Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blisters... woo!!!

YESSSSSssssss - I have the most awesome blisters in the world right now! They take up just about the entire front half of both my feet and are absolutely fantabulously spectacularific! If you're wondering why I'm so excited about such a weird thing as this, then I would have to come to one of 2 conclusions: 1) you're new around here and didn't know that I'm a total freak of nature sometimes or 2) you don't know what I'm about to tell you because I haven't told you yet. Yeah.

So here goes - the reason. I just got back from my first trip to the capoeira group in Sendai that I've known about for months but haven't gotten out to yet. It's on Sunday nights at 6pm, which means I have to rush to get out to it if I work that day, like I did today. Totally worth it though. They don't actually have a teacher per se, but there are a few people there that are pretty good... definitely good enough to teach me a thing or two and get me back up to speed from my extended hiatus of capoeira-ing. I'm so out of practice it's not even funny. Ok, so maybe it's a little funny. Go ahead and yuck it up if you like laughing at other people's misery - hahaha.

So yeah, if you're totally out of the loop and don't know what capoeira is and don't feel like clicking on the link, basically it's a Brazilian martial art that resembles a dance and is purportedly the forefather to breakdancing. I did it for like 4 months or so down in Chiba when I was there and it was a blast - totally looking forward to getting back into it from here on out.

So yeah - blisters... woo!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Analogies/metaphors thought up by high school students

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Whisky! (and to a lesser extent, whiskey)

Don't know the difference between whiskey and whisky? Not to fret, neither did I as little as 2 months ago. Since then, I've researched, studied, purchased and even presented some. You see, the spelling "whisky" is only used to refer to Scotch whereas "whiskey" can cover the broader spectrum, including Bourbon and others. The spread you see above is what I wound up getting - 28 bottles in total.

I can't say everything went totally as planned without a hitch - we were supposed to have a guy present the tasting process itself, but he cancelled so I wound up doing that in Japanese and English, all by my lonesome. I was sooo mentally pooped at the end of the first round, but luckily my boss told me I could partake in the festivities myself like a good host should. The more I drink the easier it is to speak Japanese, so by the end of it I was presenting all bilingual without a care in the world! Besides the layout, planning and purchasing, I did the tasting explanation and the breakdown on the different types we were serving. We had a contest on who could guess which was which without looking at the labels, and the winner got to take home the bottle of his choice - I think he walked home with half a bottle of 18-year Glenfiddich. I myself took home about 6 bottles, which I shall save for a rainy day. ;P

Then of course no function in Japan is complete without the obligatory after party, which took place in none other than Sendai. The train ride was fun, as you can see from the picture. After a little wandering around trying not to get miffed at everyone's general gaijinness (ie: beligerance), we overlooked an Irish bar and settled on an all night karaoke place not too far from the station. Good times were had by all, including a Japanese guy we picked up along the way.

Oh, and for those of you that thought I should go up and get a picture with the cosplay girls I mentioned in an earlier entry (or was that just me?), upon the prodding of my neighbor Jo I went up and got a picture with some girl dressed up like a character from Evangelion. Yeah.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The story of the Brother's Club a quick translation of the title of the play I just finished up this past weekend. It ruled - I got to drink during the play in keeping with my role of drunken Army brat (it was Budweiser though. bleh), got to dance and get friendly with a pretty fine actress (get your thoughts out of my pants... you dirty, dirty person), and was then forced to bellow numerous obscenities whilst beligerantly altercating with another occidental. Yeah. The play itself only lasted about 20 minutes or so, and we were supposed to sing "Danny Boy" at the end, but most of us didn't really know the words so we faked it. No one was the wiser.

I would have to say that the culmination of the whole production was at the end - they most definitely saved the best for last. The first two nights, we were accompanied by a band of 4 - drums, bass, sax/clarionet, and piano. For the last show on Sunday though, they were joined by the brass section of a 40's style big band, and they added a couple swing numbers to their repertoire. Now the other nights the band leader invited people to dance if they wanted, but of course no one did so we had to. The last night though, a couple from the crowd got up and actually started swing dancing - rather well I might add. So yeah, better music, better atmosphere, more dancing, full house... good times to be sure.

