April 27, 2006

Magic 8-ball iPod

Telling your future with an 8-ball is just so... Predictable. That's why I've adapted a blog meme I spotted around Jen and Corinna's blogs. The goal: List five questions. Hit shuffle on your music-listening device. The song that comes up alludes to the answer to your question. Rinse. Repeat.
I pass this meme off to Linus, Rachel, Abra, Padre Jake, Yume, and Maurice. Anyone else that wants to play doesn't have to wait for a tag.

My questions:

  • Will I suffer an accident soon?
    iPod says: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Abba
    Don't you stop on me now pal! *hit's chest* Aw crap, now that I think about it, the song mentions falling apart too.

  • Will my camping trip with friends be a hit this weekend?
    iPod says: "M1 A1" by the Gorillas.
    Crap, does this mean people will cancel? Or does it mean I will be fighting zombies?

  • Will I find love?
    iPod says: "Primleseur's Speak Essential Japanese 1, lesson 22"

  • Will the yen get stronger against the dollar, or am I doomed to a collection of funny money?
    iPod says: "March of the Valkyries" by Wagner
    The yen will march all over my homeland.

  • What will happen to me during golden week?
    iPod says: "Russian Roulette" by Tsunami Bomb
    If I end up in the middle of a bunch of Asians with Christopher Walken...
  • April 26, 2006

    People are dumb, or so I've read

    Some day I'll write a book about the man with the 133 IQ. He's smart enough to realize that the people that surround him are moronic, but at the same time, his IQ is not really high enough to land him an interesting career. So he's stuck between two worlds, constantly plagued by the thought: Am I one of them?!

    April 25, 2006

    Daily dump (photos that is).

    Nakayama camping ground. Spooky...

    I make battleship sushi regula.
    Half-Japanese girl that befriended me at a church. She doesn't care that I don't speak Japanese. We draw together, as this and the drawing below indicates.

    I gotta say this reminds me way too much of my experiences as an art major

    Watch the art school confidential trailer, philistines.

    April 22, 2006

    I think it's official now

    I sing Japanese songs better than I can sing English songs. Also I'm better at singing Japanese than speaking it. Weird. These are the fruits of enkai season.

    April 20, 2006

    Comment verification sucks

    I really think that the comment verification thing is almost more trouble than it's worth. I mean, when I have to type KLIDFATADAGAGN or some other 18-letter combination, it's annoying enough, but when the letters are all smushed together, and I make a mystake, and have to verify again, well that sucks. Wanna do something about it? I suggest bugging these people by typing a simple, four second message in the section at the bottom of their page. If we complain, they will capitulate, hopefully.
    EDIT: Linus' comment makes it clear I need to clairify: I suggested to the blogger team lowering the random letters count down to four. Surely this is possible, as I've seen many other blogs that use just four.

    April 19, 2006


    Today I rode my bike into the mountains around my little town of Tara-cho. I ended up going about 20 to 30 kilometers! The day was lovely--and the smells! The wind carried the smells of the real Japan: the Japan of the mountains. I at several times paused to sniff with a look of elation on my face that I imagine was equivilent to that of a mother that has just given birh and is gazing contentedly at their child. Yes, this is why I came here, for the mountains, and the rotting buildings. I saw more than a few derilict buildings, cars, backhoes, barns, and bridges; the plants attempting to reassert control by growing wherever they could find purchase.
    I've tried to convey how large Tara is. Absolutely massive and beautiful. Screw Tokyo, it's the inaka for me. Hopefully the vids will help me show some of the massiveness of the mountains...
    Our tour of Tara begins with the mystery of the 1000 oranges...
    Why were these oranges left by the roadside here? The nearest orange farm is a good 5 kilometers away. What is going on here? The mystery intrigues me.

    Continue reading this post by expanding...
    The mysterious bottle field. Anyone know what this one is for?
    Two random videos appear before you!

    You can actually hear me sighing contentedly in the background of the dam video.

    A panorama. Please zoom this one.

    Locked gate to a creepy shut down factory.

    Another view of the gate.

    This place was like a haunted playground right out of a movie. I loved it, naturally.

    April 16, 2006

    We are bubbles: a rare mp3

    [edit: I had it embedded, but the host site went down. I can send you the file.]
    So rare, I had to rip it from the movie. This song is from Visitor Q, an infamous Takeshi Miike film. I think it is called "Water Bubbles," and the lyrics are about how the sea is full of bubbles that "come together, kiss, and separate." An interesting metaphor for life.
    This will be a good song to have when the rainy season comes... It will go so well with the fog on the sea...
    Also, expand this post to see the lyrics to the song and see what she is saying.

