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.