Starting over with everything..

I lived and worked in Japan for a long time and have come back in a time of economic and ever present family drama to try and gain a foothold in my so-called home country. Armed with nothing but dog fur, a crappy car, a laptop that hates me, I try to see how far I can get.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Should I stay or should I go now?

The Clash are brilliant aren't they? Some of the lyrics have been haunting me lately, maybe not in the same context, but you know what I mean. Leaving or the idea of leaving has reared it's ugly head and is just staring at me in the face, especially as I see my good friends here leaving soon. I can't help but be nostalgic, weepy and grumpy to the world. A part of that is because I'll miss my friends and I'll feel the void after they leave whole heartedly. Yet, another big part of my discontent right now lies within my own self. What the hell am I doing here is a constant theme running through my head as of late.
I try to consider the possiblities:
1. I am running away from home
2. I am avoiding starting the next part of my life
3. I am scared to leave what I know
4. I have a good job that I mostly like and am used to doing it
5. I am lazy
6. I hate living in the States
7. I am waiting for a miracle to occur to change my life and give it infinite meaning
8. I love Japan (mostly) and I don't want to live anywhere else at the moment

Some of these definitely carry some merit but other more positive ones outweigh the others so much it makes them seem insignificant unless I'm obsessing about leaving like now. I feel I made the right decision to stay. I have a midget asshole to thank for this decision mostly, but none the less if there were no midget assholes I may be super, super resenting my life if I made a different decision. So hurray for midget assholes!

This post is more like a public note to self, so I apologize. I tend to talk to myself a lot and that's only natural that I extend that habit to my writing skills, so I apologize to the three people who read this. I think the there are certain things that I'm gonna watch for that are certain signs that I need to get the hell out of here as fast as I can.

Warning signs
When these apply I'm outta here:
(copied from a 'You know you've been in Japan too long if...' website) think "white pills, blue pills, and pink powder" is an adequate answer to the question "What are you giving me, doctor?" think 4 layers of wrapping is reasonable for a simple piece of merchandise.
...a new Gaijin moves to your neighborhood and you know immediately you will get his mail for a while. think the meaning of a red traffic light is: "Hurry up! 10 cars now in quick succession, and then we'll think about slowing down."
...when you get on a train with a number of gaijin on it and you feel uneasy because the harmony is broken. think the natural location for a beer garden is on a roof. ask fellow foreigners the all-important question "How long have you been here?" in order to be able to properly categorize them.
...when in the middle of nowhere, totally surrounded by rice fields and abundant nature, you aren't surprised to find a drink vending machine with no visible means of a power supply...
...and when you think nothing of it when that lonely vending machine says 'thank you' after you buy a coke. stand before a sign on a bridge and ponder the possible meanings of "Bridge Freezes Before Road." notice you've forgotten how to tie shoelaces. rush onto an escalator, and just stand there. find yourself bowing while you talk on the phone. think US$17 isn't such a bad price for a new paperback. don't hesitate to put a $10 note into a vending machine. don't think it unusual for a truck to play "It's a Small World" when backing up. really enjoy corn soup with your Big Mac. can't have your picture taken without your fingers forming the peace sign.
...on a cold autumn night, the only thing you want for dinner is nabe and nihonshu.
...when you believe that the perfect side dish to eat with a juicy, deep-fried pork chop is a pile of raw, tasteless, shredded cabbage. are speaking in English but all references to money come out in Japanese. answer "hai!" even when speaking English to non-Japanese friends. select shoes based on how easily you can get them on and off. think any lunch costing less than US$10 is cheap.
..."Ohio" no longer means the state. don't think twice about sitting on the floor barefoot in an expensive restaurant. can back into a Japanese parking space -- without your passenger getting out and guiding you in. look forward to winter in your Japanese house so you can store beer and frozen foods in your bedroom and bathroom. stop turning on your windshield wipers before you make a turn. would not only settle for Taco Bell, you would actually kill for it.
...people ask, "Do you want to go by car?" and you respond, "No, I'm in a hurry." can't remember saying 6 bucks was too much to see a movie.
...your daily knowledge of the exchange rate would make a commodities broker proud.

I'm only halfway there. Gotta go work now.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Banging my head against the wall

... metaphorically speaking. Okay maybe I'll actually try doing it for real when I get home. I work with a few strange people but there is one guy who seems semi-normal but isn't apparently. I was told when I came to work today that he 'probably has a little bit of mental sickness inside and that's why he didn't come to work.' Wha~? This "normal guy" told me yesterday that his wife was pregnant again, he's got a 18 month old and that he was hoping to go on a vacation for summer but he couldn't go far because of her condition. Condition- ha! Wonder where she caught that from?

Anyway, he does this to me a bit and I usually stand in for his classes. It's friggin' ridiculous how often he doesn't come. I usually get told his daughter is sick or something to that affect, but I guess they decided they'd tell me the truth about Bob today. I have another friend of mine who does what I do that is going through the same thing but much worse because her co-worker is prone to have fits of crazy and refuse to go to class. Plus she works with another teacher who might as well be the Japanese version of Mommy Dearest. I don't know how she hasn't gone completely crazy already. I have nothing to complain about in comparison. Sometimes I guess it pays to be crazy.