    To buy this album, go here, and copy the isbn number if needs be.


              詞・曲 葛西亜美

    English translation

    the sea that is way too big to be seen in entirety
    the waves that lambently rise and crush out
    the many, many small bubbles
    born and shined by light, and glittery, shining

    slowly spining, floating, sinking
    kissing and becoming one, and again separating
    little by little becoming bigger and when they burst
    again, they melt away into water of sea

    somehow somehow
    it is very similar to us...

    thinking of things like that in spite of myself
    naked you
    stay in water only

    thinking of things like that in spite of myself
    completely relaxed you
    stare at the sky only
    stare at the sky only

    If I have just bit of space, good
    nothing to say. just like this. just like this...

    大きくて 大きくて 姿が見えない海
    ゆらゆらと 立ち上がり そして砕け散る波
    小さなあぶくが タクサン タクサン
    生まれて光に照らされてキラキラ 輝くよ

    ゆっくり 回りながら 浮いたり 沈んだり
    キスして ひとつになったり また離れたり
    少しずつ 大きくなって そして はじけたとき
    また 海の水に 溶けて逝く

    何だかとても 何だかとても
    私たちと よく似ているみたい...

    そんなこと 考える 私をよそに
    裸になった あなたは
    水の中ばかりに 居る

    そんなこと 考える 私をよそに
    くつろぎきった あなたは
    空ばかり 眺めてる
    空ばかり 眺めてる

    少し離れて ただ横に居ればいい
    何も言わずに このまま このまま...

    April 14, 2006

    On being a teenage girl in Japan

    Metablog: The title... I say triple entendre achieved.
    Oy, I wanted to go out tonight, paint the town red, but then I ran into my own culinary creation. Usually, I do pretty good in the kitchen, but attempting to make chicken/shrimp custard without a steamer was pure folly. Not to mention I don't even like custards; what was I thinking? So yeah, I ended up making Japanese eggdrop soup (or inventing it rather), and getting a little sick. So now I sit at home on a Friday and blog. Weeeeee here we go!

    So I was brought into the new school year with a screech of pleasure, more accurately, the screech of five girls. Their car pulled up (grinning mother driving).
    Girls: Mr. B! Mr. B! You... our teacher! Mr. B! Do you remember us?
    Clay: Uh yeah, you only graduated a week ago. So, I see by your outfits that you are in Tara high school.
    Girls: We are in high school!
    Clay: Yes.
    Girls: !!!
    Clay: Well, see you!
    Girls:?!? Okay! See you!

    They caught me at the supermarket, as I was looking for the ingredients to what I didn't realize then would be a failed attempt at custard.
    Girls: Mr. B!
    Clay: Ah, good, can you help me find some shitake mushrooms?
    Girls: Yes, but first we take pictures with our new cell phones!
    Ah yes, cell phones, the thing I never realized middle school students covet the most. The ability to own a cell phone and hang out at the supermarket is a right of passage I never was cognizant of, but now I realize I saw this phenomenon all the time before, albeit to a lesser extent due to my arrival in Japan halfway through the school year (once the novelty had worn off a little).

    Imagine, if you will, being an old Japanese lady. Old enough that you remember WWII and practically starving to death and hearing that the next prefecture down got an atomic bomb dropped on it. Imagine living in a small, sea-side town your whole life and practicing traditional Japanese dances on the weekends with the other old ladies. You are 4 feet tall and have bowed legs from farming all your life. Now imagine, if you possibly can, how queer the following scene would be to your aged eyes: A very white, very tall man, surrounded by a loud army of about ten girls in uniform, swarming down your aisle of the supermarket. All the girls very loud, all their hands busy grabbing mushrooms, or cell phones, or smacking each other.

    If you are that old woman, you have just plotzed.

    ペラペラ (Chatting it up)

    I have achieved pera pera status. That is when a Nihonjin proclaims you to be "pera pera" or a smooth talker. It's one step above "your Japanese is good," which more accurately translates as, "Your Japanese is so bad, I feel the need to encourage you." One is not good at Japanese until one is corrected on their mistakes and not complemented at all.
    Also zombie blog today. Com'on, it ain't dead yet.

