Monday, December 22, 2008

Did I mention...?

So my B.F.F.L. Jon is giving it all up and moving to Vietnam next month. Apparently, I made the orient cool again. He's volunteering to help save the planet, or at least give us a few more seconds of clean air before it all goes to shit. You can read a much better explanation of why he's going and what he's doing here, on his blog. Before he goes he's coming to Japan for a few days, which is like sticking your toe in the pool to check the temperature before you jump in.

Jon is the biggest eco-freak I've ever met, since high school, before "green" was printed on t-shirts, he was packing me waste free lunches and sighing at me when I didn't recycle properly. And recycling is just the tip of the iceberg for Jon. Like any modern eco-freakian (just coined that, it will catch on soon), he doesn't smell like patchouli or smoke pot (usually), he doesnt own Birkenstocks or have a beard. You could like this guy.

So, go read about Jon's interesting fund raising techniques (waffles and haircuts) and leave a supportive comment (or even more supportive donation) at Chronicles of the Next Floor.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Did It!

The day we've all been waiting for has arrived! Motto and I adopted a bunny! Her name is Raspberry-chan and she's the cutest bunny in this prefecture. She enjoys chewing cords, pooping in her litter box dutifully, and biting feet. She dislikes sudden movements, bananas, and when I hit her in the head with the door. I taught her one trick already, too.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reading Rainbow

I've self-tagged myself after reading D's book post.

Here are the rules:
Go to your nearest bookshelf. On the top shelf (or highest shelf with books) what book is fifth from the right and why did you love it? Now go to the bottom shelf (or lowest shelf with books). Tell us about the fifth book from the left.

Kanji StarterKanji Starter
by Daiki Kusuya

I think this is the first book I ever bought to help me try and understand Japanese. It's small and easy to understand. Each page has one or two kanji and takes it from the picture the kanji represents to the Chinese character. It's good for visual learners, and flipping through it once or twice helped me recognize a bunch of kanji. The drawback is it doesn't really help you memorize how to say each kanji in Japanese, even though it's written below the English. It's good if you wanna learn 山 equals "mountain" and simple stuff like that.

My Voice Is Sexy When You Close Your Eyes or, Whatever Happened To That Guy Kevin!?
by Kelly Froh

This was a bonus insert in Kelly's mini-comic Slither #5. I've read a bunch of her stuff and I recommend it highly. She's been kind enough to send her comics to me with the promise that one day I'll send her mine(...). This particular story is about this guy she meets on the internet, and I guess in the days before one knew any better, agrees to meet him after only seeing a tiny 72 dpi thumbnail photo. Classic coming-of-age story in the days where social networking was too (you know, 2005).
I found it hilarious and relatable, way too honest and embarrassing, which how I like me comic.

Obviously, as was done before me, I'm not tagging anyone, cause people hate that shit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Post About Twitter

I followed a link on Mattias Ink's blog that said Blogging Is Dead, pull the plug! It says Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, and Twitter are much faster and easier ways to keep everyone involved in your life, and they're easy on the ol' attention span.

Obviously after reading this I realized that I am lacking one of the four major self-publishing, self-loving memberships, and instantly signed up with (no www's, that's so 2004), here I am at

Im not sure how Twitter will save my life yet, it seems a lot like the Facebook "status" thing (which I hardly ever update, right now mine says "Jeannette is planning her summer vay-kay to Mt Fuji...woohoo SPRING BREAK '97! OMGLOLz!" or something like that). But, Im thinking having more ways to make myself seem important by sharing my thoughts with people I met at a party once while I was in Montreal might be the push I need to get me back to the masturbation that is blogging regularly, which might ultimately lead to a breakdown of this block that has kept me from drawing anything neat in the last few weeks (ok, months). People need to know what I, Jeannette, think about all of this. I need to remind myself of how important I am. For my art.

Tweet. Tweet.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I love my new job.

I have too much free time, it can't be good for me. And now winter vacation is coming. I have about three weeks off and no money to go anywhere. My only plans so far are to finish a website I've been working on and possibly do my dishes more than once.

It's like my life has absolutely no purpose and I have no idea what to do next. But it's great.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dancin in the Street

One of the weirder things I've seen since coming here.

There was no hat or tip cup. It mustve been 100 degrees out that day, too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Motto's First Sloppy Joe

It took a lot of explaining. First, I had to describe what a Sloppy Joe actually was. Then, why it is so important. He couldn't believe it was vegetarian. He kept picking up little bits with his chopsticks and screaming, "THIS IS MEAT!" He loved them, and his awe for all things American grew along with his belly.

If any of you would like to help me feed this skinny Japanese boy, please send a box of Fantastic brand vegetarian Sloppy Joe mix my way. Every box helps.

Monday, October 6, 2008

To blog or not to blog...

The trend with blogs seems to be, you start a blog, pick a name, write a first post, email all your friends and relatives with the news, "I have a new blog! I am amazing!" Then, you continue writing, people somehow find it, they read yours, you read theirs. You start counting comments. You being thinking about life in terms of how what you're experiencing can be turned into a blog post. Then, all of a sudden, a slump hits. There's no time for blogging. You didn't blog about a vacation or two and feel like you've totally ruined this online narrative of your life. Or, as the angry mob starts commenting, "what happened to your once-interesting-insightful-funny-blog?," you begin to ask yourself, "why do I even write on this thing at all?"

My life is just as interesting without it. Just, no one else knows.

I started this blog to write about my crazy "Year In Japan." As that year is turning into two, and I'm growing more and more accustomed to this backward culture, I am left wondering why am I blogging at all?

My sketchblog, on the other hand, could use some attention.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Rainy Day

I love podcasts. I never have time to listen to them, but they can save your life when you miss a train and the next one isnt for another hour.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm Like, Busy

...and yet at the same time, not at all. My new job is sweet. The hours are short, but for the first few weeks it will be chaos. I moved into an excellent new apartment. The view of the smokestacks is breathtaking. I spend my free time taking bus trips to 100 Yen shops to furnish the place.

And there's the freelance project, and answering emails when someone lets me use their internet (we're back to that again).

And then there are the hours of reading comics, followed by even more hours of stomach-churning depression over the realization that I might be physically and mentally unable to ever finish anything.

