Silly Grins

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Journal: August 28

Year: Unknown

Only two classes today. I was looking forward to another one, so here I sit, wishing I had brought my Japanese text with me. My stomach has me salivating for the three rice balls I made this morning. They are packed in my bag just a few inches from my right foot. The office is too quiet. I want to learn how to make better onigiri and perhaps some other kind of food. 

Also need to see about getting Sandra in to take a look at the video editing equipment at the cultural center.

Being a bit thirsty, I reached for the nearest bottle of tea and drank two cups. On the second half-cup, I started to taste something that was the consistency of phlegm. Apparently the tea had been brewing from before summer vacation. Will one cup make me sick? 

Vomiting is what will happen if it is bad, at least that's what happened the last time I drank some bad juice, last time I was in Japan. I the past few years the only times I can remember vomiting are when I was in Japan(not counting alcohol induced sickness - most of which was also in Japan). 

Thank God! Someone is heading back to the city an hour before I wold catch the bus. Sitting here for another two hours would drive me crazy. I hope these kids go to cram school. They keep these kids so busy doing nothing. Tomorrow will be a long day if there is no bus. Now I think I understand why Ellen rode her bike. The hour's ride would see quite short compared to the two hour stretch that takes all day to get through if you're sitting in the office. 

I think my sweat is starting to make me smell bad. If I can smell it, they sure can, loud and clear as the gym shirt I wore on that fateful day the coach made me take it off and practice without was that bad. 

Prime the snow-board girl in the city with the Teddy Bear. But what was her name? Laura? 

If I bike here tomorrow, I can relax and wear sweats. 

After lunch - students and teachers - we played three on three basketball. Teachers vs. students. 2 3rd year boys and 1 second year. They had worked out a few good moves and will make smooth players if they keep it up. They need to work on staying with it, but we had a lot of fun & sweat quite a bit. 

My arm hurts from a number of injuries. I popped my elbow again. Have to play with it wrapped. The recent punching deal with the bone is a bit sore, but I'll be O.K..

Funny thing, when I was younger, it was very difficult to focus. Learning an instrument or a foreign language just wouldn't be easy. Now, focusing seems much easier. 

This all comes to mind as the noises of children come bouncing down the hallway. They are practicing singing and playing some kinds of musical instruments. 

So that's it. August 28. Different time, different place. Fresh off the boat, jet, whatever.
And what's changed? Other than not caring if I ever had another rice ball again in my life? 

My attitude toward the food has changed. Local dishes tend to be way too labor intensive. For the effort that goes into chopping, slicing, and then destroying any natural flavor that might have been there before the assault with msg infused sauces...I've passed on learning how to cook native recipes. 

Vomit? Last time I did that in any spectacular way, the explosive mess inspired Wifey to pick up a stylin' pair of these:

Admittedly a little snug, but definitely good insurance. 



  1. You kept a journal? Damn!

    How's the elbow nowadays?

    My dislocated shoulder had never been the same...some shit never heals and I'm pleased I ate b4 this post came into view...thank God for small favors....or maybe big ;)

    1. Elbow is okay, thanks. Have never had the luxury of a full range of motion that most people enjoy. When I've forgotten to compensate for that, I've had problems.

      Journals...never though much about the value of keeping them. At least not until getting pissed off about stuff and realizing that, no, I'm not crazy, just hitting my threshold for putting up with shit and need to do something about it.

      Never knew what burnout was until trying to manage visiting more than 20 schools a year. Found it really hard to relate to people who were in stable and constant environments.

      Was just cleaning out some stuff and found a few scraps of paper that I'd written stuff down on. Looks like the paper came from a small note pad, whatever was on hand at the time in the school I'd been sent out to that week. One of the only reasons I can think that I bothered to write this down was to find some way of keeping it together.

      Thoughts probably aren't so different from what goes on in other people's heads when first jumping into their ALT gig. My honeymoon was over pretty quick when I realized, after being explicitly informed, that I was just a throwaway. Did what I could to make my mark at the time and then got out.

      When I left, they replaced me with two people, one who went home during the holiday and never bothered to come back. It's not like I hadn't try to tell the people I was working with that they needed to stop treating their ALT like a pair of disposable chopsticks. Don't know if they ever learned.

    2. "Found it really hard to relate to people who were in stable and constant environments."

      I "get" this.

