Sunday, October 29, 2006

not your average supergirl

yes. It is Halloween season and I went as Not Your Average SuperGirl, or Bubblewrap Girl, avenging all broken packages, or The Fantasy the Postmen Will Never tell his Coworkers of Mother About.

so I put on a sweatshirt, wrapped a wrap-type skirt around me and headed to the party. While brave, I am not brave enough to wander around anywhere except Roppongi (foriegner party central) dressed like this. My expectations for the party were high, and it turned out to be a good party. Then we all went to a club (I'm in disbelief a little that I'm getting to know the club scene in Tokyo) which was awesome. People kept following me around popping my costume. very fun. but now it is a beautiful day out and so I will leave you with one more picture.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

batshit insane

One of the scariest things I can imagine is ending up completely batshit insane. I don't mean becoming a spinster and living in a dilapidated house with dozens of stray cats and singing scary little tunes to myself. With the way dating life has been going the last couple of years... well let's just say it's good I like cats. What scares me are the prospects of visions, voices, and paranoia. What I chills me is the idea I could be so disconnected from reality that every encounter is met with distrust and fear from at least one side. As if the mind were a maze and connections with loved ones were bearing within it, I'm scared of loosing my way and being irrevocably lost.

And yet, when I meet a seer, a visionary, a person who thinks they hear the voice of god and feel the need to disseminate their knowledge, i.e. the end is near, I feel a begrudging yet deep-seated respect for them. While I fear that I will become like that one day, I also admire their candor and their lack of regard for what we are all thinking (Crazy on the loose over here!!!)

Here is exhibit one:

this is a student at one of my schools. These are his newest dance moves. I was totally impressed and tried not to laugh too much as I was taking the video with my cell phone. After this performance, apparently he fell asleep in class. He's retired and now is studying both English and Korean. He has a plan, well I'm sure he has many plans, but I am savvy to three of them.

1) After mastering Korean, any day now, he will become a diplomat and unite North and South Korea. After all, this is going to happen any day, what with the threat of nuclear war and all, so it shouldn't be hard for a man of his charisma and obvious dance technique to get the leaders to get over their minor squabbles. All that’s needed is his genuine smile and a little comic relief. Naturally, after this he will win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2) He loves singing, especially traditional Japanese songs, and often carries around a pink plastic microphone that looks like it came from a 100yen (85 cent) store. Soon, as soon as his English reaches past mere 'How are you?' 'I'm fine,' he will go to America and become the new pop sensation. As far as I can tell, this sensation of burning (talent) will be either in Hollywood or Nashville. I'm not sure 'merica is ready for his type of sexy heat... though his dance routine is kinda refreshing, yeah?

His plan to rise to American star does not involve him alone. In fact, he seems to think I am an integral part of this plan. He’s decided I am a great teacher because, so far, the three year olds have more impressive grasp of English than he does-- though they've probably been going to English classes longer. In fact, I am on the short list to be his manager for USA stardom. He carries a pocket-handkerchief that looks vaguely like an American flag and always shows it off to me. My Americanness and my convincing smile and not mean that I'm the ideal manager. In fact, I think this short list only has one name on it. Amazing where these adventures take me.

3) Despite being retired, he is in good physical health, from all we can see at least. In fact his health is so good, he plans to compete in the next Olympics. I think he believes they will be in ‘merica (I don’t know, will they?) and conceives me to be his manager for this endeavor as well. Success will soon be ours, after a little karaoke, of course.

But despite the sarcasm and despite the coddling of this crazy guy, I have a certain fondness for him. I stop what I'm doing and come say 'hi' when he comes in twice a week. He is paying for enough private lessons that his lesson fees are probably on level with my apartment’s rent. I hope he has friends who he doesn’t pay for. I don't envy his teacher, but I am glad to have met him and shared a couple of dances and songs. His craziness is kind of lovable and infectious. I feel inspired that there is at least someone who believes that Korea can be united AND has a childlike vision of winning in the Olympics. Even if I think he's nuts for believing it, I'm glad he does. There is a transparency in some crazy people and in some children that becomes so lacking as we grow older and more 'mature.' As if we pull our hearts so far back from our sleeves we forget to consult them. As if we are so good at lying to our friends and co-workers with that simple ‘I’m fine, you?’ that we lose sight that it doesn’t mean anything and that we aren’t saying anything worth saying anymore. While Dancing Dude’s conception of rising in the American Pop charts may have some major details that need to ironed out, his invitation for all of us to rise to the top with him seems absolutely genuine, even if it was just genuine for the moment.

