everyone knows bullshit is just a little hussy...

i have become incredibly apt at plucking my own nose hairs with my bare hands.  Now, i can get three, sometimes even four hairs at once all with a single flick of the wrist.  I have nowhere to brag about this.  No one with which to bask in my tactile glories.  Certainly no one to give me a hi-five after the eye-watering deed has been done.  i am alone in my accomplishments; much like how Albert Einstein, Jesus Christ or Lady Gaga.  Just too grand to understand. 

i'm bored.

i can feel my brain rubbing against the back of my eyeballs. 
And it's ichy.
I need to scratch, ney, claw at my dorsal ocular to satiate this most unpleasant sensation!

i have begun, heavily chagrined, to teach at middle schools.  it is for a mere three months mind you, nothing to shake a tallywacker at, but it is happening all around me nonetheless.  Yes, middleschool is happening around me.  it's prepubescent pangs rattle the cheaply plastered walls.  it's uninhibited angst terrorizes the graffitti girded desks.  It's social awkwardice scraps its nails across this chalkboard we call humanity; and it's screech peirces the very depths of my soul.  God, i hate middle school.

now, i'm not one to complain...but i am one to rant, which is a lot like complaining with a greater tendancy to dance the atop the semipermeable line we've drawn to designate sanity.  there is just something about middle schoolers that gets my mountain goat.  unlike grade schoolers, they've passed that age where their antics and misadventures can be considered adorable.  But unlike highschoolers they are not mature enough to sit down and have a good chat with over a cup of jo or a mug of beer.
no, they are neither of those good things.
and to be neither of a good thing is rarely a good thing.
they are old enough to not laugh at poop jokes but not old enough to know they probably should.

they take themselves seriously in a way that no one else ever will.

i'm sure some would say that i shouldn't talk because i too was once one of these concoctions of knees and elbows; awkward and yet confident in my understanding of the universe.  and to such heysayers i say 'yes, i was once a middle schooler'

and that is the most depressing thing of all.

too think i once took myself seriously is to think that once Sarah Palin attempted to run for president.

But, i fail to digress.

having all my classes canceled for the day (again) i have found myself thumbing through webpage after webpage aimless meandering the web in a most sinful attempt to murder time.

and now, here i am.

i have actually bored myself into blogging.

it's like eating sand due to lack of any other sustenance.

So kiddies, these next three months will hopefully result in more one on one time with my bastard step child Blog. however, there is a paradox.  Blogging out of lack of something better to do will surely result in an unsightly blog to bloggable incidences ratio.  i will run out of things to write before i run out of writing.  so, to remedy this i have decided to fall back a an even older bastard stepchild of mine; bullshit.

yes, bullshit, the crutch to ever broken bone; surely you will dance and sing for me to help fill these lonely hours.  why maybe, if my spirits are good, i might even join in the little ditty myself.  we'll swing and spin until we're so dizzy we collapse into a pile of giggles and ever so innocent misunderstandings.  maybe our hands will touch as we both reach for the same macaroon.  we'll blush, and experience so many complicated emotions.  but in the end Bullshit will just leave me for some other wanton it scraps off the back alleys into g-string and tramp jacket.  but i won't feel sorry for myself.  i'll have seen it coming; everyone knows bullshit is just a little hussy...


Filth has always been a leading muse for me...

It is called "napkin Shirt" and it is my latest fabric creation. Frankly i'm surprised it took me so long to come up with the idea.

i first began sewing my own clothes about three some years ago prompted by my own inability to find apparel that match my particular tastes.  another catalyst was my drive to create something; and having failed at art, literature, and music; there were only so many straws left to cling to.  Since then i have managed to complete my entire wardrobe via needle and thread.  outside of my work clothes everything i own is, in many senses of the phrase, tailor made.

the napkin Shirt is my simplest design yet.  it is nothing more than a square of cotton fabric folded in half and sewn up the sides with about four inches left open on each side for the arms.  nonetheless, it excites me so.

i wish i could have the gonads to say i set out to accomplish this creation; but like most things that stumble their way from my mind to the realworld; it was happenstance at most planned. Last week i purchased a chunk of whitish fabric to make a shirt for the summer; having the shape already in mind in my head. I finished the sewing itself within two episodes of the Simpsons; and was already sporting a shirt as i hunkered down to watch the third.

