Mahal and the "Jewel Suite" where they stay costs $22,000 a night. They have four personal servants, one of whom is named Abdul and is a faggot, and Carrie the horse-human hybrid has a moment of bonding with hers, who is a man named Gauran from India who sees his wife a couple times a year because he is an indentured servant employed by the oil-swilling man pigs in UAE.

Anyway, Carrie is buying shoes for OMGZZZZ $20 WTF CHEAP at a souk (did you know "souk" means "street market?") one day and as the official call to prayer sounds throughout the town, she just happens to run into her old flame who seems like a bit of an uncultured hillbilly - a far cry from "Mr. Big" who calls her "kid" because he thinks he is Humphrey Bogart or Clark Gable, and is really tall - of course old flame (Aiden) is really tall and generally wide as well - anyway he invites her to dinner and after reading a scathing review of her latest book in the "New Yorker" in which it is insinuated she needs to tape her mouth shut (should have been the nose, or the entire face), she says "fuck it" and puts on kohl eyeliner she bought at the souk (market) and a sexy dress and goes to meet Aiden at HIS hotel. Charlotte (the prude goodygoody one who needs to get punched) in an act of soothsaying says "You're playing with fire," and Carrie fires back "look bitch just because you're insecure about your marriage..." and away she goes.

Charlotte and Miranda (the ginger) talk about how hard it is to be a mother, and this scene is intended to get the audience members who are stupid enough to have reproduced to nod at each other and go "UH HUH" with enthusiasm. Samantha puts yams on her face because customs stole her creams (she is obsessed with aging, which is understandable for a white woman of her age) in a bathtub.

By the by, they went on a camel ride together in the desert and Samantha saw a hot Danish architect riding his jeep around like Napoleon Dynamite's grandma (she also makes a really gross pun about labia in a sexual way) and LO, turns out he is at the same hotel - one night at a fabulous karaoke bash after singing "I AM WOMAN" as a quartet, Samantha arranged a hot date with Danish architect but DID NOT BLOW OFF HER FRIENDS WOAH GIRLFRIENDS FOREVER, HEY GUYS WE ARE SOULMATES.

Anyway while Samantha chills with yams and Charlotte and Miranda whine about their kids, Carrie and Aiden have a fantastic dinner and accidentally kiss for like two seconds. Carrie goes running back to the hotel and disrupts everyone's evening to tell them she kissed Aiden, and they all tell her not to call Mr. Big right away and to sleep on it but she ignores them and at 2:30 am calls him and says she kissed Aiden. Instead of reacting, he says "I'm at work, gotta go" and then Samantha calls and says she has been arrested for making out with Danish guy on a beach (after deep throating a hookah pipe and they show his boner) because some outraged conservative man reported them to security. They all rescue her or whatever, and then the front desk calls as soon as they walk in the door - the sheik has pulled out of the deal, leaving them on their own at $22,000 a night in just one hour.

Frantic packing ensues, and they all freak out and whine and moan about the possibility of having to fly COACH home. Carrie left her passport at the souk (market) and the nice man there saved it for her. Meanwhile Samantha is wearing shorts as a "fuck you" to the people of Abu Dhabi, and during a scuffle with some scammers her purse breaks and she scrambles to pick up the contents off the ground. At this point her boobs are hanging out and a bunch of sand nigger terrorist pigs are crowded around her getting outraged. Condoms are among her belongings and in a fit of menopausal fury and fervor she waves them around screaming "CONDOMS! I HAVE SEX! I HAVE SEX!" and it becomes a huge ordeal. Some mysterious figures in niqabs invite them into the women's chambers and they all de-hijab and HEY they're all dressed in the latest high-end designer fashions, because Gulf Arabs are goddamn rich as fuck. They escape from the angry mob outside by borrowing some niqabs and Carrie shows her leg to hail a cab and they fly back to New York first class of course.

Mr. Big comes home and is pissy for about 5 minutes but forgives Carrie for kissing Aiden because they are married (?). For her punishment, he has bought her a black diamond ring to wear since she is not interested in diamonds, and makes her say "I will not kiss anyone but my husband" and everybody is happy.

This stinking piece of shit, devoid of plot or any real character development, was great fun. Seeing it once in the theater was perfect. Reaffirmed my non-desire to marry or have kids.

The End!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When God's children shed their skins

Taken at my high school: part of the "fashion show" component of the annual Culture Festival.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

to-do list

-Clean house because people will probably crash tomorrow night
-Photocopy "Canon in D" sheet music for Andy
-Make Nao a birthday card
-Learn/practice oboe part (on violin) w/brass band for culture festival on Tuesday
-Practice violin for charity concert on Saturday
-Successfully co-throw surprise birthday party for Nao at Oldies
-Not contract a hangover Saturday morning
-Book a hotel room in Tenjin for Saturday night
-Go to Nathan's house to borrow his violin for charity concert to lend to Andy
-Transport 2 violins and myself to Tenjin on Saturday
-Plan dinner/drinks for Saturday night with visitors from out of town
-Not gorge myself and gain weight back

whew! thank gosh I wear a watch.

I also would like to share what I had to eat today.

-canned coffee (Georgia European Blend)

-711 side salad (mostly lettuce and tomato) with goma dressing
-1 tuna mayonnaise onigiri (triangular rice ball wrapped in seaweed)
-LG 21 yogurt

-some nice teacher left me 2 Andes chocolate mints

-HottoMotto bibimbap with half portion rice
-calcium supplement/dessert bar, "blueberry cheesecake" flavor

-a birth control pill


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The glamour of flying

It doesn't get much more "back in the day" than this photo, does it?

One time on an American Airlines flight from Narita to Chicago I met Shirley the flight attendant. She was an overweight white woman in her fifties or so and was obviously a senior flight attendant. Let me tell you, Shirley does not take jack beanstalk from anyone. "You don't touch me, you TALK to me" in response to a Japanese passenger tapping her on the shoulder. I'm pretty sure she actually asked other passengers to help her stuff luggage into the overhead compartments. Shirley is not the living picture of long-legged glamour; she represents "service with a sneer" to a T, the archetypal complaint material of businessmen who only fly Asian airlines and still call them "stewardesses."

However, as cranky and culturally shocking as Shirley was to me (I'd gotten used to petite and demure Japanese cabin crews who bow to you), she inspired me in a huge way by snapping "Are you a flight attendant?" when I stacked the food trays before handing them to her. Puzzled and flattered, I asked why she thought I was a flight attendant, to which she replied curtly "I dunno, you just seem like you know what you're doing."

What if instead of settling down like a good adult after my homecoming, I ran off again, this time in hopes of snatching some residual glamour from the rare sparks and flashes that remain somewhere in the earth's skies? For every songless land whale requiring a seat belt extender or stinking pile of baby vomit, there must be SOME perk that keeps flight attendants from committing suicide every day. I think I'd like to find out what it is.