And but of course there were after parties to go along with everything. We talked all the girls into coming out with us on Friday, so we dragged them out to an all-you-can-drink place (that's soooo much easier to say in Japanese) and kept them out way past our bedtimes. ;P There was also another party that everyone went to after the whole thing was done on Sunday, followed by a nice little karaoke session and a stop by a ramen place to cap things off before passing out. I can only think of one thing that might have made it better.

So - the Jazz Festival and now all this have shown me that Sendai has quite a jazz scene history. The play itself was written by this guy whose mother worked in the original "Brother's Club", which is an actual place in Sendai that was taken by occupational forces as the local watering hole post WWII. In addtion to being known as a jazz club, there was plenty of debauchery as it was a quasi-legal bordello from the sounds of it. Officially no prostitution was allowed though. The place itself still stands to this day, but is now just a restaurant that does a number of different styles from Chinese to Italian. This producer (and also the pianist in the band) just happen to do shows from time to time at my place of occupation, which is how I got the gig in the first place. I'll say it again - I love my job. ;P

...and on that note, I have about 2 weeks of laundry and cleaning to catch up to and haven't touched my Japanese books in about as long, so back to it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I'm pooped... just trying to make it through the day here. I took a day trip up north a little to a place called Naruko and stopped by an onsen, then rushed back to run out to Sendai in the evening to make a practice for the play and did not get anywheres near enough sleep last night.

Here's a small compilation of funny videos I've run across in the past few weeks though for your amusement. I absolutely love that "old man bites tenderly" one, or whatever it's called. I'm pretty sure they're all SFW... as long as you can contain your inevitable outbursting fits of laughter.

In other news, if anyone's heard from or has means of smacking James upside the head to get his attention, tell him it'd be nice to hear from him once in a while to make sure his cats didn't eat him in his sleep or something.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Cosplay in the village?!?

So I was just sitting there minding my own business, hanging out in the international tea party thing they had going on for the locals, and what do I spy out of the corner of my eye? Some straight up cosplay girls, anime/gamer style. I don't know where they came from, but after asking around apparently they stop by from time to time since the scenery at my place is good. I also overheard some people saying that this time was ok since the girls were actually pretty good looking, but most of the time they're... well, not. It's supposedly for some webpage or something, and there were two different groups here today.

I did try to sneak a little peek while staying at my post just to give you an idea of what was going on, but the pic wasn't exactly the best - I didn't figure out how to use the zoom on my cell camera until after they had already left. The picture on the left is all I got... oh well.

Then of course I did what any guy would naturally do in such a situation - I searched the web for details. Sure enough Shichigahama + cosplay in Japanese, and a bunch of hits. The girl on the right was the first on the list, and I can totally recognize my work from the background, lol. Here are the rest if you're interested.

I did have a little issue later that's got me a little miffed though - I had to go into town for play practice tonight and so needed somewhere to park the car. I called up a fellow JET from the next town over to ask if I could park at her place since she has a space but no car, but she says her space is taken and suggests a place right around the corner. So I go up there and sure enough it's open... with one catch. I didn't check the signage too well, and missed the fact that the parking lot is only open til 9. And there were gates. So I come back at 10:30ish, none the wiser - needless to say I wasn't too happy, but then again I can't exactly blame that girl since she didn't know and I should've scoped things out a little more carefully. So that means I'll have to go over there at 9am tomorrow to pick it up.... *sigh* At least it's not a work day for me, being Tuesday and all.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Oh yes, the moment of truth has indeed arrived, for Doug has at long last found himself some wheels!! Ok, so I've had it for like 2 weeks now, so I guess this is a tad overdue, but I was waiting until I could snap a few pics and the weather lately hasn't exactly been condusive. I've been told it wasn't a typhoon but merely a "low pressure front", and to that I say pshaw. The rain and winds were frickin plenty strong and lasted for a few days. Mr. Sun came out today though, so all is good in Mr. Dargie's neighborhood now. And in case you're wondering, yes my car is exactly what I wanted and yes it is everything I expected it to be. It is quite easily the fastest car I've ever owned... which sort of goes to waste as I'll explain shortly. Here's a picture of the new Party Wagon - not to be confused with the not-so-recently deceased Party Wagen, the cash cow that met its untimely demise last year after racking up nearly five bajillion miles, getting hit thrice in the space of a year, then smacking into a wall (sorry 'bout that one George). So hey, I took a picture with my K-tie (cell phone), which actually has better resolution than my digital camera (3mega-pixels vs. 2). The interior's actually even nicer than the exterior with race-like Recaro seats all around, a momo steering wheel and a very solid feeling clutch/short-shifter. Double-din stereo that handles tapes, cds, and MDs - and now iPods. ;P Oh, and last but most certainly not least, there's a full exhaust and intake on it with a nice blow-off valve, so it makes cool swishy noises when I shift hard. I love that! Stock my car's rated at 250HP, so with the stuff on it I'm guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of the 270s. It's fast enough basically.