And then it's donut time.

(Oh, and then there's my stalker/b.i.f.f.l.'s art show, Darryl Berger.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Have a WiP Card

I'm so exhausted.

Someone just left a comment on my other blog, saying they found my self portrait on Google. So if you type in "self portrait" you'll find mine on page 4. I freakin love Google Images. Ive actually gotten paid real money from people finding me on that site and me agreeing to do their projects.

Of course, it's only like 1 out of 20 that I end up doing because most people dont offer money and/or are asking me to draw some religious shit or tattoo designs. Yeah, I should write those as stipulations somewhere on my site.

1. Nothing's free.
2. No religion.
3. No tattoos.

I dont know why my stuff shows up there. I guess it's because Google owns blogger and my other blog is through blogger put published somewhere else or some technical crap that ive already bored you with my gloating and youre no longer reading but thats ok because this post isnt taking much effort on my part either.

I'm tired from training and teaching kids. Kids are so evil.

I'm drinking Calpis soda. Pronounced 'cow piss.' It's white and creamy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's with the internet?

In six days I'll be at a year in Japan. Right now I'm in Takatsuki, a city in between Kyoto and Osaka. I'm at a two week training for my third job in Japan. In a week I'll head back to Tokuyama and move into my third apartment.

I've spent the past week in nine hour training sessions, enduring long commutes, and eating コンビニ "convenience store" food because there's nowhere to cook and nowhere I can eat. I am a little depressed today. I didn't leave my hotel until 2pm. I stayed in bed watching a Japanese show about these four year old kids whose parents had them walk to the local supermarket and buy a bunch of stuff and try to walk back, alone. It was so sad, I was crying. One of the kids had down syndrome.

I also spent about 40 minutes this morning trying to think of the word "autism." I just couldnt remember what it was called. I kept picturing those little colorful puzzle-piece bumper stickers, that say, "Fight ----!" I thought it started with an "I." Then, I thought it probably started with an "A."

So I went to Kyoto after all this. I forgot my sunglasses and iPod, so I was pretty miserable. It was really sunny, so my eyes were tearing up, and I had loads of eye makeup on.

As soon as I got to Kyoto station I was exhausted. The thought of looking at one shrine or temple was totally unappealing. I really just wanted Mister Donut. I walked around a bit, not having a map or destination in mind. Finally, I returned to the station and found a Mister Donut. I ate two donuts and bought a $4 peach iced tea. I now have zero yen.

That was Kyoto.

Last Sunday I was in Nagoya, that day-trip was a lot better. I visited two art museums, went to an organic vegetarian restaurant, went to Starbucks, watched street performers. It was a nice day. I have some drawings from that that I'll probably scan in a few weeks.

Other than all that, I've been working on an illustration project for a woman in New York, eating a lot of sugar, and thinking about the future.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Is sitting at home alone, drinking beer, watching illegally downloaded episodes of Dawson's Creek cooler... because I'm in Japan?

Circle One.



Monday, August 25, 2008

The trip home was even worse than the journey to Amerika. But, this blog isn't about entertaining you with the outrageous stories of my doomed life. This blog is not here to retell antidotes about drunken shenanigans that happen when my estranged family gets together for a wedding. I did not start this blog to have a forum for life-updates, like the fact that all my possessions are sitting in boxes in my neighbor's house and in 1 week I won't have an actual residence. This blog is here for one reason! To give you a place to complain about my lack of sketchblog updates.

(Photo: my brother, sister, and I share our first/last night out at a bar together.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What I Do

As my Facebook status reads, I am at an internet cafe in Fukuoka right now. This is part one of a very long journey back to Amerika. Land of veggie burritos and size 8 Women's shoes.

It's almost 4am. Ive been in this booth since 12:30. I drank 3 free beverages: peach soda, green tea, and water. I watched one DVD: Little Miss Sunshine. I surfed about 600 websites and realized the internet is boring and maybe I dont need an iPhone.

I'll go to Starbucks in about 30 minutes. Then, catch a taxi to Fukuoka airport. I have to say, "福岡くうどまでおねがいします" to the driver.

After that I'll be sitting around in the Tokyo airport for 7 hours waiting for my flight to L.A. There, I'll collect my shit, go through customs, and hop on another plane to Portland.

Total travel time: 35 hours.

Seriously, Alex, you better only get married once.

UPDATE (4:11am): I already smell bad.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I got a sunburn today. In preparation for my brother's wedding.

I also ate a wasabi-seaweed riceball on the beach, which just felt weird. I paid 106円 for something I could have eaten off the ground next to me.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


I just realized that if I wasn't spending $3,000 to visit America for 10 days... I wouldn't have to stay in Japan another year.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Letter of Resignation

Dear Boss Lady,

I regret to inform you that I'm leaving (your company). It is with reluctance that I'm submitting this letter. I have enjoyed working with everyone and have learned a great deal, and my departure in no way reflects badly on the company. Although my time with (your company) has been, on the whole, satisfying and productive, for quite a while now I have become less and less satisfied with the work situation. The split schedule, work load, and the living situation are making it increasingly difficult for me to continue here. Please be informed that I am resigning as of 8月31日. I'll be happy to help train a replacement before I go.



(Taken straight from the first Google result for "resignation template")

Gay Christian Japanese Ska Band

I'm not sure if that's exactly how they're marketing themselves.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Circus is in Town

And by circus I mean my Aunt and Unlce! A few weeks ago Matthew and Kotoe came out to Suckuragi for a visit. They were in Japan to see Kotoe's sister's wedding, but couldnt resist a detour down to the Guchi-ken. Obviously, I gave them the grand tour-- Ell's ditch, Antonio's Yatai, and Shidax Karaoke.

The night started off well. What was supposed to be a bathroom break turned into an hour of Matt being pummeled by an old Japanese man at Ell's Ditch. He wanted to know Matt's name, occupation, birthplace, and you know, put his hand on his lap. After we said our goodbye's to all the drunken gaijin that make their usual Thursday night appearance, we headed to the yatai.

I'm sure Matt and Kotoe were very excited to meet the legendary Antonio and eat the oishii-est ramen within 10 square feet. Matt even got to fish out his own oden (which means Antonio loves him)!