I've gotten the you shouldn't be in school because it's summer and you and the students should be on vacation blues. School is sooo humid. Teenagers and teachers make for a very moldly, musky atmosphere. It's almost bad enough to make you feel faint sometimes. Anyway, it's late. I'm off to bed.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Father's day

This is a picture of my dad and I coming home from shopping for Thanksgiving. I'm guessing I was about 4 years old. Dad's holding the cranberry sauce my family loves. I'm holding my favorite cheesy crackers that had sesame seeds on them. I love this picture because it represented my happy time with my dad. I loved to go grocery shopping with him. He taught me how to be "value conscious."

Later on, my mom would call that being 'cheap ass like your father', but even today I employ his cheap ass techniques. When I get sad or just feel strange here, I wander in grocery stores. It just makes me feel better. I'd feel better yet if I could sit under the cart and get pushed by I might get thrown out of the stores here if I did that.

It's been about 4 years since my dad passed. He wasn't perfect. In fact, he was very far from perfect. It's funny how you can go from loving someone just cause they buy you cheesy sesame crackers and then and then wishing them ill will later on. How complicated things get after you learn how to talk. Never the less he was my dad and I remember him on this day among many others. Thanks for everything dad, I hope you're well wherever you are and I love you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What will they think of next?

On my lunch break I was wandering around You Me town (my local mall) and was just looking at random crap when I came across the Father's Day section. For some reason I was drawn to the cufflinks and noticed a few odd ones among the very Dad-ish variety.

One set had the flag of Ireland on them. For all those Irish... Japanese people who live here... ?

I found a picture online of the second one's I saw online. I hope my doc buys them.

Off of the subject, I have the cutest little boy in one of my first grade elementary school classes. He's a little dirty old man reincarnated in a 6 year old's body. After everything he was taught in his first ever English class, he added the word 'baby'.

Singing a song: What's your name, what's your name, what's your name, babeee! Nice to meet you, baby! Hello, baby! Good morning, baby!

If it weren't for the air-humping guesture that he was making (a common thing for elementary school boys here) I would have thought it innocent. I hope he learns that saying 'baby' to random strangers stops being cute when you're not a kid. I think it's funny too how a simple lecture on self introduction can be changed into into 'how to pick up a date 101 for kids'. He's funny as hell.

Yet on another tangent, for some reason this all reminds me of when I used to work at Sears in the home appliance department. When I got bored I used to like to listen and giggle to myself whe my co-workers were trying to sell vacuum cleaners. I swear I have such toilet humor sometimes, but funny is funny.

Larry the sales associate: This model has more sucking power than any other model we carry.

Customer: Really? How does it do on short carpet?

Larry: Oh it's great on short or shag carpet. What kind of carpet do you have?

Customer: I have short carpet in most rooms, shag just gets too dirty.

Larry: Yes, I agree. What kind of a hose where you looking for?

Customer: I have a lot of hard to reach places, I'm guessing a long hose is best, but sometimes it's a lot of trouble. *sigh* And it just gets in the way. Plus I use the special attachments and I feel they work better with a short hose.

Larry: I see, this model over here has a short hose which can extend to make a longer hose, also you can add an attachment if you need more length. Were you comfortable with an upright?

So sue me, I was bored at work a lot. However, I did learn a lot about vacuums and other home appliances. I also worked in hardware and automotive later on. I learned a lot at that store. Am babbling now, must stop.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Oscar the grouch

I've been massively irritated as of late. For my male readers, no that isn't just a "that time of the month thing" it's a things are f*cking retarded and irritate me beyond belief thing. Soooo, I'm gonna bitch about this on my blog before I kill someone.

Things/people/behaviours that irritate me as of late.

*people who don't say thank you.

*people who don't say bless you (excluding people who are Japanese, that's not a custom here, so it doesn't bother me.)

*people who are lazy and who don't work. (excluding those with mental and physical disabilities, no stupidity isn't a disablity although it almost should be)

*people who spout saying of philosophers / religious people, documents / etc... and are friggin' hipocrates. Pick different trend to copy.

*people who are mean and not funny.

*wet toilet seats.

*people without common sense.

*people who don't do stuff unless they are asked or told to do so.

*people who never call you but want to hear from you more.

*being a tape recorder in class.

*chauvinist pigs who think men are better at everything.

*complaining about a problem that could be so much worse.

*people who think yoga is a fad and it doesn't do anything.

*prices of Japanese gas.

*prices of Japanese fruit.

*lack of cilantro in Japan.

*stupid people.

*people who drag me into their drama.

*loud stupid people.

*people who lie.

*people who take everything for granted.

*people who think everything you have is theirs to use and get upset when you say, back the #uck off.

*the fact I am nice to people I can't stand because I don't wanna hurt their feelings.

*lack of motivation to clean my house.

*people who take advantage of kindness.

*my lack of motivation for cooking.


*the fact coffee gives me the jitters.

Haaa~ I feel better. I apologize if this offended anyone, but I need to vent.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lazy Saturday