As Alix Olson says, in her funky 'Popcorn and Laughter' ( about 'a man on the subway singing Amazing Grace looking out the window like he don't belong this place... laughing his Jack Daniels' laugh, head thrown back, eyes laughing... '

we've all got these hidden lives
that's why crazy folk got shining eyes
we take our lies and hold them up as true
they take what's inside and let it shine through
and truth
is kinda crazy sometimes

I walked out to the subway yesterday, after being woken at 4am by an earthquake and in a daze made from too many thoughts and not enough sleep. It was the smoggiest day in Tokyo I've ever seen. I looked at the horizon; layer after layer of sky scrapers and houses faded into the gray brown sky and one clear rose in my mind. "Maybe the nuclear bomb has fallen" I thought to myself without any sense of irony or sarcasm or surprise. Maybe today's the day the world ends.

It was shocking for such thought to surface, inspired by current events, earthquakes and smog. It was shocking because it felt so simple and logical with the world being so crazy and spinning so out of control these days. Yet, since the missile and nuclear tests, I don’t feel anymore collective unease in the commuters and students than before. People don’t seem to be quieter or edgier. Everyone is reading the newspaper with the same intensity as before. It’s as if we can’t be any more worried about it. The situation seem both completely out of hand and out of our individual hands that in the end it leaves almost no impact.

so yeah, truth is kinda crazy.

So, if you need cheering up after this depressing post, here are two sindicated videos that really inspired me. My friend and I are planning a similar Tokyo experiment. When it happens, the video will certainly be posted.

Monday, October 16, 2006

wasabi ice cream, ex Boy, strangers

I try very hard to be open to new things and new people. I don't want to be the type of girl who is dismissive of anyone who approaches her. Neither do I want to be the type of person who shelters herself through playing games. Not to say that some games aren't quiet fun. I'm a big fan of dress-up and spin the bottle. I mean petty mind games.

So for me, this weekend was a success on many accounts. First, Saturday night, which wouldn't have happened if I had succumbed to the desire to play stupid games.

So the ex-boy calls me. If you don't remember any previous posts about The Boy, specifically labeled not as The Boyfriend, though there are a few maybe from Feb or March, it's because he has legitimate reasons not to want to appear online. I have mostly tried to respect that.

So to summarize: we emailed for a month when I was back in the states. we saw each other almost every weekend for like five or six months and then both stopped calling each other. but since it wasn't a proper relationship, there wasn't a proper breakup, just an understanding that enough was enough. However, such endings don't give and ##closouuuuurue## or whatever. so when he sent me a 'hey, long time no talk' email, my first response was to be game-y and not reply right away. But I didn’t have anything better to do, so I suggested dinner or drinks.

At the following dinner and drinks, two things were very obvious and made me very happy

1)I wasn't dropped because I'm not attractive
(rather because I ask people to genuinely show they care, not just give bullshit lip service to the concept)

2)he's so not worth any more of my time. ha ha ha ha..... oh, the petty side of me is sooooooo satisfied. oh his poor new girl who can see through all of his bullshit yet. ha ha ha haaaaa. He’s such a coward…. Ha ha ha ha

one more important lesson was learned. When an ex offers to pay for dinner in order to make up some Karma, it is better to laugh or smile or say something innocuous than to fill him in on what Karma you think he should repay.

He thought that, since he now has a Long Distance Girl, he needed to pay back Karma for thinking I'm still attractive.

My laundry list was quiet different. I am glad I kept my mouth shut for once.


Nearly 30 teachers, students, and groupies meet for aquarium, city panoramas, gyoza, and 12000ish flavors of ice cream. Not to mention beer and a strange haunted house.