There were some old business men at the yatai, and Matt and Kotoe chatted with some of them for a while. I don't know what they talked about but one crazy dude followed us into karaoke. After we said our goodbye's and got into a karaoke box there was a tappin' at the door. To our suprise the old business man, Antonio, and two gaijin wanted to join in on the fun.

Hilarious videos below:

(pervy old man)

(Antonio tearing it up)

(No, I wont post the one of my singing Mariah Carey, but with all the times it's been done and all the digital recording equipment available today, I'm sure it'll be on YouTube soon)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuck in Suckuragi

I'm considering changing my blog name. My bicycle was stolen this week, leaving me even more isolated than I was. First of all, I live in Sakuragi, a small part of Shunan city (or Tokuyama)... next to Kudamatsu (where I used to live).

So Sakuragi wasn't all bad at first. I live next to my office, there's a UniQlo closeby, a 7-11, a KFC (Ive never visited), and there were some grocery stores. For reasons unknown to me they closed both the SU-PA's in the last two months. Now, my closest grocery store is a uphill (both ways) 20 minute bike ride away. When I had a bike! Now my closest grocery store is wherever I can get if I beg a friend or coworker for a ride. This "no car" thing is not feeling very hip anymore.

Not to mention, the buses stop at 8:30PM. So I have no options to go out after work. Like, right now for example, I could be drinking beers in the park and eating snacks from the konbini with my friends. Instead I spent the whole night on the phone yelling at Indian people who work for Delta on Skype (and Orbitz, I took turns with each).

So, I'm gunna finish this can of frosting for dinner. And maybe do some drawing or something while Im stuck here.

(P.S. I have an escape plan)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


One cute thing about my Friend, Motto, is that even though his English is really good, every once in a while he runs into a word that isn't part of his regular daily vocabulary. Maybe he's only heard it once, or read it in a book. So before he says it he hesitates for a second, and then a really proud expression comes to his face.

Monday, July 7, 2008


I have many posts to write. But with the heat and my supreme laziness, I have put blogging at the bottom of my "to do." Of course, at the top was beating the New Super Mario on my DS. Which I did. Checku! チェく! And then I have 30 reports to write (tonight) and Japanese to study, tickets to book, and comics to draw...

There are more funny dentist stories to tell, like the nazi women dentist I had today who resented that I existed. I thought I was getting a teeth cleaning but got my tooth gouged out with the loudest drill ever and replaced with ill-fitting plaster that hurts when I chew. (Last appointment next week!) I didnt eat before I went so afterward I was starving and went to Ganesh to get some curry. It looked like I was a stroke victim, because I managed "futatsu kudasai" when the nazi was drugging me, I could hardly get anything to stay in my mouth.

Ok, ok, ok, but the point of this post is to say "I love Prozacville. He is the coolest blogger ever. I am kind of in love with him and I'm sure we'll make babies one day (as soon as our therapists give the OK)."

For my birthday he sent me a copy of "Should You Be Laughing at This?" by Hugleikur Dagsson, which was hilarious, and one of the best comics I've read in a while. The night I read it I actually got off my ass and started drawings something. I always appreciate when someone helps that happen.

A dirty birthday card was also in the package. It now hangs on my wall and greets all who enter my home.


Birthday Thanks Updated:

P-ville demanded I praise his genius use of a post box, and now there has been an uproar by other folk who sent me amazing birthday packages. First of all, Lauren, who sent me all the shit I ordered off the internet plus delicious birthday treats (and The New Super Mario Brothers DS game, without which this week wouldve not exsisted); My Mom and sister, for sending me the DS and other things; my Grampa, for depositing money into my bank account; Jon, for the vegan food (beef-flavored broth, nutritional yeast, curry, poutine packets, and the finest assortment of chip flavors Quebec has to offer) and the really cool comic book. And everyone who gave me real-life gifts and reads my blog and becomes jealous, thank you. Without all of you and your generosity, I probably would have just offed myself this year.

Monday, June 23, 2008


I walked right into it. Saturday, the night before my birthday, I unsuspectingly and quite drunkenly walked into a new bar with three of my friends, totally unaware that a gaggle of gaijin (and gaijin-lovers) were waiting inside to wish me a happy birthday.

Saturday night began with a meal at an organic restaurant in Yamaguchi city. It was really good and I was happy to be able to eat an entire meal at a restaurant! They had this carrot tempura that looked like shrimp tempura. おいしい!

Then we battled the rain and drove back to Tokuyama. The driver was from Yamaguchi, so I figured she was making this dangerous, dark 1 hour trip because she really really needed to get out of the house. I could have took the train home (and she obviously wasnt drinking that night).

We get to the gaijin-bar, Ell's Ditch and I start in on my cranberry-vodka nomihodai (all you can drink). I'm blabbing my life story or something pointless like that when Ashley shows up (late!) at 12:30 and says we have to go to this other bar, because her boyfriend is there and she promised to meet him.

We get there and my friend's name is on the flyer as the DJ. Him not telling me he's DJing didnt set off any suspicions. Ashley pays my 1000円 cover, and Im still not suspicious. We go inside and see my coworker inside and I still think nothing of it. I open the door to the thump-thump-thump-techno room and see *someone* who ten minutes earlier said he was too tired to come out, and I still don't get it and brush past him a little pissed off.

When I look in the room and see nearly half the people Ive met since coming to Japan sitting around and not enjoying the thumping I start to kind of get it (remember, I was half in nomihodai at that point). Finally, when my friend came up to me and said, "You realize everyone's here for you?" I replied, "Yeah, I know. I get it."

So I was standing on a dance floor with everyone staring at me laughing. People start coming up and saying "Happy Birthday" and giving me gifts. And I want to die. I then demand someone bring me a cranberry-vodka.

The rest of the night was fun and blurry. I remember I may have danced (or jumped). And my feet hurt because I wore heels that day (and a dress, OMG).

Then I spent my real birthday, Sunday, hungover and mostly in my birthday suit. Later, I went to an Indian restaurant with a boy who has such a HUGE crush on me he doesnt even know it (or what "crush" means, or where my blog is).

And my mom got me a Nintendo DS and Lauren got me the New Super Mario Brothers and Im in World 8 and about to beat the game.