      I never let anyone know too much about me. I know it appears otherwise with my blog but folks don't know the half. "Badboy" is a fucking cliche'....I was not worthy of the coolness that implies. I was a fucking monster. I do not deserve my current situation and sometimes think God forgot to hit the switch on me. I got 53 unpublished posts. 53.

      I don't trust people Will. I can't relate to "comfortable" folks. Average run of the mill normal folks...I can't relate at all. I gotta pretend to though.

    3. Not letting anyone know too much...the blog forum has a way of attracting people who are interested and may 'get it' instead of the offhand dismissal from people within the immediate physical realm.

      The 'Badboy' imagine/brand isn't something I can claim to be familiar with other than seeing graphics on t-shirts and skateboards. Now, it looks like it stands for MMA and a lot of other stuff. All I know is, talking trash about what anyone is wearing is not a good idea...unless that is the idea.

      53...53 is a lot of posts. Have to admit, now that I know, I'd be disappointed not to have the opportunity to read them. However, trusting that to the drive-by reader and the world, your concern is understandable.

      Your blog is a 'confession'...that I got. But not at first 'cause I wasn't quite paying attention and was a bit queasy looking at stuff, like when McD took out BK in the drive-through and plenty of what you write.

      But I keep coming back. Cause there's something there. The blood-chill-monster-vibe, yeah, that I get. I'm about degree of separation from something like that. But that's not it...there's more.

      There's more...

      I can't think of many run-of-the-mill people I've been around. Then again, maybe that's a curse of being excited about this one shot at life that I've got; it's all new and it only happens once. Then it's over.

      Yeah...there is more. From what I understand, you are equipped with a really healthy neural network. It's what you've got. And you are managing it well. Considering the fact that your caretakers may have been unaware of exactly how bright you are (even if they had been, it's kind of hard to imagine knowing what to do)...the resources for 'coping' with the 'gifted' are, from what I understand, are still limited. To this day.

      (Okay...this response is getting longer and longer)

      My 'gotta pretend' is, in part, duet to the fact that I've always had issue with emotions, self-esteem, and social skills. Despite the fact that I can be extremely empathetic, I have no idea as how to respond. My self-esteem is on the very low side. Yet my social skill (no 's') comes in the way of being able to 'listen' or 'hear' in a space where many other people do not. But I don't have that much to worry about, because my 'gift' is mild. Thank-fucking-god.

      My guess is that when you were 'retained in the regular classroom' that you 'experience[d] severe emotional distress'. Which kids of blows me away considering that you hail from Boston, an area rumored to have a heck of a lot more resources than most other parts of the Great Nation.

      Okay, back to the now and the remaining 53 of what happens in-between. Conundrum.

      Knowing how to 'pretend'- for the most part - saves a lot of grief. But having a place to carry on, that's the part where, if were not lucky enough to have been recognized and brought into club or whatever, then we're kind of on our own in a way. Where we are.

      Fifty-three...when this blog started, it was only five. Almost everything that goes up here is like a room of GI Joes, out of the nowhere and all ready to go...oh yeah!

  2. Wait, what?! Am I missing something or did your 'vomit' come out your backside or pee yourself? Those are adult diapers that the wife got your right?

    I wish I was better at vomiting, it would make my drunken idiots nights go much easier. But those happen far less often the older I get.

    1. (Warning: A little gross)

      The projectile vom-juice went into the bucket I was holding. When a norovirus breaks out (not that uncommon here) diapers are just the thing for diarrhea. My experience with food poisoning and other fecal related episodes have been pretty much limited to Japan. When I'm about to spew, under typical conditions, I can at least hold it down till I get to the toilet. Not in the case of the bug that gets picked up here.

  3. The best kind of cooking to do here is the kind you did back home. The locals love it because it's different and you come off like a hero. I guess with that line of thinking, you'll have to master a few of your favorite dishes before you head back for good so you can impress the locals there ;)

    I have definitely vomited more in my adult life in Japan than back at home, mostly due to 80-proof, but a couple of times due to food poisoning...

    1. Surprising how common food poisoning seems to be.

      Once, and only once, I woke up in a urine-soaked hotel bed after one of my first night's out drinking what was purported to be whiskey. On the train back out to nowhere, one of my fellow ALTs, a girl from New York, recognized what I had as 'the shakes'. The way she said it, with her 80-proof was like she was accustomed to being around people who hit that wall after playing hard.