    April 12, 2006

    Useful registry trick

    If you are having problems getting your USB devices to come up, or with installing QuickTime (and maybe getting error:-3 ), chances are a registry cleaning will do ya good. I used the trialware Smart PC to fix my computer this weekend. It runs loads better now. I post this cause I know someone will be desperately googeling the problem, like I did. If you are that person...Every company has a guy like Nick Burns.

    April 11, 2006

    Another dopelganger

    A Rachel clone.
    Sorry, people who don't know these people. But there is a site with all the people who's doubles I've found lately to kind of remove some of the insideness from these posts.
    Anyways, this double is of Rachel, in concept if not in face...
    Don't forget Linus and Kit's doubles while you're here. And of course I have my celebrity dopelganers.

    April 10, 2006

    The Rain

    It's nice to be able to listen to the rain. It always comes late at night here in Japan. I hear it just outside the window.
    Where I come from, the rain is somewhat rare; thunderstorms that shake the world asunder, but only during the summer.
    It's nice to see the fog enshrouded mountains, the moss covered stones, the rivers that flow through stone channels.
    Where I come from, the mountains are sandstone, rough, and the crags host dryed-out lichens.
    It's nice to be teaching and, during a lull, look out the window and spy the sea.
    Where I come from, the sea is something we read about in books.
    It's nice to be able to listen to the rain.

    April 6, 2006

    Inside joke, sorry

    Holy crap, its bizarro Linus and Kristen!
    I have a theory that there is a set number of models for people in the world, and our clones are everywhere.

    April 5, 2006

    Fukuoka Fully Loaded

    Hardrock Cafe. Birthday time (Tan and Reese).
    My favorite picture out of the set. This was our "look sexy, guys!" shot. Zooming recommended.

    Group shot, with someone cropped (it was a mercy cropping; they blinked).

    I don't know.

    On the train. If anyone has a picture of me doing "blue steel" please send it along.

    Tan wanted to dance with me. He made me the girl, so I shot him with sith lightning. This marks the first male dancing since the spontaneous tangos with Ben of yesteryear.
    btw you can hear like an entire Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert on NPR today!

    April 4, 2006

    Things I've learned recently

  • It is perfectly acceptable to practice baseball at night on the grounds of the neighborhood shrine
  • Sometimes shrines sue preschools
  • Ebi-wasabi cheese things are okay
  • Hoka Hoka Tei is not okay. Never eating their takeout again.
  • Karaoke is an effective way to learn Japanese, as well as endear you to the Nipponese.
  • One of the best campains one can run involves being a hot girl on a motorcycle in your campain posters.
    "Mine name is Svanhelda. I have come to crush za democratic people's front vith mine guns and mine hogg. Those who make fun of mine princess Leia hair vill be sorry." Yeah, that is actually a really insensitive parody, and I bet her accent is nothing like a Valkerie's. Speaking of insensitive linguistic views...
  • V for Vendetta must be a very strange movie from a German-speakers point of view; they won't catch what is being said with all those Vs being uttered. At least, that's my theory.
  • If anything is worth doing in preschool, it's worth doing loudly
  • Not all Buddhas are fat
  • April 2, 2006

    Other cultures are strange...

    Usually, that is a rather ethnocentric thing to say. But can you imagine any sane culture parading abound the corpse of a deformed baby? Wow, come to think of it, am I as creepy as them for posting the pic of a dead baby on my blog?
    btw, no april fools joke here; see the special The Office editions of "The more you know" clips here.

    April 1, 2006

    Clay look alikes

    I did this for fun. Myheritage.com provided tons of laughs. Here are the matches for my face:
    Kevin Costner Nuh-uh
    Annie McDowel Maybe...
    Jason Biggs I kinda agree with that one, as do some people out there
    Jennifer Garner I think this is the final clue in the "She's a man, baby" theory
    Robert Oppenheimer Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds
    Dustin Hoffman Whoppner is on
    Micheal Owen Not sure, but he seems to be a sports star, so I'll take it
    Gary Cooper I always wanted an excuse to say, "Hi, I'm Dick Turpin, but you can call me Coop"

    But where was Dawson? I do look a bit like Van DerBeak don't I? If you wanna see more of my mug--don't forget the bashful grin-- you need to visit the last post.
    Please, tell me who you matched up with in the comments, or if you blog results, let us know!