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...


scrape it off my shoe with a stick...

The aftermath of the house party is always found first by the barefoot, as the eyes are too squinted and sore to notice anything beyond the immediate target.  At the moment, the remains that remain across my room and kitchen floor are chunks of chopped cabbage and the occasional potato chip.

This weeks house-party-style of choice was the tradational japanese Nabe. Nabe, a most general nomeclaturing that is not rare within japanese fooderies, means "pot"; which is probably the only requirement needed to make the food.  What's left is a hodgpodge of veggies, meats, and specialized soups that are all dumped into the pot for a boil.  To make it more social; the pot, usually clay, is heated on a portable gas burner within the room where the fun fun is going down.  Once everything has been thoroughly doused, said bonneyclabber is passed around to be pecked from at the will of the partyguests.
 However the transportation of veggies from kitchen to living room usually leaves a leafy trail to return by.

I'll clean it up today.


House parties are, much to my chagrin, a rarity in this land of the rising sun.  Rather, they prefere to gather at vast restaurants in gargantuan groups; usually directly after work dressed in the labor garb of suit and tie.  This salvo of salarymen first strikes at 7, mushrooms around 9 before fizzlingout around last train.  In their wake; feilds of empty beer glasses, crags of cigarette butts, and the more than occasional street-riden office-worker too tuckered out to make the trek home.

These homebound hobos are a particular delight in Japan. A photosession of fun, these kids wouldn't wake for a pulled nose hair or a kick in the crotch.  Thouroughly saturated in sake they bare rain or shiny sprawled across the sidewalks and shrubberies of Osaka.  I stepped in one the other day and spent thirty minutes trying to scrape it off my shoe with a stick...