Not a big fan of the allwhite; i felt the need to dye my new creation.  But how...and with what?

Lucky for me, a chocolate donut i was eating at the moment was quick to solve this quandary for; as donuts are so often prone to do.

And so, as i wrested the chocolaty residue from my fingertips via the crinkles of my new garment, the napkin Shirt was born.  it's dyeing will follow a pattern that, in retrospect, most of my other shirts have more or less already followed.  It will be decorated and by the leavings and drippings i drop when donning it. A most cacaphonic kaleidoscope of mud puddles and jelly donuts.  A sordid mappa mundi of my deralict customs and slipshod habits.  it's gonna smell like beer and beer.  I am very excited for this whole thing to come to fruit.  Filth has always been a leading muse for me...


oh, and as a sidenote; my turtle is not dead...

Blogs, much like pet turtles which lack the ability to obtain their owners attention when they have been forgotten to be fed, will inevitably go through periods of near starvation if not actual ceasation due to their pitiable situation.  yesterday evening, a stain on my living room coffee table that mildly resembled a disembodied thumbs up inspired me to take up the electronic pen once again.  and so to my cadaverious blog I have returned; ready to rub its head, scratch under its chin and coo sweet empty apologies into its tattered ear lobes.

Still, mind you, in the very fact that i am returning for the return, i am in no way implying that i have come with some grub to scratch about.  but seeing as it has not been an uneventful month a good skimming off the top should satiate my blogs belly.


We five have dubbed our new house The Death Star; or at least i have dubbed it and the others have felt no need to argue.  and why would they?  there clearly is no spaceship cooler than that which can destroy planets in the blink of an eye.  except of course for the Magic School Bus. 

We have been gifted with two frigerators; one black one white; named Darth Vader and Storm Trooper respectively.

To the left of the Death Star lives the Furukawas; a quaint 50something couples whose existence is restricted to the block and a half radius from their house from which i've never seen them leave.  the husband works in a small welding shop kiddykorner their house where he spends all day welding one peice of metal to another to sell as supplies to the Gundum factory up north.  mrs. Furukawa is a most deleightful ceaseless knit of chuckles; one crochetting on the previous in one swift twist of the wrist.  i imagine if she were an insturment she would be a bagpipe; with each note of a word being backed up by the droning giggle in the background.  we have had many a long hubbub on from our respective doorways and i just find them both the beesknees.

I love having nieghbors.  but i am hesitant.  we are by no means a simple folk and i am worried are rancorous activities might make us swift enemies of those in the vicinity.  however mrs. Furukawa's comments regarding a street cone we acquired on a festive outing then abandoned in our doorway leads me to beleive things will be alright between the houses.  that, and coming home one day to find the Furukawa's doorstep littered with boxes on which was written in Japanese letters "golden poop" (with an illustrative drawing to clear up any misconception) tells me that the inevitable happenstance mishap from our side will be greated with a concordant snicker from the other.

And so the year of the Death Star has not just begun but is in motion.  and will hopefully roll into a snowball of wackiness of which i should have plenty to write about.  oh, and as a sidenote; my turtle is not dead...


i really love the bastards...

A high-speed collision with a ten-year old was a memorable end to my six month contract teaching at grade schools in Sakai city.  it also tore a nice hole in my longjohns and suitpants as well as stamping two large festering wounds on my knee and elbow.  little Nishi-kun, how you survived that crash is a mystery to medical science.

"Tag": don't let it happen to your children.

Now i am officially on vacation.  huddled in my kotatsu gulping coffee i contemplate the day passed previous.  my first Monday off was spent battling the immigration office, the travel agency, my dispatch company, realtors and my bank account.  there were no surviver.

I have secured my next work contract.  i am using the same dispatch company as before; a rare move amongst foreigners.  the pay is crap but i will get August and half of December free (unpaid) but free.  this will allow me to do something i have wanted to do for awhile; bum around Germany and possibly Denmark for a month,  improving my German and taking some wonderful hikes.  in December i can plane back to my hometown and enjoy a snowy New Year with family, friends and dark beer. this will be a year of travel.