Monday, June 9, 2008


I'm freaking out a little. Like a lot a little. Today I had my second trip to the dentist. My first visit was fine. It was all surprises, I didnt know what they were doing, but it was nothing too bad. They took some photos, x-rays, scraped around a little. Gave me a print out of all my teeth with cute little kanji next to some of them.

Today when I went the dentist tried to explain what was going to happen. It took five minutes for him to translate "tartar." He spent a lot of time explaining that the dental technician would be teaching me to brush, putting dye in my mouth, blah blah. Then he told me they'd fixing my three cavities. He drew pictures, I had no idea what he was talking about, but Im starting to put the pieces together.

The plump little technician did teach me to brush, dyed my teeth pink, and scraped all the bottom ones (I guess the top ones will be cleaned next week?). Then she took five minutes explaining that we'd be moving chairs.

I followed her.

Then the freak out began. Little drill bits sitting on a table beside my chair, waiting to go in my mouth. They sat me down and poked at a few teeth. She asked, "kore? kore?" She was asking which tooth to fill! I hesitantly agreed on one where I thought I must have a cavity, you know, a tooth in the back that's hard to brush thoroughly.

They injected me with one of those big ass needles, which was fine except, in America I used to get three needles for a filling. I would ask the dentist back home to keep shooting me up until I couldnt feel my fingers. Here, I didnt really know what to do. I felt like I should trust the dentist and I can't say to her, "Do you think that's enough or should you give me a bit more?" It would have to be a big gesture of me shouting, "DRUG MORE DRUG NEEDLE MORE MORE MORE" and pointing to my mouth while mimicking a needle. I didnt feel like going through the theatrics. So, I trusted the dentist and the single shot of Novocaine.

Fuck, it hurt. I could feel the drill digging around in my nerves. I kept stopping the dentist, sitting up at taking breaks, but she never shot me up again, just spread some more oral numbing crap on me.

I started crying a little. Imagine someone digging around in your mouth and you have absolutely no way to communicate with them. It was like a nightmare.

There's a chance I have a root canal next week. That's what I've deciphered from the memory of the drawing the dentist did for me. He explained they'll "cut" my tooth (and drew a picture of them chopping off the top) and then "reform" it with metal. I asked if I'd have a big ugly metal tooth, he said "no" just a dot. I'm confused. My tooth isnt in that bad of shape, it's not green or anything. But he pointed to a cloud in an x-ray and said that needed to be fixed.

I may die. Just a heads up.

Monday, June 2, 2008

TofuSquirrel Rides

Yamada Denki, electronics store. From's Liz's visit in April. I promise, they think this is an exercise machine, here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


There was a little earthquake today. Around 15:00. Made me nauseous.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oh, Sweet Internet!

The question we're all wondering but were afraid to ask, am I depressed? Well, despite my total lack of understanding of what that means, I just found a test that promised answers. Thank God. And it was as close as the Yahoo! homepage. Obviously Yahoo! has been doing their job in collecting my personal data, because an ad for a test that promised instant results (but you know, no actual answers) was too tempting to resist.

Some of the questions included, "I was bothered by things that usually dont bother me." I answered a big, "Hell Yes!" I have the perfect example. This week two really cute Japanese guys came over my house. Normally, Id be extactic about that. But, this Saturday it really pissed me off. It was 11am, I hadnt showered, was wearing a pair of pajamas my mom gave me, and all they wanted to do was setup my internet!

I was actually shocked to find out that the Yahoo! test has decided that I am indeed, depressed! I mean, Ive been sitting around all day, curtains drawn, eating everything in sight, watching disc after disc of Sex and the City, avoiding housework, skipping Japanese class to take naps, and staring at my cell phone, while unknowingly suffering from this terrible disease! Did you know it strikes 99.75% of the population? The other .25% enjoy rock climbing.

And I even answered the question, "I feel that I am just as good as other people" with 5-7 days (this week). I'd have answered "actually, better than most people" but it was multiple choice. C'mon, me? Depressed?

Next test, Anxiety Problems, or Just Worried? Im dying to find out!

But seriously, who cares if we're all depressed? What are we expecting?

In other words. I have the internet now! Wooot!

hiniku ne?

Im really sad that neither my scanner nor my digital camera picked up the green and brown tones. Im also sad that Blogger isnt communicating with my domain, making uploading and publishing on my sketchblog impossible. Im especially sad because Ive left myself wide open lately, coming off as really desperate.

But Im happy because sadness helps me draw!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Things Ive Learned Since Coming to Japan (1-25)

My friend Ashley and I have decided to cumulate lists of things we've learned (that we never expected to) since coming to Japanamation. Here are the first 25.

25. The inside of a kitchen sink can/should be cleaned.
24. American TV dramas can be entertaining.
23. I can get naked in a bath with a dozen naked Asian women.
22. I like Mariah Carey songs... a lot.
21. How to make (really good) chili.
20. How to wear a skirt and heels and not feel ridiculous.
19. I'll never smoke again.
18. I'm adaptable.
17. Some say "coming," some say "going."
16. I will pay $6 for 12 grapes.
15. I can "do my business" squatting.
14. I dont need a car.
13. How to wake up at the exact moment you enter your train stop.
12. I can go three months without a job in a foreign country.
11. I can go on interviews and find a new job in a foreign country!
10. Anything can be communicated with gestures.
9. Something dirty I cant write here.
8. People live in Hiroshima.
7. What's in John's hatch.
6. How to make a White Russian.
5. I have amazing friends (cheesy, I know).
4. Tanuki!
3. I can go weeks without the internet.
2. I'll bike up steep hills daily, to get my shit done.
1. Japanese.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Work Work Work

Something I was asked to do for work, as a 'goodbye' to two of my best students. I have a gimmick. It must be exploited.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Cinco de Mayo Party

We all learned something valuable.

Monday, May 5, 2008

So Much for Vision

Earlier tonight I squeezed what I thought were eye drops into my left eye. Although the package looked nearly identical to the contact rewetting drops I used in America, they were not. It felt like someone pushed a hot light bulb onto my eyeball. For three hours.

I think it was contact lens case cleaner or something.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I Do Stuff!

Guess where I was last night. Go on, guess! No, not at Ell's Ditch drinking Guinness, not in my living room staring at the ceiling. Yesterday I decided to pack it up and head to Fukuoka for an impromptu getaway.

