Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A slice of home

My usual Japan order:
Six inch turkey on wheat bread, toasted, with egg, lettuce, tomato, green peppers, onions, pickles, jalapeño peppers, and mustard.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


"Awaken" as a word always reminds me of Metalocalypse, particularly of Mustakrakish the Lake Troll.

But awakening is pretty much exactly how I've been feeling over the past few days, as if I had just been dormant and lackluster for those couple cold winter months. I put on five pounds and now I'm taking them off, I feel motivated to do my hair and put on Outfits with a capital O, and overall life just seems pretty awesome. I've got things to do before I leave Japan, and I've got lots of things to do once I get back to America.

I'm stuck in this really funny place between wanting to savor the rest of my time here and just hurry up and get back and re-start my "new" life. It's unbelievable how easily and rapidly you accumulate plans and obligations; every weekend for the next month and a half has been spoken for in some capacity or another. I have concerts to play/attend lined up for every weekend from this Friday through the end of March; my mom is visiting Japan for two weeks during spring holidays, I have a road race to train for in early April, and there's a big gathering in Nagoya the weekend after the race. With all these things to be planning and thinking about, I am still just sitting around watching videos of people eating fried butter at the Texas State Fair and daydreaming about America.

America really isn't that great, but I've built it up in my mind as some kind of wonderland. Nothing makes you love home like living away from it, I guess. Obesity epidemic, tipping culture, culture of unjustified entitlement and all, I have to admit I feel a bit proud of the big honking eagle on my passport. Now if only I could get a nifty burgundy/purple European Union passport too...

Friday, February 18, 2011


Mizuna (水菜), Cheddar cheese, Borlotti beans, Sultana raisins, fresh strawberries, and sesame oil as dressing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

To The Motherland!

Well would you look at the time! I'm off to Seoul this afternoon for two full days and three nights of mayhem with a few of my friends living in Japan. None of us have achieved any level of proficiency in Korean; I can barely read hangul and I think I might be the only one who has bothered to learn any emergency phrases ("Dog meat soup, please" - "Bosintang juseyo").

This doesn't feel like any kind of pilgrimage or identity-searching journey though. It's just a long weekend adventuring in a new place with friends. I'm not sure whether to feel sadness at the lack of emotional/personal weight of this trip or to feel relieved that I am just going to eat Pizza Hut and muck around enjoying myself. We are staying at a hostel that shares a building with Dunkin Donuts. My to-eat list for Seoul is quite optimistic and involves a lot of meals-squeezed-between-meals.

1.) Bosintang (dog meat soup)
2.) Pizza Hut
3.) Dunkin Donuts
4.) Korean BBQ with galbi (beef) and samgyeopsal (fatty pork)
5.) Dakgalbi (spicy chicken mixed with veggies and rice cakes)
6.) Tteokbokki (rice cakes in spicy sauce)
7.) Mandu (dumplings)
8.) Japchae (cellophane noodles)
9.) Jajangmyeong (Chinese black bean noodles)
10.) Samgyetang (chicken stuffed with rice and dates)

I am definitely in denial that Seoul is going to be colder than Berlin, which felt as if it bordered on absolute zero outside. I will regret my poor choices in socks and appropriate layers. I suppose I will have to drown my discomfort in hot soup, preferably with dog meat floating in it. Part of me associates eating dog with revenge against all the stupid dogs who have jumped on me, licked my face and hands, scared the crap out of me by barking at me while I walk in the dark, or in recent cases chased me snarling viciously while I run. It also marks a departure from the Western mindset that dogs are somehow precious and not fit for human consumption. Meat is meat; if I could eat babies, I would.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Motherland, in a few images

Seoul was an incredible blur of obscene overeating (like 6000 calories a day), blinding neon, pushy crowds, delicious and stylish people, and whirlwind sightseeing. I probably got to eat fewer than one third of the items on my to-eat list. As predicted, the amount of time we were there was just enough to infect us all with the burning urge to get back to Korea ASAP.

I think these photos are pretty well representative of our adventure.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Been trying to meet you...

I've fallen in love with yet another song. Going to do my best to do justice to the guitar bends via a borrowed violin at tomorrow's friendly jam session.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I love my pee colored sweater

Yes, I do. The elbow patches are without a doubt my favorite part - they somehow add tons of personality to what is otherwise an unflattering item of clothing that adds about ten pounds. I got the monster baby on clearance at Zara. The grey pants are from TRIAL which I lovingly refer to as "the Wal-Mart." I slipped and fell on ice today and ripped a hole in the left knee, but it's hardly noticeable. The boots were on super final clearance at the mall tonight for only ¥1000. My kitchen is so fucking messy and my head is in a weird place as I am finishing up Day 4 of cutting out candy/sweets after basically binge eating over the weekend.