Monday, April 24, 2006

off the hook (OR a well deserved day of rest) part 1

off the hook
adj 1. very good, excellent; COOL. Also many variations such as off the heezy, off the fa-sheezy, off the clock, etc. ("Yo man, that movie was off the hook!") Submitted by Zain Ali, San Ramon, CA, USA, 09-12-2002. 2. wild or crazy. ("I had to leave that party. It was off the hook!") 3. extremely upset. ("Yo, since you told all her business, she's been acting off the hook.") Submitted by Mr. Notaplayah, Washington, DC, USA, 23-02-1998.

I plan to do nothing today (other than laundry, ironing, designing a good travel mixed CD, and planning my week long trip to S. Korea) and it’s about time I did nothing all day.

so I just cancelled my extra English lesson with Mick’s aunt, Betty, claiming that I have a cold, which is only about 20% true but I’m so exhausted one more event would push my sniffles over the edge for sure.

however, since I went out with Mick yesterday, I’m afraid he will think I’m a bad person for lying. But I’m betting that he’ll understand, I know I was looking tired yesterday.

We met in Ikebukuro, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite sections of Tokyo. It’s not as highbrow as the shopping in Shibuya and not as extreme as the high rises and redlight district of Shinjuku. It feels much younger than the Nihombashi area and much less surreal than Akihabara… ect ect.

ha.ha. ha. Tokyo really is becoming my home.

So Mick (called Mi-chan or Mitsuhiro back in the day) was one of my best friends back in Beppu during my exchange. He was my neighbor and we did a piano(him)/flute(me) duet in front of a thousand high schoolers for the school festival. I credit him as my original Japanese teacher and I may have just given up on the whole exchange if he hadn’t been such a solid and understanding friend.

He lived in the States (Illinois) for a year in 2003 and came and visited me then. We saw the entire Northwest in six days. It was an epic trip that included Seattle (with Holly), Portland, Astoria (with my parents), Eugene, and Crater Lake (with real camp fire cooked hot dogs).

We mainly speak English now but I hope I’ll get less lazy soon and my Japanese will improve so that we can switch back and forth. But that depends on how tired I am.

Even our initial friendship was when we were only sixteen and really awkward silly kids, we still hit it off smashingly. Makes me feel like there’s a little continuity in life. Which is always a good thing. I think.

so we went out shopping/hung out. we went into some little shop with another extra helpful sales clerk. who went on and on in Japanese. I asked Mick if I understood her correctly.

So she says I look like a Russian girl on some TV show?


a ‘talent’ TV show?


so she’s saying I look like a model?

yeah. does that make you happy?


and then I proceeded to explain that the night before (Saturday) my new coworker laughed at me and said, “it’s a good thing you’re cute. you’re obviously not smart enough to get by”


I think this is the first time in my whole life that someone has said that I’m not smart. The novelty still hasn’t worn off.

so apparently, I’m looking cute recently. apparently.

I glance in the mirror to see what the jabberbox sales clerk is talking about. I think I look completely frayed.

before meeting Mick at 4 in Ikebukuro, I was talked into going into work for a couple of hours (Sunday’s my day off) in my kids’ school for a new student recruiting event. They rented a large bear costume

Geora is our usual mascot but Geora was busy

and made a sign that said come for a free mini-lesson and do the “Head and Shoulders” dance with Kori-sensei.

you know you wanna

for the record: the Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes dance is the worst dance for a hangover and I’d been out till…. 3am the night before (see below)

so I promised to come and do mini lessons and hang out with an oversized stuft animal looking person from 1-3pm. I was a good teacher and got there at noon-thirty. I made some props, I got some games together, I changed in to work clothes—luckily I had been warned that the head of advertising was coming to visit and video tape our shenanigans. I was so cool and professional and ready to act like the extra “genki” pre-school English teacher I am.

six model lessons and over 20 fresh kids later, I was out of breath, dizzy, sweaty and running on an endorphin high similar to what I used to get when I used to run.

the lesson goes something like this:
hello song/dance
Sunday/Monday song/dance
“Hello my name is Kori! What’s your name?!” repeat
ABC song
phonic game- hopscotch or bowling depending on age
pick up the cards,

“Lion, please.” Kori
“Here you are” small child
“Thank you!” Kori
“You’re welcome” small child
“Nice job!!/ Well done!!”
repeat until infinity or madness is secure

Head and Shoulders’ dance

target vocab: skirt/shorts/blouse/T-shirt
target grammar: Kim put your blouse on. Hippo put your shorts on.

(I didn’t make this stuff up. I just modified it from last weeks lesson. It seems vaguely inappropriate but I can barely tell anymore)

game that uses target. run and slam type style

and the Goodbye song

new batch comes in for new lesson.

so by the time I got out of there and made it to Ikebukuro my hair was all frizzled, my make up had melted and I found it funny funny that the sales girl thought I looked like a model.

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