So ok, let me give you a little shakedown on all the crap you have to deal with to get a car around here - I'll present the good and the bad as well as I can. First off the good news: used cars are dirt cheap in Japan. I picked up my precioussssss for the low, low sum of 200,000Y (1,680USD currently). That's for a '98 WRX with 110,000 miles on the odo that runs perfectly fine and has no major exterior blemishes. The bad news? After all was said and done it cost a total of 417,000Y to get it on the road! There're taxes and fees for every stupid little thing - sales tax, registration fee (50,000Y!!), inspection fees, special car taxes, manditory national insurance (which isn't enough since you have to get extra insurance anyway), you name it. Still though, when you consider that I just sold a '00 RS (not even a turbo) back home for 11,000USD, a pricetag of $3,500ish for that car boggles the mind... or maybe I'm just easily boggled.

Alright, so I'll start at the beginning. Asking around online I found out that auctions are supposed to be the cheapest way to pick up cars in Japan, so this guy introduced me to someone he knew. Long story short, I wound up going down to Tokyo to check out what I was told was the biggest car auction in the world - something like 10-13,000 cars go out of that place a week. I took the overnight bus (5 hours from Sendai) and was supposed to meet up with my man on the scene to go to the auction. I was totally expecting to take the train, then this guy rolls up in a brand frickin new Z3! Sweet! So we drive out there, and I'll tell you it was any car guy's fantasy land - you name it, they probably had one for sale. I saw countless GT-Rs of course (I saw a hakosuka... Davis eat your heart out!), a few Ferraris and Lambos, even an old pimpin 60's Impala and a few nice old Bugs. They were all sitting in this ginormous parking lot, and you could go out and start the engine and inspect them all if you wanted. Lots of fun! I dunno, maybe dealer auctions are like that in the States as well, but I wouldn't know.

So yeah, the day I went, out of the 10,000 cars there only 5 met my criterion, and given my restrictively low budget I didn't get one that day. The guy I met was really cool though, and we went back to his office in Tokyo and checked out things online. He even gave me his password and all so I could browse the national auction inventory from home by myself. So that was last month sometime, and within a week we found something that worked and he picked it up at the price I mentioned above... here's where it starts to get a little hairy.

You see, in Japan when you buy a car there are a bunch of things you have to worry about. First off, there's the parking thing. If you live in a city or urban area like many do then you'll probably wind up having to shell out upwards of a few hundred doll-hairs to secure yourself a spot. Luckily I don't have that problem as my parking is free (go boonies!!), but you still have to prove you have parking in order to get the car registered. I had to go to the local po-po station and get some forms on which you have to provide dimensions and info on the car itself, then the parking lot layout which you have to draw by hand. Bleh. After that, I took it to my landlady, who in turn had to take it to the real estate company to get it stamped for approval. After I got that back I had to go back to the po-pos and give it back, along with money of course, to get a little sticker to put on the car. All that took a little over a week to sort out.

Then I got to take a trip to Japan's version of the DMV. I had to turn in the previous owner's plates after getting them pried off with the jaws of life thanks to some rust, and get new ones of my own. Thank God the auction guy drove the car up and helped me out with all that cause it looked about as bad and anal as the paperwork back home for stuff but in Japanese - apparently no one actually does that stuff themselves around here though. They have this little seal they put over your rear plate after the guy comes out to inspect it, and you have to get your plates changed every two years when you renew the shaken.

