Date:
May 9, 2000
Time:
10:35 pm
Right now I'm feeling: Hungry

Right now I'm listening to: Random J-Pop stuff, but here's one of 'em.. 'Morning Musume' (Morning Daughters)

Morning Musume : Kuchizuke no sono ato
Morning Musume goes through more group members than any group in known history (at least it seems that way). Currently, there are seven girls in the group (at least there was last week; there's always members leaving or new ones joining) and almost all are teenagers. They are liked mostly by young high school girls, but this song I actually like, too. Check it out! Click on the "play" button!

Quote of the Day:
"The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others."
-- Sonya Friedman

The Glow

Yes, the rant the other day didn't really do anything but relieve some tension, descents into the realms of self-pity rarely do. I'd like to extend a special thanks to the person who suggested that I get my head out of my ass. :) So I did just that and did something actually productive yesterday. I finished off the bio section. Simplified. Sortof.

One of my English teachers is pregnant. She's great. Cute, intelligent, about 30 and she's got a nerdy but ultra-nice husband and this adorable 5 year old kid who thinks I'm his best friend in the whole world because I picked him up and swooped him around the room like he was Superman when I went to her house for dinner last year.

She's glowing. In that cheesy, but wonderful, pregnant kind of way. She's radiant.

I tried to explain this to her this morning during the drive to work (she gives me a lift, she lives just down the street). The figure of speech is American.

Jeff: Washi, you're glowing!

Washi: uhhh.... I am?

Jeff: Yes! Y'know what 'glow' means, right?

Washi: I'm getting taller?

Jeff: No.. g-l-owing. It means giving off light. And in America we say that pregnant women glow with their happiness or the life inside of them or some other damn thing like that. It's an expression. Do you understand?

Washi: (smiles) Yes, I understand.

(Five minutes of silence ensues)

Washi: (Very hesitantly) So... in America, pregnant women... give off light?

I just got done with dinner. Well, it's hard to define dinner because I've been eating constantly all day. I had to go to the grocery store twice to get more food because my Japanese refrigerator is about the size of a matchbox. Today my stomach is a bottomless pit. Sometimes it gets like that. Which surprises the hell out of people cause I'm kindof skinny (but I prefer the term 'slender'). I am the envy of all women.

Recently, though, I've been developing a gut. This realization shocked me because I've never had to worry about excess body fat. One of my life-long pursuits and ambitions has been the accumulation of body fat, strange as that may sound to some of you anorexics out there.

So I've started jogging again. Another great thing about Japan is that you don't have to worry about getting mugged, robbed, or killed on the streets if you're by yourself at night. Probably your greatest concern might be getting accosted by a drunken Japanese salaryman who smells like cat vomit wanting to practice his English if you stop by a Lawson's convenience store for a drink (happened two nights ago).

The strange thing about exercise , I'm just figuring out now, is that it gives you more energy. If you're consistent, that is. Never made sense to me that in order for your body to attain a higher level of energy and endurance you need to constantly exhaust it and leach out vital body fluids and minerals which it needs. I'm always the last one to figure out stuff like this. I'm such a lazy bastard.

And Now, the Work Bit

Something which my supervisor, Mr. T, suggested we (the ALTs) do starting next contract year is visit elementary schools. Now, don't get me wrong. I like kids. I kind of helped raise a few. You don't get raised in a family of eight children and hate kids when you finally escape. But a few hundred screaming little Japanese rugrats who can't even bloody understand you begging you to do the Hokey Pokey just one more time? Hmmm.... let me think about this one...

Survey says.... "EEEEEEHHHHHHHHH"

So, anyway, I'm thinking that we have another few months to figure out a way to weasel ourselves out of this one, then late last week my principal at Isao JHS comes up to me and says quite proudly that he's arranged for me to visit elementary schools next week in the afternoons. Oh joy.

I'm trying to figure a way out of it. I'll probably end up asking Mr. T for a stay of execution. But, I'll probably get the

"TTttttttthhhhhhhhhhhh".

This sound is made by placing the tongue directly behind the teeth and inhaling sharply. It is one of the Japanese's favorite sounds. It is used in the place of, or conjunction with, the phrase "It is .... difficult" (which in turn means, "there is no way in hell"). Mr. T is exceptionally good at it. When he makes the sound, his inhalation is so sharp and lasts for so long it sounds like he's trying to suck a live eel through his front teeth.

Meditation

I meditated for an hour today. I practiced Imagination Travel. You allow your mind to go blank and allow images of somewhere you've never been to come to you. I can't remember where I learned this particular exercise, but I love it. Takes a great deal of concentration, though. Today I went to Egypt. It was terrific.

The Air

There is something different in the air today. I don't know what it is. It feels... strange. There is an edge to it.

The Return

The girls (ALTs who live across town) came back from their 10-day south-east Asia tour. I meant to call them up today and ask them how it was, but forgot and I hate calling anyone past 10 pm. It's just a thing I have.

Damn, that musta been sweeet. But of course, when I asked Mr. T for only three days off during test days (when we aren't doing anything at all in school) I got the,

"Tttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhh"

But I don't begrudge the girls their days off. I'm happy for them. If Mr. T likes them better cuz they're girls, hey, that's cool, you know?

Oh, all right. Maybe it's not cuz they're chicks. It could be the fact that they don't bolt out of work as soon the bell rings. Or maybe it's just that they actually pretend that they like their jobs. Maybe because they don't huddle over their desks pretending to read or sleep so they don't have to socialize with all of the freaky teachers. Or could it be that a good day for them is filled with actual teaching and learning and smiles and praise while a good day for me is a day I don't beat any small children with my imported American yard stick or lock them into a half-Nelson until they shout, "All hail the Stars and Stripes!!" (In English, of course)?

Eh. You're right. It's probably just cuz they're chicks.

Grumble, grumble.

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