Tuesday, October 21, 2008

if only in my dreams

i'll be home for christmas
you can count on me

i've always loved that song, and now it's quite appropriate


i think i'll go to south korea one weekend in november. might be nice

Sunday, October 19, 2008

the weekend of the third week of the tenth month

Saturday night:
After work I went to a goodbye party for fellow American James in Kurume. A lot of students came, which I'm sure he appreciated. It was at an Italian restaurant which was quite delicious yet unfortunately expensive. I pointed out how beautiful our waitress was and was repeatedly accused of being a lesbian. Twas as if I'd never left...
Hung out with Paul afterwards, and confessed that I've developed a habit of drinking a half-size can of Asahi on the 20-minute walk from the station to his apartment. This kind of behavior illustrates the "no parents!" mentality I carefully crafted in college.

Watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which Paul warned was mediocre and Sam insisted was SOOO FUNNYYYYY. Paul- 1, Sam- 0.

That afternoon we went to a BBQ at Stephen's, which was pretty great. Their building has a patio on the roof with BBQs and plants and a great view of the city and lovely green hills dispersed between high-rise apartments.

The usual suspects were there (a.k.a the entire British population of Fukuoka-ken and their respective ladies), including Anna, Stephen and Naomi's daughter who is gorgeous already AND bilingual. Anna was playing the Japanese version of one of those hand-clapping sing-songy games that girls play during recess in grade school, and asked very publicly asked me to teach her an American version. Considering I can barely remember what I had for dinner two days ago, I was afraid I couldn't deliver, but was able to come up with something that passed as authentic, and luckily no other Americans were there to confirm or deny. I'd say the lyrics to the sing-song were around 30% accurate.

I'm picking up a few UKisms from hanging out with that lot, but I think I've introduced some new vocabulary as well. We're still working on the inclusion of "chill" as an adjective.

Cafe with internet, the best Chai latte I've had in years and perhaps dinner in Tenjin later.

Many thanks to Joanne and Bob back in Glendora for sending Pirate's Booty. A real treat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

concave cake

A dude fell asleep on me on the train the other day and I was so pissed! I usually would think it's funny, but I wanted to kill him

I was reading a book about English teaching games and one reminded me of a story I forgot to tell. It's the highlight of the birthday party I went to!!

Little Louis found a way to secretly sit on his birthday cake before we sang the birthday song, so when we all gathered around with candles lit, we were surprised to find we would be singing to a concave birthday cake. Precious.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

peep diz

today i received the following email from anthony:

who needs folgers coffee to wake you up in the morning when you've got diz pic?


i've confirmed that the photo is, in fact, on his nightstand. that boy is one of a kind. and i love him.

i also spoke to marian today for the first time in ages :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

jitensha of joy

Today I finally relieved Paul of his extra bike and rode it from his apartment in the very hip Hirao, through a few cities and ended up at the park near my apartment. I think it was around 10 km and my puri puri oshiri (see previous post) is going to need to adjust to the firm seat. The park was amazing! It was really big and had trails and overgrown grass and a huge, hideous fountain. Of course I did not take pictures. I could barely keep the bike standing when I parked it because I had piled so much shit in the front basket.

Luckily, the only photo I found of the park features the ugly fountain:

May I just add a side note:
Whoever said "It's just like riding a bike" hadn't met someone as uncoordinated as I am. Every time I get on a bike I spend the first ten minutes refreshing my muscle memory. It's at the same time humorous and embarrassing.

Nader is quite quotable these days. As he signed off Gchat, he threw in this last piece of advice:
"And keep your complexity up because it matches your hair and your glasses."
Hahah what a treat.

Last night two boys made dinner for two girls and it was really sweet of them and delicious as well. A really nice evening.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


One thing that's beginning to bother me is how many Japanese people I meet act completely surprised that I can say "nice to meet you" in Japanese or that my fork-clutching fingers are dexterous enough to handle chopsticks. I know they're just being polite and encouraging, but after two months it begins to feel a bit patronizing. Nader just called it the soft bigotry of low expectations. I think that might be the way to put it.

Halloween is on our minds, and if a certain shopping excursion for yellow galoshes goes as planned, I will appear as the famous Anpanman at the company Halloween party. Please see picture for further explanation:

a lesson in leaving

Today's lesson, children, is: Check The Train Schedule Yourself, with supplementary reading on the topic of Industriousness.