What's shaken (pronounced "shah-ken", not like the past tense of "shake") you ask? Well it's this safety/equipment inspection you have to go through every 2 years, or every year if your car's more than 10 years old I think. A new car's shaken lasts 3 years. It's prohibitively expensive, which is why used cars are so damn cheap out here. It makes them depreciate much faster. With many cheap old cars, a car might only be worth as much as the shaken that's on it - mine is still good for a little over a year in case you're wondering. So just how expensive is it? Well if you have a K-car (lawnmower-like engine and proportional speed, weighs less than 600kg I think) then you might get away with only paying like 50,000-70,000 or so, but for my gas guzzler I hear I should expect about twice that range. Oh, and there's an annual car tax as well I hear, like in Virginia. I don't like Virginia.

A couple other random tidbits I shall give you about driving in Japan - yes, it is weird (and yet really cool) to drive on the other side of the road while sitting on the other side of the car and shifting with my other hand. Also, the speed limits around here are rediculous - imagine all the numbers being the same as the US, but replace the mph with a kph. The highest local speed limit I've seen is 50kph, and the highways are set at something like 80-90kph. Luckily for me no one actually does the speed limit - you'll see people going anywheres from 20-40kph over the posted limit. I still haven't even cracked 100kph (~60mph), although I have cracked 6000rpm. ;P

Ah yes, and then there's gas. I got my "high ock man-tan" (full tank of hi octane, Initial D style) for the exhorbant sum of 8,000Y, so don't you guys go trying to complain to me about gas back home. Japanese high test is really clean though... I've heard high octane is something like 10 octane points higher, putting it at around 112 octane or so. Oh, and I have yet to pump my own gas since most of the stations around here are full service. With a smile even! It's like Jersey, but without the smell and I can turn left to my heart's content. ;P

I've been driving all over the place and it's a blast - gotta find new tires and a track or something quick though. I wonder if they have autocross in Japan... oh, and half the reason for me to get this specific car is for snowtime adventures to snowboard land, with a small stop along the way to doughnut central, or axis-spin city depending on how saucy I'm feeling. We're on the same parallel as Maryland, so I hear it snows plenty and the closest ski resort is a mere hour's drive away. Oh, but apparently they don't believe in plowing the streets so things might get a little hairy around here... especially since my town's like a big hill jutting out of the ocean. I do hear that it's usually a tad milder here due to shore effect. Still, woo AWD and snow tires!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I need work, foo!!

So you might be wondering what exactly I do on a daily basis - most of you probably aren't, but I'm still going to tell you. Just act like your interested and it'll all be over soon. Seriously though, my job rocks hardcore! So first off, let me show you my event schedule for the next month or so:

10/1: 3rd annual opera classic - Shichigahama's Awabi Legend. I wore a suit and did greeting and passing out pamphlets in addition to helping out with the kids.
10/9: International Cafe Chat. Talking about different tea traditions as an excuse to get all the grannies in the town to come out and talk to the local white guy.
10/13-15: 15th annual Sendai Arts Festival presents the Brother's Legend. The play I'm in. I play a drunk American soldier, so I cuss and fight and dance with cabaret girls and... generally act the fool. No problem there.
10/18: Mid-year Miyagi Prefectural training session. Attendance manditory. There's only 5 CIRs in Miyagi, so from the sounds of it we're going to meet up over coffee and just talk about what we do on the daily and how we could do more. I heard someone suggest going to Starbuck's. ;P
10/21: Whiskey Tasting! My first official event of my very own. I've bought 25 bottles of whisk(e)y, including 3 ages of 2 different categories of Scotch whisky, some bourbon, some Irish whiskey, a Canadian whiskey, and a Tennessee whiskey. We're expecting the attendance to surpass 60 people (I'm hoping for much more, actually).
11/1: Halloween party. The kids love this one apparently - we're going to have a haunted house and take them out trick-or-treating in some house in which we've planted some candy. I'm carving up a jack-o-lantern and dressing up to try and scare the crap out of little kids, so I hope they bring their spare underoos.
11/5: Guy Fawkes Day - bonfire on the beach. This one isn't set in stone yet, but is up in the air as a possibility. I still have to iron out the details. Sounds like fun though!

