Thursday, August 31, 2006

Freak Week

Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the fact pluto was nixed as a planet, or maybe it is me who is loosing her mind...but this past week has truly been the Week of Freaks. Here are a few:

First, our resident freak...the dawg! Mouse lasted three minutes tops.

freaks 3

① Early Monday morning while we were walking to the train station, some lady was all leaned over the sewer grate disposing of a bowl of some liquid. When our eyes met she gave me a super-di-dirty look and tried to hide what she was doing.

② My part time job very loosely includes counseling. An untrained counselor, go figure. Most people stay away, but this week I had a guy come in. A non-Japanese guy who smelled really bad. He was out of work and not happy about it. Ranting and raving, explaining that he has lived in the largest cities all over the world, and what was he doing here (yadda yadda yadda). I smile, nod, smile, say something like, Sooo you read any good books recently? (this is what untrained counselors do...they change the subject). Then he says he just read Angela's Ashes or Somebody's Bones and that is the story of his life, let me tell ya! I made the mistake of giving him my e-mail address (I do that to get rid of people too) and now he has been mailing me these long e-mails. He's less a freak than a misplaced foreigner. It's just not fun when they come on all overbearing like that.

③ J and I are shopping in a supermarket and we're standing at the place where you use tongs to pick up whatever food you want and put it in these plastic containers. They have fried chicken pieces, sausages, fried fish cakes, stuff like that. Suddenly, this old lady--who could have easily passed for a pirate btw (squinty eye, peg leg-ish hobble)--comes over to where I am and uses both hands to physicaly push me out of the way! She then demands that the woman standing next to me fill her up a container of six fish cakes. No more, no less. I am at a loss for what to do or say when J goes, "Mom three midgets just ran across that isle!" Needless to say we went chasing after the short people. And found them!

④ Walking the dog. We have these narrow river-like, open sewer-like things that run up and down both sides of the streets. Mostly they are for feeding water into all the rice fields, but water from your sink and bath also flow into them. Somehow fish survive there too. Cha-Cha has perfected the art of pooping into the river. He'll back up to it...and well, you know. If the water is high though it'll splash back up and hit him in the butt. You should see his face. It is just hilarious.

freaks two
Picture of J standing by one of those little river-ditch things. Yes, he's wearing goofy blue raincoat. But the entire schoool has them so it ain't quite as goofy when your just just like everyone else. Or is it?? And yes, occasionally bicycles and cars run off the road and into those ditches. It's quite exciting when that happens.

⑤ At the store near our house they have all these massage chairs for sale. I'd say a good dozen or so all lined up. Of course you can try them out if you want. A ten-minute walk from this store is the big hospital (I swear this is where Kingdom hospital's idea came from. I have personally suffered many times there and have told my husband that I don't care if I'm on death's door do NOT take me there, it doesn't matter if it IS just down the street). Oh, yea, I go into the store and there are all these hospital patients in pajamas and hospital robes all spread out all over these chairs vibrating at various speeds. There faces are all pasty and white, hair mussed up, zombie-like. And they all give me looks like I'm weird. Disturbing.

⑥ I walked into the room the other day and J was watching TV. I heard him mutter to himself, "I didn't know Popeye was gay." (※NOTE: He has just learned what gay means. I've yet to ask why he thinks popeye is gay.)

⑦ Walking the dog again. I get to the school. There is a path that runs between a small river and a line of trees. On the other side of the trees is the fence that surrounds the school. So me and Cha are strolling along and I see a wee little dog sniffing around by the river. He has a leash on. Oh gee, he must have run away from his owner, I think. I get closer and see something out of the corner of my eye. Over there under the trees is the owner, she squatting by the fence, not five yards away, her back is to me and she's taking a S*%#! Meanwhile, Cha-Cha has discovered the terrier and wants to be friends, I'm like come on Cha, let's get out of here! And am walking away as fast as I can. I had the willies all day long. (Edit: I was just telling a friend this and her little girl goes, I saw her! I was out there collecting cicada when I saw her taking a pee.) I swear people pee everywhere here.

freaks one
Here is the exact (Eeyuu!) spot. See those trees over to the left, well, sorta down there.
Also as an edit, I was telling my friend about my experience and her little daughter (second grade) goes, Yea I saw that lady too. I told her was nasty! So this lady does this like, alot!

There's more, the girl who walked into a bathroom in Starbucks only to scream and run out --don't know what that was about didn't see anyone come out later and the tootheless man who was playing with his this little kid and grinning wildly at me...

I'm just glad the week is over.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Confuse a Cat

Yea, that confuse-a-cat has nothing to do with nothing. We are watching some old Monty Python sketches. This stuff gets better and better. So sharp.

The other day I spent four bucks on a dog toy, came home and gave it to the dog...three minutes later...

