October 30, 2006

(Say it like Frankenstein's monster) Maaatt Daaamon!

notes from the party

A full trench-coat, suit jacket combo that a Dr. Who costume encompasses is very hot. I was soon reduced to just the shirt.

A Japanese girl can get drunk off of 4 oz. of smirnoff.

Japanese are too embarased to wear Halloween costumes in public.

Cat-ear costumes are the choice of women the world over (anyone remember the episode of The Office that made fun of that?).

My girlfriend, upon seeing a mutual friend dancing dirty with a girl that was not his girlfriend, started to beat him with a magical wand and saying, "No! No! No!" This may have been the funniest thing ever.

October 28, 2006

Yes, I know...

But in the malaproprous words of Billie Shakespear, "Comparisons are odorous."

October 26, 2006

Boy gets trapped in vending machine

A story too good to keep to myself. The boy eventually freed himself with a screwdriver.
Speaking of mischefous kids, a couple students, a boy and a girl, were outside my house yesterday. I heard them due to the fact that Japanese houses are made out of a substance not unlike cardboard--yay! I get to freeze to death come winter!-- and I invited them in for a couple minutes, rather than have them subject me to the "pin-pon-dashyu" (doorbell ditching). Ultimately, I'm not sure this was a good idea, seems like crossing a professional line to have students in one's house. And I worry that they will want to come back again to see my "男らしい" ("manly") house and bug me when I want to nap. And lets not even go into how it's okay to open someone's front door in Japan and walk in.

October 23, 2006

Saag vid and The Dhammapada (which I always think is damn-panda in my head because I am an insensitve slob)

It was very beautiful, much better than a simple internet video can render, but I hope you enjoy it!

Mark linked to the Dhammapada, and I started to read it again. I am really lazy about this whole hippster-Buddhist thing. Anyways, I just thought I would give you a taste of its wisdom.
The mind is the basis for everything.
Everything is created by my mind, and is ruled by my mind.
When I speak or act with impure thoughts, suffering follows me
As the wheel of the cart follows the hoof of the ox.
The mind is the basis for everything.
Everything is created by my mind, and is ruled by my mind.
When I speak or act with a clear awareness, happiness stays with me.
Like my own shadow, it is unshakeable.
"I was wronged! I was hurt! I was defeated! I was robbed!"
If I cultivate such thought, I will not be free from hatred.
"I was wronged! I was hurt! I was defeated! I was robbed!"
If I turn away from such thoughts, I may find peace.

October 20, 2006

exploiting cuteness to get your blog hits 101

This is my girlfriend and her dog. I taught them the American game of hiding your face and confusing dogs, which may be endemic to the North American continent. I'm not sure.
Video blog time again, with more cute dog!

October 16, 2006

Yan-san and the Japanese people

If anyone studies Japanese long enough, they will probably encounter a certain set of videos from the eighties. So I commented on an entry concerning these videos on the Japanese! Japanese! blog. Imagine my suprise when the foreign star from the eighties responded. I'm probably the only one that thinks it's cool but...
Bought a Mac. Hopefully I can recover the data from my PC, which had a fried CPU. The mac is fast, so hopefully, I won't tax it like I apparently did with the PC.

October 12, 2006

4 shrines of various sizes

So I finally took my usb adapter to school to upload some pics of my favorite thing in Japan: shrines! These are various pics from four shrines I visited recently; two of them with obvious hurricane damage. I met a priest at one. He had a spot that looked like a bruise on his shaved pate, so I tried to ask him what it was. Like many Japanese people, he ignored my passably functional Japanese and answered the question he thought I should be asking, when I asked, also in Japanese, if he got hit on the head during the hurricane, because he seemed bruised. "I am a Buddhist-priest." He said in English and walked off.

As usual, the pictures continue after you jump to a full post

October 11, 2006

strangers in the night

I had a full weekend. Karaoke in Kashima that cost way too much. Festival in Nagasaki. Visiting a lonely park in the mountains that had lots of playground equipment but no children to speak off. Attending to a small mountain shrine whilst dodging fallen bamboo trees that didn't weather the last typhoon. Providing the battery to start a stranger's motor cycle in the middle of nowhere. But for most of the events I was kicking myself for being shy in a land of shy people.
Then last night I walked along the cement barrier that keeps the sea at bay. I was startled to find a woman there. I said "good evening" and went a bit off. The moonlight reflecting on the water was like a dream. I wished someone was there to share it. I guess the woman shared it, though she was some fifty feet distant. As I left, I felt sudden panic. What if that woman was committing suicide? I mean I'm weird, so I do things like go look at the sea at night. But do Japanese people do that too?
So I debated with myself over whether I should go back. I pondered what to say in Japanese. すみませんちょっと変な質問けど。。。たしかにあなたは自殺つもりですか something like that...

In the end, a groundskeeper started to ask what I was doing, and I told him that there was a woman by the sea. He grumbled and walked in her direction. I walked the other way.

October 6, 2006

Even batman needed a buddy for company

As the hopeless romantic, I have often thought I was quite comfortable being alone and brooding. But I think I have reached my limit. And I don't really have anything to brood about, except why I've been feeling sick and irritable lately. The answer came from a teacher that I have a small rivalry with (in the Japanese sense where your rival is your friend). Anyways, I mentioned to her that my throat hurts every day. No doubt that is mostly allergies, but she suggested stress, and a light went off in my head.
"But wait," I said. "I am a 暇人 (person with lots of free time)!"
She, being the good rival that she is, shot back with, "You're lonely." Then she walked off. I realized she is right. That I am tired of being the only foreigner in town and only seeing my girlfriend on weekends. That I am tired of 社交辞令 where Japanese people make friends with me for a night at the izakaya or wherever then lose interest in me because they have their busy lives to lead and I am Mr. Freetime. And it does stress me out.
I need friends my age, that I can see on more than just weekends. People that are free like me. I'll have to brood over what to do about all of this...

October 5, 2006

Can you really pray for peace?

Thinking about it, I see a problem. People have free will. The only true way to achieve peace is to change the wills of aggressive people. But that would violate free will.
For that matter, is praying that the hearts of our enemies will be softened a prayer in vain for something that cannot be done?
edit: I guess I should also leave open the question of whether we have free will. What about it, my Buddhist and Wickan and Pagan friends? Free will, prayer, changing people from evil to good through wishing/praying?

October 2, 2006

♪It's saag it's saag... it's taste make your head a'splode!

(I thought of spicing up the post with a picture, but google image search only yeilded things that looked like poo and corpulent women)
So I took my isolation from good Indian food into my own hands and made saag, which is an indian dish not unlike curry, and accompanying naan bread to scarf it down with. I'm not all that experienced dealing with peppers though, so it turned out really hot. I mean mind-numbingly hot. I took a bite, and my next door neighbor spontaniously combusted hot.
I loves me some hot, but in my old age, I find that heart burn is becoming an issue. Anyways, tonight, I am going to try to make pumpkin saag. I'll see you in the burn ward; I'll be the guy with gauze being packed into his butt.

Edit: Japanese pumpkin saag is very good, and sweet.