In addition to this I do school visits on a weekly basis and am heading up meetings for the local inter- national club. I might tell you more about it later, but for now I'll just say that the kids hang all over me... I sign autographs (lol), and yesterday someone called me a "super saiya-jin." Maybe I'll have to grow my hair out a little longer (see picture). I had a couple kids that just wanted to touch my hair, including arm and leg hair, and then shake my hand and stuff like that.

I've made up a couple powerpoint presentations which I work off of - I teach them stuff about foreign culture in Japanese. This month was all about halloween, so I broke into our generously abundant stash of decorations and picked out some stuff, including a fake jack-o-lantern and some tunes to show to the kiddies. They ate it up.

You should see what some of the full-time teachers out here get to deal with on the daily... check out my buddy Matt's blog (sugoigaijin) in the links section for some classic stories. This other guy that works at a problem school a little further out was telling me that one of his students got arrested last year after he stabbed a cop trying to steal his gun! *o_O*

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Boogie Wonderland

Tonight I have realized how much Earth, Wind, and Fire rock. If you have not done so then your existance is most likely hollow and sullen. You have my pity. If you wonder what this has to do with anything... well, stop now because it has absolutely no connection whatever to anything logical. I just felt like sharing. Sort of like how I am master of the pan flute - Zamphir eat your heart out.

In a lame attempt to make this entry have a point, I'll tell you where I hopped on the boogie train - a little place called Tsutaya. I love Tsutaya - it's like Blockbuster but you can rent cds! It's not quite as cool as it was 4 years ago since you can find basically anything online nowadays if you know where to look, but if you've ever tried to find Japanese stuff online then you know how hard it can be to find the latest and greatest out there - you know what I'm talking about, right? No?!? Oh well... anyway, buying cds is prohibitively expensive ($25-30 for one disk... no thanks), so in lieu of downloading I sometimes choose to contribute what I consider a fair price of 300Y or so for a disk as a rental fee - they do everything but tell you to copy it out here since they have blank cds/mds right there on the shelf by the checkout counter. "When in Rome" and all that.

Oh, and they have a bunch of Japanese movies too, which cost a bunch to buy whether I'm here or back home. I guess the only way to get those on the cheap is to go up to those shady guys in Chinatown up in NY and pick up those $5 VCDs or take a short trip to Hong Kong or something. Oh, and if you ever have the chance to pick up one of those don't pass it up - the subtitles are hysterical! I hear Star Wars: Episode III had an... um, interesting translation, and I remember watching Lord of the Rings with all the "ring ravers" - no wonder they wouldn't give up! Never get between a party kid and their plur!

So yeah, in conclusion: blah. I have no conclusion, this has just been a outlet for my random juxtaposition of Dougisms. Hope you either enjoyed the ride or are thoroughly confused. ;P

I know this is what you all come here for...

Ok, so I just got back from practice for this play I'm going to be in a couple weeks from now and it is looking abso-frickaliciously fantabulous and splendiferous in every way. It really looks like a lot of fun - I play a US soldier at a Jazz bar in post-war Japan who gets all drunk and starts mouthing off as he picks a fight with some other soldier. And you are just going to love this... I'm going to give you some of the Engrish script they gave us. They did try really hard on this and I appreciate it, but some of it's just hilarious. We've adlibbed the lines based on what they were actually going for in the Japanese script since we couldn't say it all with a straight face, but the original before we got to de-Engrish it is just too good not to share. There were such gems as:

"How come we can't share the time more joyfully much more than hate for all the time! Why the colour is so important more than human himself."


"The realty is nothing more than the death, We're all facing to fear to death."

and then there's this sequence:

"Hey you, I know you, you must be prostitute aren't ya?"
"This's not a right place for to make business, So why don't you go to ODAWARA."
"You telling big lies, It's you are the one came to ask me to make it something."