It's Golden Week here in Japan. Im lucky enough to have ten days off. I spent the first two pretty wisely, taking care of personal grooming procedures and taking two Belgians around Hiroshima.

I wanted to do something fun before my Cinco De Mayo party Monday. And I just couldnt stand the site of my dirty dishes any longer. So I stuck some socks and pens in a backpack and was on my way!

I chose Fukuoka for two reasons. It was the biggest city that costs the least to get to, and it's famous for it's yatais. Being cheap, I took the slow local train to get there. It took about 4 hours. Being lazy, I didnt leave until noonish, so I got to Fukuoka at fourish.

My first stop was Starbucks! I ordered a coffee, found a table, found an outlet to give my iPod a quick recharge, and stared blankly out the window for about an hour.

After my Whiteness-refill I headed out to explore the city. I had picked up a little illustrated map from the train station, pointing out all the sites and hotels in Fukuoka. Canal City was the closest and easiest thing to get to, so I headed in that direction.

Canal City is a giant indoor/outdoor mall with Japanese clothes. And an Indian Food restaurant.

Before I left I was given the advice "find a hotel before you start drinking." Part of me wanted to sleep in the park or in a Mister Donut, but I was given lectures about yakuza and crazies. So I used my little map to try and locate a capsule hotel. I was really disoriented so I went into a 7-11 to ask the clerk where I was in relation to my streetless, nameless, illustrated map. I kind of used Japanese to ask her, too. I think I said, "Koko doko desu ka?" I know, when did I start speaking Japanese? The weird thing is, is that she understood. A few months ago if I went to a train station and said "Tokuyama" the clerk would stare at me like I was speaking in tongues.

Anyway, I found the capsule hotel, but "no ladies" allowed. They pointed me to the nearest business hotel. And when the woman outside gesturing and giving me directions couldnt remember the word for "right" I said, "migi?" Then she was all "oh, you speak Japanese" (in Japanese) and I was all "a little" (in Japanese).

I was looking for Washington Hotel. Luckily for me, I finished learning Katakana last week, so I could read the sign for ワシントンホテル. And then the humiliating part began--I walked in to see how much a room was, and I didnt want to right away ask in English, or do the "stare blankly" and hope they offer me answers thing. So I reached into my 100 words of Japanese vocabulary and squeaked out, "Heya? Uh, ikura desu ka?" The clerk replied, "7900 yen" (in English). Panicked to find a place (and get to a yatai) I agreed, and spent one week's grocery money on a bed.

Then I wandered down the street and chose a yatai, from the long row of them along the canal. I chose number one solely on the fact that it had the least amount of meat on display. "Biru onegaishimasu!" And I was on my way.

Yatai number one was boring. No one talked to me, but they stared. I drew in my sketchbook a little. After I finished the drawing and the beer I did a few laps and chose yatai number two. Im not going to lie and say I didnt chose yatais based on the attractiveness of the employees.

Yatai number two was lamer than number one, though. They didnt even stare. Oh, and then I had to pee! Which meant: asking for permission to leave yatai without paying, finding a toilet, squatting (while slightly inebriated).

After that beer I chose yatai number three. This one was bad. I sat down and then was quickly asked to move to another stool. Then, I ordered a beer. The employee asked me if I wanted some food (ewwwww, yatai food?) and I said, "no." He said I must! So I left.

Yatai food is different combos of meat on sticks, or oden, which is floating meat and tofu that sits in a bat of soy sauce all day. And it's all cooked outside and dirty.

Yatai number four got me when the employee standing outside the stall (assigned to harass every passerby with "irashaimaseeeeee") said "HELLO!" Sold! I took a seat and ordered a beer. The four employees were all young and pretty cute, and they seemed to think the same of me. The first five minutes was them all taking turns saying, "You-are-cute!"

They asked me where I was from, I told them "Tokuyama." I dont think that's what they meant. They asked me how old I was and my job. They used easy English, I used easy Japanese.


"Uh, ni-ju-san?"

The other customer was from China and spoke perfect English and less Japanese than me. We talked for a little bit. After he left the employees would all come over and ask me some random question they spent the last 10 minutes thinking up.


I was also told that one of them was "shingaru" and "alonely." He asked me if I had a chest hair preference. I told him I did not.

More drinks were poured, edamame was served, and at one point I was drawing a picture of someone's baby from a cell phone photo.

Blah, blah, wandered back to hotel. Woke up, went to Starbucks, more shopping, caught a train home and finished reading "The Easy Way To Quit Smoking."

Even though I dont smoke.

I wanted to post the drawings on my Sketchblog, but it's not working at the moment.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Haircut

Sunday I went to Yamaguchi City for the first time. That's right, CAPITAL CITY. I met up with Naomi to do some feminine things that included haircuts. This was my first haircut in Japan. Back home Liz cut my hair, so during the last seven months my hair grew into something that needed constant tying up. And brushing. Ug.

So of course when we got there there was paperwork to fill out. I wrote my name in Katakana in public for the first time, but made Naomi fill out the form telling my age, address, phone number, blood type, etc. After we filled out the forms my hairdresser squatted in front of us and started asking Naomi what I want. We kind of discussed it in the car, but of course I didnt really know. Then there was coloring, I also didnt know what color I wanted. I didnt just want BLACK, because it's summer and blah blah. So there were some concepts I didnt understand, the word "line" thrown out a lot, and me describing what "blending" meant to everyone.

I was led to the chair, and other than the fact I was paying a bunch of money for all this, didnt really care what he did to me. So he gently ran his fingers through my hair a few times, then we headed over for a shampoo. He put a towel on my lap and my face. This shampoo took about 10 minutes. He treated my hair like it was made of cotton candy and he didnt want to break it.

Then the cut began. Or, cut number one. Since we couldnt talk I kept feeling like he was looking at my facial expressions to see if he was doing it right. Then he blew dried my hair. And the coloring began. A nervous little Japanese hipster came over and put "ear caps" on me. But he did it in a way to avoid touching my hair or body. Then he brought me a soda.

So they slapped on some color and waited. Wrapped me in super Japanese saran wrap and waited. Then, the hairdresser brought me over a Japanese copy of "Where's Waldo?" because I looked bored.

