29 June 2004

What is it

First, I think this is funny.

So me and the famed older brother were talking about how in certain circles, you can use the word "liberal" and it's just understood as "bad." This happened apparently at my home church when someone asked, during a church meeting, what would happen if our denomination went "liberal." Isn't it great that if you use a word long enough in relation only to your opinion, it can come to mean your opinion too?

Take, for instance, the word "country" in relation to music.

Stephen: Did you like that song?
Person: Well, it was kind of country.
Stephen: Uh, yeah?
Person: Yeah.

What does that mean?

Person: Did you like the new Five Iron Frenzy record?
Stephen: Well, I mean, it's ska.
Person: What does that mean?
Stephen: I think you know what that means.

Person A; What did you think of Michael Moore's new movie?
Person B: Well, it's Michael Moore.
Person A: ::punches Person B:: What does that MEAN?

New rule: You gotta say what you mean instead of what you think people will understand you meaning because of your political/ religious affiliations.

27 June 2004

焼肉 and 友達様

The time of my homecoming is drawing near with a big, stupid party on my parents deck, I wanted to throw out a date to see if it will work for a majority of people or not. Also, I haven't talked to mom yet. That's right, my mom needs to okay it and please laugh while I roll my eyes. Okay, how about the 14th of August? The festivities will probably start in the afternoon and continue into the night. Again, with mom's approval, there will probably be adult beverages (as many of us are adults now), but if you're not cool with that, let me know and we can talk about it. I'm working on several things of note for the party including Japanese party favors, a CD, a party-inspired dance, and probably something Panda-related. Yeah. All this for: none yen. That's right. None. すごいね!

24 June 2004

For hire

As many of you know, I'm looking for a job. And, to be honest, I want employment more than I want just about anything except of course, let's be honest, a woman and a panda bear. On Wednesday I trucked ¥510 away on the subway to interview with a company called ALTIA Central. I would put the link for their website up here but it's kind of dumb. ALTIA-san and I talked for about two hours, subjects ranging from religion to ESL in Japan to my computer. It was wonderful. I really enjoyed the conversation and really jived with what I understood the goals of the company to be. So that was great. Anyway, even though I might not be hired by them as they are lacking in space for new employees in September, they e-mailed me requesting a slew of things including a couple of photos. This is one of the photos that I took but didn’t send. I just think it looks good next to "I want a woman and panda bear."

Today, at the end of our kids class, I walked past Dan giving out snacks to the boys he was teaching and heard: “And Yuto doesn’t get a snack because he hit me in the nose.”

Dan and I also been teaching at the Elementary School that’s pretty close to the church. I’ll save you the dumb ALT stories about being treated like a celebrity and how great that is, but bring you these three gems: 1) During lunch with the students today, I had to eat some liver that was just horrible so I was trying to give it to the kids, but no one would take it. One of our kids from one of the church classes was there so I asked her to help me out. She gave it to this fat kid she was sitting next to. You rule, Ayamei. 2) After lunch, the polite whispering and giggling about our accents and general largeness gave way to about five or six kids standing around us just touching our hair and laughing. One of the kids was comparing me to a monkey or the way that Dan and I eat to the way that monkeys eat, I think. 3) Dan and I went to the Tea ceremony club afterwards and we had to sit on our knees for like a half-hour. When it came time for me to stand up, I seriously couldn’t feel my feet. It was just like I had dead weights attached to my legs. I got about half-way down the stairs and had to stop because I was about to fall down. Unfortunately, the principal was right behind us so I looked like an idiot. Tea ceremony club was fun, don’t get me wrong, but dang. Get me a chair or something.

Also, I had my first Japanese birthday party. My Tuesday night students are great. We ate cake with chopsticks and they sang me Happi Birusudae. It ruled. They rule. Most of them are doctors too.

David Bazan sings about going to heaven in the live version of "Slow and Steady Wins the Race" from the Summer tour: "And I'll receive a mansion/ Right next to Mel Gibson"

23 June 2004


Look at what I finally figured out how to do: 私は日本語で書けますよ。That's right, I got my computer to finally write in Japanese.  But Dude, you say, that's great for you, but I can't read Japanese.  Well, I have the answer: Babelfish except, it's not so hot. It translates the above statement: You can write me in Japanese, when, in fact it says, I can write in Japanese! I don't know why it's confused. Also this, 私は日本語で書くから私はあなたより元気だ。This translates correctly, but I know for a fact you should say: 私は日本語で書くから私のほがあなたより元気だ。Oh the humanity.

21 June 2004


Here in Fukuoka, a typhoon has come upon us, but, unfortunately, no cows have blown past. It's just windy and the wind is causing the rain to come in my window.

"Dodgeball" beat out "The Terminal" over the weekend. I think this is worth celebrating.

It's not so much that I think "The Terminal" is a Nationalist film (though I do think that), it's more so that it just looks stupid. Granted, I haven't seen it and probably won't ever see it, but I don't think there's too much to get. Lovable Eastern European who can't speak English gets stuck in airport because of some ludicrious/ improbable visa problem, right? Come on. This from the people who brought us "Shindler's List" and, well, any great movie that Tom Hanks has been in (although, now as I think about it, Tom Hanks has been in more than one Nationalist film). Regardless, the movie is sub-par, folks. I (with a majority of American moviegoers) would rather see Ben Stiller with a handlebar moustache playing dodgeball.

I'm listening to all the live MP3s that Pedro the Lion has put up from the tour and they're all pretty dry. There's an acoustic version of "Bands with Managers" that is essential, but the rest of them are just, well, really dry. He needs to bring a second guitarist on the road with him.