As for April's work; once again i have scheduled myself to labor in the dungeons of grades Five and Six.  Shackled to the chalk board afor thirty some children on the cusp of puberty I will bear their unabashed repugnance for learning of all ilk in a furious attempt to relay to them the importance of that chunk of cell-mass sloshing around inside their skull-space.  All while the head Japanese teacher slouches in the back allowing his eyes to glaze over as he rigorously inspects the inner workings of his nostrils with the tip of his pinky.

I say this now, but in all truth i really love the bastards...


and inevitably drive eachother mad...

 A roof above the head and below the ass a bed.

And so begins the cumbersomely enjoyable task of moving.  with a roof and numerous walls secured for the start of April, i have spent the last few days analyzing the logistics of moving my crap.  my pechant for pack-rattery has left me with tables of trash topped with heaps of worthlessness. my bed is made of nicknacks.  my table is a broken television set. 

As my first peice of luggage, i have purchased a packet o f twenty x-some gallon garbage bags.  the rule is, if i can't remember why i have it, out the window it goes.

The whole housing readjustment happend very suddenly.  though this is not to lessen the openness with which me arms are for it. on one fair weathered weekend a few moons back, my roomies and another pair of friends and i set out house hunting on seperate ventures for seperate places in seperae parts of town.  so it was only natural that we all ended up deciding to live together.

My present rub-a-dub-dub situation has me homing with two other guys.  we have spent an delightful year or so together in a set-up that has worked beautifully for ineffable reasons.  our relationship is like the dots of a Seurat painting: up close all one can see is the dirty dishes and unwashed britches.  only when one stands back can they see how the elaborate network of beer cans and toilet paper form a most stunning park scene.  in the foreground a round-rumped woman sporting a parasoul.  in thew background, some jackass kids no-doubt making a mess of things.  yes, this is truly a metaphor for our relationship.  Ass in the back; rump in the front.

Sequestered in our 7 tatami matt room live myself and Larry my manfriend.  Despite the hickish nature of his name, he is in fact Japanese.  Though this should not deter a countryside image from arising.  he is very much the hillbilly in his own oriental way.  he will often lapse into fits of "awa-ben", a rustic dialect from the uninhabited island of Shikoku.  We enjoy our days buried in the kotatsu, discussing food, life, and imbecility.

Across the kitchen lives our vertically excentric roommate Droopy.  Droopy and i have been chumly ever since our Fukuoka days when we worked inside a box yelling idioms at Japanese housewives and business men.  Droopy has a tendency for random gyrations and is a user of "the funk".  we often collide in the kitchen in a din of snappy comebacks and calculated misscalcuations.  he is the G-Funk to my S-Man.

As an entourage of three, we will move.  and to the extasy of my eyeballs the madness will be supplemented by two more fun-loving characters.

I first met Niki and Taashi inside a karaoke box huddled around a trough of beer.  Nikki speaks her mind to the delight of my eardrums and is always up for an interesting time.  in the past few weeks we have experienced both "cardboard" and "banjo" parties.  we look forward to many more of this ilk. Taashi is covered in tatoos; an inky jacket that mismatches his personality to a T; quiet, shy, and generally perverted.

These two additions to the home-spun gang will surely make for a tapestry worth tapping.  i can't wait for the big move when we smash our lives together in our barely three bedroom house.

Through some hard negotiations and disgruntled faces, we 5 managed to obtain a most luxurious house for a thousand bucks a month (divided five ways, not too shabby).  in our new home, the apple of my eye is the living rom.  the japanese are a people not accustomed to sharing space with other humans.  so they rarely see it fit to build an apartment with more than one bedroom, let alone one with a living room.  afterall, what would they use a living room for?  aside from creating social tension and fostering hate.

So it goes without saying that my present apartment has no such rumpus room.  instead we just loiter around the fridge chitchatting until our knees give in.  but with the new place, i finally score an area to spread my social net and rake in some tasty conversations.  i'll harvest my roommates.  we'll pick eachother's brains; and inevitably drive eachother mad...


than bear the embarassment of blowing their nose in public...

