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.