I went to Kurume for dinner with fellow teacher James because he's leaving GEOS soon, and we had dinner and drinks with some students, which was pretty great. One of the students kindly offered to check the time for the last train to my town, which was much appreciated. I trusted he was good with schedules because he's in the Defensive Force and once swam 10km. Last night this logic made sense. You might have already guessed where this story is going, and you are partly correct.

I did manage to catch the last train (I ran, of course), but it stopped quite a few stops away from my destination, which was unfortunate to say the least--especially since I had just used my last yen on the train ticket and plastic is not widely accepted in this country. I glanced around the platform, stunned, and saw a young Japanese fellow staring baffled at the train schedule--more importantly I saw opportunity. I used my broken Japanese to ask him what city he lives in and pointed out that his mistake was using the weekday time schedule on a Saturday. I found out he lived close to my town and felt the gods smiling upon me. He kindly offered to pay for the cab back to our area, and when we got there he also offered to pay for dinner. Seeing as I had just come from dinner and had just met this guy, it wasn't in my interest to go. Feeling somewhat indebted and a little interested in the strange turn of events, I went along. He was perfectly nice and we (he) feasted at a local izakaya. Luckily his English was as good as my Japanese, so the conversation was fixed at surface-level. At around 2:30 am I wandered home and wondered--should I make this a one-time thing? I decided it would be wise.

Word of the week (and probably of the year):
puri puri- two meanings
1) fresh seafood
2) used to refer to a tight ass, as in "puri puri oshiri"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

no spiders were harmed

I'm beginning to really like my apartment.

Today at work in Kurume there was a humongous spider--we're talking Jeff Corwin, Man vs. Wild, the size of my hand arachnid--and I asked James to please take care of the matter. He ended up being too scared and I had him fetch me an umbrella and an empty trash can and McGyvered my way to safety. I told James I would keep his cowardice between him and me, but it will be ages before he remembers to read this and by then my position as Katie the Courageous will be secured.

Monday, October 6, 2008

the apple of my eye

mikuru and i hung out yesterday
we drank coffee while watching the rain and talking about the meaning of life, then we went to korean food, and then a pub:

the beer bottles weren't intentionally included... give us a little credit.

after missing her last train by 40 minutes, we barely made the last train to my apt, where she became an unexpected visitor in an embarrassingly sloppy little apartment. sorry, mikuru...
anyone who knows me from home (ahem, Bernadette) knows how difficult it is for me to keep up with tidying my living space.

today i went to the apple store to get a new part for my computer charger after breaking my original charger through a poorly executed kick in the direction of my outlet. unintentional and stupid, but luckily it only cost me 840 en (around $8) to replace. the trip to the apple store began very innocently but soon became a journey when i traveled around 30 minutes by foot PAST the store. everything looked so far away on the map! anyway, i can't really be blamed. the store was hidden away, making it nearly impossible for any normal human to find:

even though the detour was not exactly what i had hoped for, i did stumble upon a bookstore/gift shop that i remembered from Osaka, and spent a good amount of time traversing the piles of nonsense they have in store for anyone who dares to brave the 7 kinds of music they have playing simultaneously. i also got a cheap yet kawaii poster for my apartment. hooray!

may i just add that mikuru is so wise... she's like my sage. but she drinks beer and refers to me as a character from Treasure Island, so not exactly.


my friend sam looks just like hugh grant

can you believe it?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

rednow eivets

Anthony just sent me a photo he took that he said reminded him of me. Obviously--we went to that show together! We had such a good time

I'm trying really hard not to make fun of this picture, though

Friday, October 3, 2008


I really feel like my instinctual compass has yet to reset to my current location. For this reason, I feel ill at ease with decisions that would normally feel quite natural and appropriate.

Someone said, "My art is unclassifiable." I agree.

Rumors of friend visits are brewing and it would be really nice to see someone who really knows me.

Today Laura and I discussed that looming loneliness is far more daunting than the moments when you're actually alone. Choosing to be alone is actually quite a nice feeling. Still, I'm starting to feel the one-month blues. I'm still deciding whether it's due to external or internal forces. All I know is that my step's lost a little of its usual bounce today.

The cafe I'm in just turned its radio to the English channel, presumably because I just got here. Just when you think you're striking out, someone tries to give you a little something and it always seems to be just enough. Here's hoping the bounce is restored tomorrow.