Things to blow my nose on other than tissue:
shopping receipts
knitted gloves
air (farmer's blow)

Oh, i've used them all!  why oh why does this incessant dripping of mucous not curtail? grrrr.

At present i suffer from two nostril relate tabacles; the running and the stuffy.  The stuffy nose only comes out at night; at the instant i become vertical.  as soon as my head hits the pillow it is like my nose closes to business for the night.  doors locked, lights out; end of another fine day in the oxygen trade.

On the worse days, the seal will be so tight within my nasal cavities, that with every swallow of saliva my ear's pop like i'm ascending on an airplane.
Luckily, the saliva doesn't last very long.  With my nose not taking applicants; everybody lines up at the mouth.  in a permanent state of ajar my mouth desperately rushes to take in that precious precious oxygen throughout the entire night.

and in the morning: the aftermath

my tongue, a sandy forgotten ghost town of dehydrated tastbuds.  my uvula hangs its head haggard from eighthours of relentless wind. somewhere behind a molar, a tumbleweed rolls.

tragic: my nasal cavaties. 

However this pales in comparison to the unresting drippage i deal with throughout my waking hourse. with the runny nose i must be always vigile as i never know when a snotty wave will come gushing forth for a surprise attack (and they do gush).  on my persons i must always carry tissues or toilet papers.  if not then i am forced to utilize one of the options listed above. 
Sniffling is not an option for me.  sniffling just results in a more horrendous flow later on.  or, even worse, the dreaded nodal flow; when what was to drain out the nostrils decides to take the back exit.  egades.

the japanese Love the nodal flow.  it is their decided solution to drippage of anykind.  if ever i get a sniffler next to me on the train it is almost always followed by a shameless gulp.  the japanese, it seems, would rather swollow their own boogers than bear the embarassment of blowing their nose in public...


a landing-bird's-eye veiw of all the splendor...

For the first time this year, the balls of my feet got to graze the knitted webbing of one of my dearest friends; the slackline.  the first contact was bittersweet as my delicate tootsies bared the thirty degree weather unhindered by the sockshackles.  my toes were not as dexterious as they usually are.  and my heels needed to be rotated.  nevertheless: magic.

Slackining is, in a (hyphenated) word, tightrope-walking; with your rope being about five centimeters in width and a mere yard above the groun.  the thing itself is more ad hoc than the image it may bring up to those who are unfamiliar with the (?)sport.  two strong trees, thirty feet of webbing and a baker's double of carabeeners are all that is need to enjoy a day of slack(line)ing.

Naturally the first walk across the slackline is more of a tumble; but after a few months anyone can work it up to a saunter.  sadly though, even after six years my gavotte yet has some wicked kinks in it.  still, the continual adjustment of minute muscles to keep astride makes slacklining both interesting and relaxing.  i recommend everyone try it at least twice.

Slinging a rope betwixt two trees for a trot has been a hobby of mine long before i started crashing the gates of japan.  but toting me line around Kyushu Island proved fruitless thanks to a lack of shrubbery.  i had a good 18 months of stagnation with not a twig to hitch my line to.

But here in Osaka...everything is different.

For the second year in a row my stopping grounds have been Osaka Castle Park; and it is in this haven where i chose to pop my slackline's 2011 cherry.

and what a haven.

in the land of comfortable conformity; of business and bologne; the osakans have found a place to be all kinds of fucking weird.  allow me to recap my suroundings as i wandered through Osaka Castle Park to my usual roost:

flocks of grade-schoolers manipulating unicycles
40 year olds dressed in clothes from the fifties (to put the Fonz to shame)
african drums...and a violin
a confusing pasttime that utilizes what appears to be a cross between a pair of rollerblades and a very small skateboard
tight tight jogging shorts
dogs in baby-carriages (sadly seen more often then wanted)
spear fighting
and a poor boy standing all alone singing his heart out to the castle moat

i could die here.

this is the oasis of woopsy culture that i have been searching for in japan.  one could find a bench and sit for hours (i have).  the pathways and roadways are simply shellaced with interesting if not baffling peoples and doohickies.  and there is nothing better than precariously propping myself up upon my slackline and getting a landing-bird's-eye veiw of all the slendor...