My favorite book.

I found Waldo, or Wally 「ワーリー」 on every page. Then there was some more color and touching. Then, a girl came over and led me back to the sink. She shampooed me again. She used three different liquids and gave me a scalp massage. I started falling asleep and I think I made a little pleasure-induced grunt at one point.

Then she brought me back to my chair and started talking to Naomi about me. I understood a little. Kinda. It's easy to know when someone's talking about you, and of course she's asking where I'm from, what I do. Naomi told her I speak a little Japanese (I understood when they said that) so she turned to me, opened her mouth really wide and asked, "NI-HON WAA SUKIII DESU KAAA?" I quietly replied, "hai." I was kind of taken aback. Id never heard a Japanese person talk that loudly.

It was funny to be on the other end of that "if I talk louder maybe they'll understand."

Then she blew dried my hair for twenty minutes. Then, the hairdresser came back and cut more. He cut my hair one-at-a-time. I swear. Then the girl came back and styled my hair. THEN, he came back and cut even more, and restyled it. Im not sure how many times this happened. I dozed off. He asked me in English, "Are-you-tired?" He speaks!

Then I was done, they returned my personal possessions from lock-up, and I had to sit and wait for Naomi's (even slower) process to finish.

In all, it took three hours.

At the end Naomi's hairdresser kept saying "I-solly." And they bowed us to our car.

I really like the cut and color, though.

(I just took that photo after my nap)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Will Be 24 in Two Months From Today and Other Random Musings

I'm tired. All the energy has been sucked out of my body by the sun, who has taken it to shine down on Japan. Right now Im taking a break from learning the days of the week (in Japanese, in case you thought Im disabled). A break is necessary to see if I can retain the information I just crammed into my head for the last hour. But Im listening to a podcast too, about asking questions or counting or something. Im not really listening, just hoping for some osmosis. I swear, it really works. I'll blurt out things in Japanese every once in a while that I didnt know I knew.

I have all these stupid words to learn, so everyday I give myself a new group. Tomorrow I'm memorizing some verbs. Sexy, I know.

If I can stay awake until Sunday, I have a ten day vacation coming my way! It's Golden Week! I love Japan! I dont have any big plans, aside from drawing, shopping, haircut and studying---oh, but I am having a Cinco de Mayo party. It will be the biggest random Mexican holiday celebration in Sakuragi this year! You have to come.

Ok, test time:

日曜日 [Sunday]
月曜日 [Monday]
火曜日 [Tuesday]
水曜日 [Wednesday]
木曜日 [Thursday]
金曜日 [Friday]
土曜日 [Saturday]

Yea! I did it without looking! I can go to bed!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cultural Experience #26+27

Today I woke up really early and went with a bunch of my coworkers to see yabusame, Japanese archery on horseback. The archer rides a horse down a long path and has to shoot three targets without stopping. It was pretty interesting. The cherry blossoms were past full bloom so when the wind blew there was pink snow.

I probably had four panic attacks on the drive up. It was way out in the country and we took little winding roads.

Afterwards we went to an onsen. It was my first time, and being the only girl in the group, I had to face the Japanese bath alone. It was weird. The whole idea of onsens is strange. Or the Japanese obsession is. Children, teenagers, old people, all strip naked and sit together in hot water. Frequently.

First you buy a ticket and then get a key and a towel from the clerk. Then you walk into a locker room, get butt naked, and ask strangers which door you should go through. Then you enter a shower room, where dozens of ladies are sitting on little stools and lathering up in front of little mirrors. I sat at a stool and started washing my hair and staring in the mirror thinking how surreal this was. I watched a few old naked ladies, to see what I should do next, and they went through a door to get outside. I followed. I was disappointed by the pool, it was pretty small and the scenery wasnt great. I held my little white towel over my shame as I got in. Everyone stared at me. It's hard to be inconspicuous when youre a foreigner. There were some old ladies near me, talking to each other, there were a few kids playing with their mom, and there were some young teenage girls huddled together.

It was totally not relaxing. I had to pee and I felt totally out of place. And I was alone, it probably would have been better if I had someone in there I could talk to. Above all, it just seemed totally bizarre. Like, Japanese people just go get naked with their friends and sit and chat in water?

I'd go again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Long time, no post. It feels that way, anyway. My unsecured wireless signal has been less reliable lately and Ive been busy with all the things that people get busy with. So, anyway, last week Liz visited! It was super fun. Once it was determined where I actually live (no, not Kudamatsu, not Hiroshima) she came to Tokuyama (or Shunan, or Sakuragi...) and we did fun Japaneasy things. The first day we went to the Mall and ate Omu Rice (really gross, picture scrambled eggs over rice in pee sauce). We went to the arcade and pet shop and tried to steal a monkey.

No trip to my neck of the woods is complete without a visit to Miyajima and a gander at the O-Torii gate. We also went up this ropeway. That went something like this: "Liz, Liz, ikimasho! We have to go up the ropeway, c'mon! It'll be awesome!"

"Ok, Jeannette, sure."

We climb halfway up the mountain and buy our 1800円 round trip tickets. As soon as we get in the car thing it's the Montreal canoe trip all over again. "Oh my God Liz, Im going to fucking die. Im going to puke all over this thing. Shit-damn-hell-balls."

"Jeannette, your eyes arent even open. And let go of me, I cant feel my hand."

And then we saw a tanuki. And went to Starbucks and drew.

The cherry blossoms bloomed and people go nuts for that shit here. It's hilarious. I had the traditional 'o-hanami' picnic thing last weekend. I did a watercolour painting (yes, Im obviously still doing the one-month-sober thing), it turned out like shit.

Im at work and have to get the train home, so that's the end of my lame post about a un-lame time I had with Liz!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Phase Three: Acceptance

I've been here a little over six months, so I think I'm right on schedule. First, there was the "euphoric phase," where everything in Japan was new and exciting and I was impressed with myself for taking the train.

Then there was a slump, or "disenchanted phase." This could have easily been confused with my general outlook on life, dim, depressing, annoying, not worth the time... but if we subscribe to the phase theory (which we do even though Ive never read about it, only heard about it from a girl at a party in Montreal), most of my unhappiness was with Japan and it was to be expected.