I promise sometime in the near future to spend a whole entry saying only uplifting things.

15 June 2004


Fri 6-Aug-04

Fukuoka (FUK)
Depart 2:00 pm
Terminal D2
 to  Osaka (KIX)
Arrive 3:00 pm
289 mile(s) (465 km)
Duration: 1hr 0mn 

United Airlines
Flight: 9702
Operated by: ALL NIPPON -- NH1706

Economy/Coach Class (Seat assignments upon check-in), Airbus A321

Osaka (KIX)
Depart 5:55 pm
 to  Chicago (ORD)
Arrive 4:20 pm
Terminal 5
6564 mile(s) (10564 km)
Duration: 12hr 25mn 

United Airlines
Flight: 878

Economy/Coach Class (Seat assignments upon check-in), Dinner, Boeing 777

Total miles: 6853 mile(s) (11029 km) Total duration: 13hr 25mn (16hr 20mn with connections)

Fri 27-Aug-04

Chicago (ORD)
Depart 12:10 pm
Terminal 1
 to  Tokyo (NRT)
Arrive 3:10 pm +1 day
Terminal 1
6286 mile(s) (10116 km)
Duration: 13hr 0mn 

United Airlines
Flight: 881

Economy/Coach Class (51H), Lunch, Boeing 747-400

Tokyo (NRT)
Depart 5:55 pm
Terminal 2
 to  Fukuoka (FUK)
Arrive 7:55 pm
Terminal D2
566 mile(s) (911 km)
Duration: 2hr 0mn 

All Nippon Airways
Flight: 2145
Operated by: AIR NIPPON

14 June 2004

Japanese dentistry

As far as casual nothing-in-nothing-out days, this here, this has been a day to remember.

Earlier, I went to the dentist as there has been a hole in my tooth. Normally, this would be a bad thing (no offense to my former dentist back in the States, Dr. Mort or whatever), but today I was mostly happy because the work was done well under budget. And the national health coverage in Japan? Well, it took care of most of the bill. Ronald Reagan may have done many great things, but I don't think national health coverage was one of them. I suppose he can be excused as he was spending much of that time keeping the commies out of Latin America. And you know what, he did a fine job keeping the commies out of Latin America. I quoted W in that earlier post primarily because, though I may be a liberal and a supporter of many things like national health coverage, I am first a Christian. And Ronald Reagan too shared in the glorious hope, so I rejoice in his death.

Following the dentist (line break), I went to the beach to study Japanese. Between reading this week’s story about a duck and studying my 10 Kanji for this lesson, I went swimming. Maybe standing in the water, looking out into the Pacific Ocean, the waves — a pulse: maybe all of this is the deepest natural theology I have ever experienced. Because if we learned nothing from our poetry and Bible classes it is this: everything is metaphor. You too, dear reader.

Which reminds me that I have had the pleasure of reading two incredibly compelling portfolio introductions from my former classmates who recently completed degrees in Creative Writing from my beloved alma mater. Truth poured from my computer screen. One day, I hope to write like these ladies.

Lastly, and second to lastly, I bought shorts for cheap, used my credit card, and went to a Bible study at Fukuoka University. I was able to understand a little more tonight. The war is only a series of battles.

12 June 2004


"Now death has done all that death can do, and as Ronald Wilson Reagan goes his way, we are left with the joyful hope he shared. In his last years he saw through a glass darkly. Now he sees his savior face to face." George W. Bush on Ronald Reagan

10 June 2004

No, that's not funny

Our English classes hit an all-time low today when our group of three 7 to 10 year-old boys was supposed to be drawing pictures of elephants. Instead of drawing a picture of an elephant, Keiji thought it would be funny to stand on the table, drop his pants, and wave his penis at the other boys. Fortunately, I was sitting behind him the first time this happened. Dan got him to sit down, but after about two minutes of drawing, he got up to drop his pants again, this time mooning everyone. Taku-kun, who has recently had a problem poking people in the anus, immediately hopped out of his chair and tried to poke Keiji. They were all giggling hysterically.

My English class also had a pretty crappy turnout. No one finished the assignment and when I repeatedly asked them about it, Aoi-san (our resident Otolaryngologist) got really uncomfortable and started sweating.

There may be a typhoon this weekend. I intend to report on it hourly should the waters rise and DK and I get trapped in the apartment house.

07 June 2004

on face is sweet,

Okay, today I told DK I would never post my poetry on this here blog, but I had to write a haiku for my Tuesday night English class. Of course, it is in Japanese, but it's very (loosely) a haiku. So I'm freaking proud and will now publish the English translation (which is not a Haiku):


Summer rain
on face is sweet,

Oh yeah.

I rule because: This weekend, I bought a fan for 800¥ and tied it to the back of my scooter with just the cord. People been talking about how great Ronald Reagan was, but my question is: Did Ronald Reagan ever tie a freaking fan to the back of his scooter? I think we all know the answer to that question.

I don't rule so much because: On the same scooter, today, I just about lost my foot on a construction barrier. I also in an over-excited Japanese speaking fit, asked a woman today how old she was, rather than what year she was in school.

Also, Hagino san, our beloved translator, told me blatantly that marrying a Japanese woman was not in the cards for me. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one seems to be that I can't speak Japanese.

06 June 2004


Hello, everyone.

There is very little to report, but I'm tired of this 'burbs picture being at the top of the page. I mean, enough is enough.

By the way, juice is on sale at the Nishitetsu Sutoa. 105¥ a shot. I bought five liters.

02 June 2004

The burbs

The Burbs is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. End transmission