Summer vacation is nearly over. Very mixed feelings. Yes, I can't wait to start writing again. But I'll miss having J around.

"I think other people should make up their own minds for me." MP.

Homework almost done. Here is a light he made.

Kinda neat.

"How to fling an otter" MP

Did I tell you I finished Frankenstein? All in all, I think I enjoyed it more than Dracula. It had more story going for it. And Mary was right great at getting inside the head of a madman. I totally believed that. But no well stocked lab...and don't get me started about the Bride.

Okay, I gotta go, the Crunchy Frog skit is on.

Monday, August 28, 2006

AW Blog Chain Number Five

Atomic Bear (I just love that, Atomic Bear!) has put up his blog for Chain #5. It's entitled College Food and Beyond. If you're sitting around pondering what you're gonna have for dinner tonight, I suggest giving it a read. Yum!

I'm much like Atomic Bear and can eat just about anything. Instead of doing a post about my favorite foods, I think I'll do one about some of my most memorable culinary experiences. My life and my food eras.

My very first memory of food was when I was quite small--three or four years old, I believe. We lived in Alaska and my parents often went salmon fishing at a nearby river. The memory is very sketchy but the remnants that remain are quite vivid. The old station wagon with the back open. Mom and dad over there messing with their poles, equipment and what not. Me? I have found the stash of little baby shrimp that they are planning to use as bait and am furiously eating them all with my little fingers. Next, one of them finds me and calls the other over. They are a tad bit upset and amused that there will be no fishing due to their daughter eating all the bait.
aw 5 drool Mmmm...bait...

When I was in elementary school, I must not have eaten a lot of dinner because for a few years there I woke up almost every night starving. I had a thing for cheese, so what I ended up doing (instead of eating more dinner, the obvious thing) was every night before I went to bed, I'd place a single plastic-covered slice of cheese into one of the books at the head of my bed. Later, when I woke up in the middle of the night, my stomach cramping in hunger pangs, I would flip through a couple of books until my treasure cheese eventually fell into my lap.

It was also near that time that we moved to South Carolina and I became friends with these two sisters who lived next door. We got along quite well and quickly formed this secret society. I don't know what the Rosicrucians or the Illuminati do, but our sole purpose was to take turns swiping a bag of Kool Aid from our mothers' cabinet and sneaking it to our secret fort. The only rule was that the Kool Aid had to be one of those big bags, the ones mixed with sugar already, not one of those wimpy (nasty tasting) add your own sugar kinds. In the safety of our hide out, we'd all take turns licking our fingers and dipping into the bag until it was gone. Those were the days. I actually have a picture my mom took of the three of us. We're sitting around a cardboard table. I don't think anyone but me notices that in the picture we all have index fingers dyed purple up to the knuckle.

Then came junior high. We were in Florida then, near a beach. I think my entire junior high school diet went something like this: wake up and eat a breakfast bar for breakfast. By lunch I was pretty hungry but despite the various menus we had for school lunch I had a plan. They sold milkshakes at our school. I still can't believe that. But anyways, the cafeteria lady and I had a deal, she'd place one chocolate milkshake in the freezer an hour before lunch, by the time I got there it was juuust right...sorta frozen but not too much. Later, I would try to eat a spoonful or less of whatever mom made for dinner. I was skinny then. I could go to the beach and not hide under layers of beach towels.
aw 5 milkshake
This was my school lunch for three years.

Through high school and most of college I was a vegetarian--because my boyfriend was. In retrospect, I was more of a pizza and Ricearoni-an with the occasional cream of broccoli soup thrown in.

It wasn't until I came to Japan and discovered all sorts of international delicacies (see Atomic Bear's post) that I really came to appreciate food. Heck, I thought spinach was grown in a can until I came here. I hadn't a clue how lovely it tasted in salads either.
aw 5 spinach

Now, I fear I appreaciate food too much, if you know what I mean. I'm getting older and really need to eat better and healthier foods. One thing I try to drink everyday is aojiru. This is tree kale. I don't know if you've ever eaten kale but let me tell you the catch phrase of the most famous aojiru commercial. This dude below drinks an entire glass, makes an awful face, and then says, "Taste horrible! I wanna another!"

aw 5 aojiru
I can only drink it while plugging my nose. If the fingers slip or I have not completely rinsed my mouth out after I'm done, I tend to gag uncontrolably. It works though. I had a bleeding ulcer type thing in my stomach that no medicine the doctor gave me healed. A few days of this stuff and I was feeling right as rain. What we do for health! Now if I could just cut out all the chocolate, coffee, and beer. And start running or walking long distances, or get back into doing all that tai qi and ba gua I used to so religiously do. Habits...routines. Now, there is another post all together!

Hey, speaking of food, next up on the AW Chain is Tiffany's Smorgasbord. Mmmm...smorgasbord...