The group was almost all people I’d never met, other than the guy making the invitations, and a few people whose names I couldn't remember from some parties and other events. So I start chatting to people and we’d break off into little groups and re-converge and break off again. Pleasantly repeat. I didn't really think it was weird at all that all the people I was having a good time with I hadn't met before. I didn't notice until people started pointing it out to me. It makes me happy that I've become the type of person who can do this. Being a sub in Ye Ol' Eikaiwa is all about being consistent with making good impressions. I'm glad I can carry this into the social arena. While I'll probably not be a teacher forever, this, I think, is a good skill. Hopefully it's a skill that won't wax or wane with my moods. Sure, the high of meeting an ex and judging him unworthy gave me an advantage, but I think I'm just getting more sociable every year. I made some new friends and got a proper invitation to what may be another legendary Halloween party. I'm planning to be Post Apocalyptic Miss America. Think my costume for the super legendary 2002 party at Katie’s on High St. meets Tank Girl.

the random one liner I'm most proud of:
some guy: it's statistically proven that there are more earthquakes during typhoon season. blah blah. most natural disaster happen in the fall. blah.
me: that's when god gets PMS

after sleeping like the dead for 12 hours and only having one nasty dream, I headed to the Apple Store to see what was wrong with my laptop. It started making unhappy noises about a week ago and I was able to back up all my writing and pictures (but none of my music) before it wouldn't boot anymore. I'm typing now on the old Dell laptop that came with my apartment. The bottom line, it turns out for my computer, is that it has some sort of hard drive failure. about $400 to fix. The store guy (of course) recommends I get a new one instead. shit. I wanted this one to last until the mythical Law School 2008 fantasy comes to fruition. I wanted 2 more years out of this puppy. A new one costs maybe $1200. ug. or switch to PC again, which is maybe cheaper. But I want my music back.... so probably leaning toward fixing it. that's certainly no small chunk of cash, though.

anyway. the computer disappointment wasn’t the main adventure.
(though as a side note, I'd like to defend my lack of appropriate punctuation as having to deal with a different key board where the apostrophe take residence above the 7, rather than being easily accessible with the right hand pinky)

so, I've just made an appointment to talk to one of the "geniuses" at the Mac Store and was ready to kill an hour wandering around when a guy come up to me. He asks where I'm from (not a good way to ingratiate yourself to me, these days).
America, you?
Africa. He wants to take me out to coffee.
I say no.
He says I'm soo soo special and his heart is reaching out to me so why don't I just give him a chance, can he please have my number. (this happens at least once a month to me, can you believe it?)
No, you can not have my number.
Oh, I just knew I had to meet you, why don't you just give me a little chance...

I look him in the eyes. He is so not trustworthy. I'm vaguely skeeved out and totally on my guard... but I have an hour to kill I don't want him following me. Fine. We get coffee. I wish I could say that this experiment ended successfully, or that I got a random and cool friend. But really, he just continued to be vaguely creepy and falsely intimate. Like saying when I leave Japan in a year we can make plans what to do next. I laughed at him while calling him optimistic. He did not get my number. I did relent to giving him my email and told him if he wrote me an interesting story, I might call him. I give it a 50 50 if he'll write. If anything more entertaining come of this, I'll be sure to pass on the mirth. But don't worry, I'm not going to get myself swindled, kidnapped, sold into white slavery (I know that's what your thinking dad), drugged, etc. But I'm happy that I gave the weird guy a chance not to be weird. I’m glad that I gave an encounter that is getting more and more boring each time a chance to be interesting.

However, because of recurring events such as this, I will not post my address on my blog, so I'll respond to everyone who has been asking recently individually.

the adventures continue

Monday, October 02, 2006

update and music montage

updates are so boring.

I didn't go to Kyoto because I wigged myself out for stupid reasons. I hung around yoyogi park one day, went out to Hakone one day and then I went to the doctor's instead. my hand isn't broken. I have tendinitis so I shouldn't be typing this now. no cool xrays, just good rest and some smelly compress they gave me. I think the compress is helping though, seems to be getting generally less 'hurty'

see, that was boring. here's some pictures, with music. the 'click me' one is me with Mt. fuji in the back. first time I've gotten a good view!

I miss you all.

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