I think I probably got jipped out of a few weeks of "euphoria" after my company went bankrupt and every night was a drunken bitchfest followed by days of hungover boredom. With no money.

It could be a temporary manic state, but if it's not, I think Ive plateaued into a stage of loving and hating Japan simultaneously. Im used to it. A lot of it still sucks, but Im over not having tacos or cheap produce. There are a lot of good things about my situation here. I have my own apartment, I dont drive, I go out a lot, my job is easy and entertaining, I have peach popsicles with gooey insides...

The society is wicked bizarre and interesting, too. It's so unlike anything Im used to. Although Im not in the group, watching the way the society works as a whole being is amazing. Accepting yourself as forever an outsider is key.

I think what helped get me to look at the bright side with no regard to my poor retinas was the offer I had to go back home. It was like a "get out of jail free" card. I could have left here, no questions asked, to start a new life in America doing something I would have probably really enjoyed. But I stayed here and I dont regret it.

Thursday I had another Japanese lesson. I learned how to say "This is my book."

Who's blog is this?
Kono blog wa dare no desu ka?

This is my blog.
Kore wa watashi no blog desu.

And check out that photo of my homework. I can read and circle the answer!

Off the subject (I dont feel like starting a new blog post), last week Lauren sent me all my Simpsons DVDs. I watched the episode where Homer quits drinking beer for a month and thought to myself hmm, if Homer can do it... I think it's a Japan thing, but I feel there is always an occasion to go out drinking. And with me, there's always an occasion to stay home and drink, too. And drinking usually involves nomihodai [のみほだい] and after hours trips to the yatai. Too much.

Maybe it's just the hangover talking, but Im afraid I may marry some random Japanese dude one night. Last night I came very close. In Japan, I have the perfect pick-up line, "O-namae wa?" [おなまえは] or What's your name? That would never fly back home. I'd also like to quit drinking for a month to see the kind of results Homer got. He saved money, got in shape, and was less depressed.

And I wanna blog and bitch about it.

So it's settled. I'll quit drinking for a month April 1st! While Liz is here (a true test of strength). I can be that guy, you know, that guy. The guy who sits at a bar drinking Giner Ale and claiming he's having a good time. I'm so him.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Doctor Robotto

As if my life didnt suck enough lately, yesterday I woke up totally sick. I couldnt stay awake more than 10 minutes at a time and I had a fever and a sore throat and murderous thoughts. Luckily I had today off, so I went into work to find out how one would treat these symptoms in a country like Japan. My boss than handed me a map to a clinic.

Nothing like a long bike ride on a warm day when you cant breath or swallow your spit.

Despite the map I made it to the clinic. I took off my shoes, and hesitantly put on the communal slippers. I wondered How many people a year come here for foot infections? Foot infections caught by all these fucking communal slippers?

I went up to the desk, without appointment or translation book, and did that thing where I just stare blankly with my big blue gaijin eyes until they figure out what I want.

I filled out a short survey with questions that included, "Have you ever fainted during treatment?" and "Are you married?" I guess in Japan you cant perform an operation on a woman without the consent of her husband. Maybe that'll help explain the nurses uniforms; little pink paper hats with matching smocks.

It only took about three minutes before they got me in to see the doctor. Three minutes! I thought with crazy national health care I'd be standing in a line out the door, next to the place where you pick up your sugar voucher. Maybe America lies to me. I was pretty happy to see a doctor, actually. Just because I probably havent been to one in over two years.

So the pink nurse guided me into the doctors office. I sat on a stool next to his desk and he asked if I speak Japanese. I managed to get a "no" out. Then he stuck a piece of metal and a flashlight in my mouth for less than a second and went on to explain for five minutes what tonsils were, and that mine were swollen and infected. Then the nurse took my temperature under my armpit (which was a little sweaty, with the fever and the biking). I noticed that even though Japan loves over wrapping your food products, there are some things they dont think to wrap. Including thermometers and those metal things they stick in your mouth. No plastic sleeves! Weird.

Then he wrote out a bunch of prescriptions and told me "that's all." So I went back to the waiting room, not really sure what I was waiting for. They didnt take my vitals or any of those formalities they do in the U.S. He didnt listen to my heartbeat or breathing, either.

BUT! It only cost me 1000 yen! That was pretty sweet. After I paid the nurse walked me to the pharmacy next door. I knew where it was, but you know, I dont speak Japanese so maybe Im an idiot.

I filled out the same questionnaire at the pharmacy, about my marital status and fainting spells. And I gave my little note to them. I waited for like four minutes this time, then the pharmacist came and tapped me on the shoulder (without actually touching me, somehow). She was small and spoke really quietly. First she whispered, "I am sorry for the wait." Then she began placing envelopes on the counter. There were five of them. She started taking out the contents and explaining when I should take them and why. I had no idea what she was saying, but she was so shy and scared I couldnt bare to interrupt and ask questions. I just paid the 950 yen (score!) and took my bag of drugs home.

As strange as this all sounds, Ive never received this kind of service at these prices at home. The few times I had health insurance when I was a kid the doctors pretty much did the same thing but with more touching. And I like the less touching.

So now I have all these powders and pills that I kinda know what to do with. Hopefully they work, because I have to go to work tomorrow, and calling out sick just means Ill be doubling my work the rest of the week, so I'll go in. I just wont be able to talk or pay attention or keep my eyes open or look presentable. Anyone who knows me knows this is so unlike me, Im the master of sick days. Japan is really teaching me life lessons! Like avoid doing things that'll stick you with tonsil infections!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Glug Glug

Despite what my mother says, I am not an alcoholic. I do, however, like to spend countless hours teaching Japanese people (of all ages) how to mix cocktails. Most the time I dont know what Im talking about, or how to spell it, but no one has complained about their "White Russian" homework.

I realize the amounts on the W.R. are a bit off, but it was a class of middle-aged housewives, so I let them have a little extra cream.

Oh, and besides the bad spelling, check out my disregard for capitalization rules. You all are just lucky Im not teaching you anything.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rock Bottom

I really put myself out there on this blog. And Im going to continue that trend and be honest. A few nights ago I rented "Music & Lyrics" from Tsutaya. It's a horrible movie starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I knew it would be bad, but I few choices. Id rented every single English DVD in Japan.