Seriously though, the guy they got to play the main role (a Japanese guy) is fabulous and definitely outdoes us... he had us all struggling not to smile while he said his lines - great delivery. We look like some total hacks up on stage with these guys since... well we don't know what the hell we're doing. They told us just to have fun with it, which is exactly what I intend to do. This play is going to rock - and I get to mambo! ;P

Monday, October 02, 2006

And this is me freaking out

Yeah, so I just got back from a short recess in my fortress of solitude (you may know it as the bathroom), and it was anything but relaxing. So I get in there, drop trough and sit down on the nicely warmed seat of the washlet toilet our fine facilities here at the Shichigahama Kokusaimura provide, ready for a relaxing 10 minutes or so. Then I look down and notice something - THERE IS A FRICKING BUG, IN MY BOXERS! Let me repeat that and let it sink in: a BUG, IN my BOXERS!!!!! WTF!!!11one!! I didn't want to know how it got there or, even worse, what it was doing that whole time nestled in next to my pasty white posterior, I just wanted it out. NOW. I quickly flicked it against the wall of the stall and watched as it scuttled across the floor out of my perimeter. Situation averted, all is well.

Oh, and last night I was rudely awoken by another earthquake. Apparently it lasted a good 20 seconds or so this time, but I was only awake for like 5 of those tops. If it isn't one thing its another though. Meh.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Boats... grrr!

Yeah, one thing I've noticed is that I use an inordinant amount of exclamation points (one could even say I... "spackle" my writing with them), or as I like to refer to them, "bangs." I guess if you know me that is sort of indicitave of my character though, so I'll just leave it out there as a simple observation. Things that make me go hmm... Oh hey, and before I forget, Engrish of the day goes to the guy on the train wearing a trucker hat that read "I lost my virginity in Madagascar." Priceless.

So today's theme is me being totally pooped. I cannot for the life of me sleep in, whether it's a weekday or my day off, whether I go to bed at 11 or 3, whether I went out the night before or whatever. The fricking sun gets me up at like 6am or so just about every day and I'm hating it. One thing that luckily isn't going to be a factor anymore is that there's no DST in Japan. American occupational forces did enstate it in Japan during the post-WWII occupational period for about 6 years, but as soon as we left it was one of the first things to go. That means that while you enjoy daylight until 9pm on some days during the summer, I enjoy the sun rising at like 4am. Yeah.

Sooo... that means I need some thicker blinds. I went and checked, and it looks like I'll wind up dropping like $50-60 on curtains big enough to cover the window in my bedroom, and the same goes for if I want darkness in any of my other rooms as well. Strangely enough this didn't bother me in Chiba for whatever reason, but it sure does now so I gotta do something about it. As soon as payday comes around that is- I already spent 420,000+ yen this month. Oh, and that's only like $3,500 btw.

And just to top it all off, today I was not awoken by our benevolent source of sustenance and life... oh no, he didn't even get the chance. You see, today I arose to the onerous sound of fog horns, most likely from boats all the way on the other side of my area of town. The bastages!! They got me up at like 5am! I think I might have gotten back to sleep for a grand total of 30 whopping minutes before I had to get up to go to work since there was an opera today I had to help out with.

So dragging along I make it to work, with said opera on the horizon. I must admit it was rather impressive to see this Japanese woman no bigger than yours truly belting stuff out with force without need or wont for a microphone. This girl wasn't your stereotypical shy and demure Japanese girl by any stretch of the imagination. She was an honest to goodness soprano and had range that would give Mariah Carey back in the early 90's a good run. She wrote her own material, which was lackluster, but it was more about getting the town's kids involved apparently so whatever.

The theme? The Shichigahama awabi legend. It's about these fishermen who went out to sea a long time ago and got stuck in a storm. The storm tore a huge hole in the bottom of the boat and they started to sink, so they start calling out to some local god that was supposed to protect them. They start paddling back and notice the water's stopped. When they get back to shore, they look on the bottom of the boat and what do they see? A big 'ol awabi, blocking up the hole. And there you have it.

Alright, well now that that's said and done I'm off to catch up on some z's. Snore.