I had never even heard of "M&L" until I came here and started compulsively renting shit movies. As the films I watched got worse the previews before them did too. I kept seeing the ad and telling myself you're not renting it, it will be like this awful commercial but longer. But it was even worse than I could've imagined. Im so totally offended by how bad it was, and I wasnt even watching it most the time, I was playing Scrabulous on Facebook.

What I did watch made me sad for Hugh Grant, but also sad for myself for feeling sad for Hugh Grant. He's old and not funny or charming. And that movie looked like it took all of 15 minutes to write. Besides there being no plot, no one falls in love with a guy that much tanner then they are. That's just retarded.

And Happy Birthday Alex! You dont read this, but if you did you'd think Im an awesome sister!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy Sainto Patarikuzu Day

I have all this Irish blood in me (maybe I'm like 15% Irish--I dont really know, Ive never had my genetic makeup tested), but Ive never felt like celebrating Saint Patrick's Day before I came to Japan.

So on Saturday I paid 1000 yen to hear Sagi from Iwakuni play "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes. Id never heard bagpipes before in my life. I dont think experiencing them played indoors by a Japanese self-proclaimed beginner was the best idea.

We went to the local Irish Pub (we actually always go there, this holiday is just a happy coincidence) and Guiness was only 500 yen so that was fantastic. I dont really have anything else to write about this night, but I need a few more lines so my photos are properly formatted on this post. If I didnt write this much they'd all be shoved together at the top and I wouldnt be able to go to sleep knowing how unattractive my blog has become. No one reads this shit anyway.

Oh and I dont smoke. *cough* I was just holding it for the cameraman. *cough*

Tomorrow I have my first Japanese lesson with my new teacher. It's at 10AM. That will be painful.

And Liz is coming in like a week and a half! Squeeeeel!

Dustin, Me, Ashley, Nick

Reckless Boredom

Welcome to Tokuyama.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Say "Ahh"

Sometimes depression hits you like a ton of bricks. Or, a pound of bacon? It hits you like a tube of Pringles. And like a bottle of Grapefruit Fanta with a bottle of vodka. And then everything is painful. Being awake becomes very painful.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Convenient Zen

Ok, this was taken yesterday. And obviously not by me. But, it was my camera. So here's your photo of the day!

I'm waiting outside 7-11. That's what we do here.

In unrelated self-kudoracity, today at work I was Google Imaging "springtime illustration" with my boss, so I could steal some images for a sign we were making. On page 10 my "I Ruin Everything" comic showed up. Me, in my bra, angry at the world. Dont know what that has to do with springtime, but needless to say I didnt click it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fleeting Moments of Intense Joy

Usually caused by a surge of caffeine, alcohol, or sugar.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Domo Arigato Mr. Robotto

I requested it but they stuck to their set. This is a band who's name I dont know, at People's in Tokuyama.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Im Like a Real Person Now

If there's one thing Ive learned from living in a country where nothing is edible-- it's how to cook for myself. Like, real cooking. Before I came here I would have never biked in the rain to the grocery store at 9:30PM, bought ingredients like ginger and pumpkin, and brought them home to accompany my soaking garbanzo beans in what would soon become a delicious curry. I would have never spent over an hour boiling and sautéing food that would be eaten only by me, while sitting on the floor in front of the television.

I would have gone to Taco Bell after work. It's open late.

And, this isnt even the first time ive done this; it happens three or four times a week!

Oh, and to just pile on how super productive today has been, I also learned how to say "I like Japanese" in Japanese!

Watashi wa Nihongo ga suki desu.

This almost makes up for Monday, when I stayed in bed until 4 eating chocolate and talking to Owl Skunk.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I cant use 'em. I thought I almost had it today, having taken some advice from Ashley about both pulling down and pulling up my pants, but no. Pee splashed on my shoe. It was gross. Im not proud. I just dont fucking understand the things. How to I get my urine to shoot down, not get on my pants, not splash on my shoe, while holding my pants up and down, and reaching for toilet paper? What am I missing? Because Im sick of taking off my pants and underthings, folding them neatly, and balancing them on my head every time I have to take a leak.

(I like the surprise factor with toilets here. Sometimes there's a heated seat, sometimes there's a hole in the ground.)

Reason Number Seven

That Ill never get married (or have friends).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

On the Floor

New Best Blog Friend

Im not one to have internet friends (HA!), but when I came into work today* and saw a package tumbling out of my mailbox I knew I made a brand new BBFFL (I just coined that acronym). At first I had no clue who the name on the return address was (everyone but me uses pseudonyms), but when I ripped through the box I was shocked and delighted! I knew exactly who sent me the most extensive stash of voyeur porn ever!

Just kidding.

Inside the box was a stack of discs with This American Life podcasts burnt on! And strawberry marshmallows! And other snacks this horrible country will never sell (at least in that kind of quantity)!

For those of you not paying attention, my reason for needing free podcasts shipped to me is that Im stealing some slow wi-fi here, so I cant download jack (even my beloved voyeur porn).

This post is to formally thank LSL (who also sent me a bunch of books during the Japan Book Drive. Now, I know some of you are saying, Jeannette, I send you stuff, too. Where's my link? Obviously, you're not sending me enough. But seriously, I am totally grateful for everything everyone has sent me (btw, so far Lauren is winning, if we're counting packages), but the stuff from LSL is a bit more surprising because I only started reading her blog like a week ago (err--I told you, shoddy connection).

Everyone is too nice to me. Not just in Blogland, but in real life as well. And the saddest part is I cant repay anyone back, it's not because I dont want to, it's because in my selfish mind I will never have a concept of what you need or want. It's true, ask Lauren.

*I didnt not give you my home address. I have a sign on my door telling Mr. JP that if Im not home he should redirect any packages to my school across the street.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Severed Tongues

Japan has the best $7 strawberries Ive ever tasted.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Eating Out

I feel like this is my last year. And that feeling is worse then if it were true.

Where's Waldo in the Mall?

My photo of the day, taken at You Me Town in Hofu. Im sure about the rules to this game of mine, but since I didnt get home last night in time to post a photo I'll probably put up two today. But, for the record, this is Saturday's.

Oh, and the really close runner up, taken at Ell's---