Well, it's been a long time since I've logged in here. It's summer vacation now. But I am not really doing much vacationing. My idea of a vacation would be to cruise around by myself on a motorcycle, and find a good piece of forest to pitch my tent in for the night. But I'm mostly stuck here doing housework and so on. Going to school and doing club is actually more relaxing, despite the oppressive heat and my annoying club members. Can't I take a vacation from vacation?
So here it is, half an hour before New Year's, and I'm sitting along at the table drinking whisky and wondering what the point of it all is. I spend part of every day trying to find a reason to suffer through another day, but it seems so pointless and I'm really running out of excuses. There's all these people around me, but I'm just so alone. Another year? How many more? I know I don't even have the balls to do anything about it, so why even talk about it? I'll just keep drinking myself to sleep, until one day I don't wake up.
Although I suppose it is no longer common for people to call, "Honey, I'm home!" in America when they get home from work these days, in Japan it is still common to say, "Tadaima." This literally means "right now" but in usage it means "I'm home." And whoever is in earshot will typically reply, "okaerinasai" which essentially means "welcome home." But when I come home, all I hear is "Jama!"
So I got some new bunk beds for my daughter. It's really nice actually. Up until now, the four of us all slept in one room together, which was a huge pain in the ass. But now I sleep on the top bunk and my daughter sleeps on the bottom bunk. And there other two sleep in a completely different room. It's nice because I get to put her to bed every night, and tuck her in, and read her a story. Although we only just read "Where the Wild Things Are" every night. Rather than just reading it directly, I tell her the story in greater detail. I have developed names and elaborate backstories for all of the Wild Things. If I deviate too far from the story I made up the night before, she notices and corrects me. It's cute.
So I come home from work just now. It's like 7:30 at night. I am eating dinner and my wife says to me to clean the car. The car which I personally never actually use. So I go out there and clean the car. I dump out all of their nasty shit that's all over the floors, clean the mats and vacuum all the carpets. I even busted the vacuum cleaner on all of there garbage, and then repaired it. Then I come back inside, and she gets all mad at me for cleaning the car. Like, "What kind of person would do such a thing?" is what she says to me. I can't win.
Hey, today is my wedding anniversary. Nothing to celebrate; if anything, it's a little sad.
I just overheard an interesting conversation:
Mother-in-law: "I read that people have been stealing air conditioners from retirement homes in Chiba."
Wife: " I bet it was Chinese people."
Well, we are having super heat here in Japan right now. Today it was over 40 degrees in a lot of places. My hometown of Koshigaya got to 38.8. That's a lot hotter than usual. First thing in the morning, we got up and went to a park about 30 minutes from here. They have a water maze where the walls are made from fountains and can change around at random. Of course, the kids just ran through them all, disregarding the maze aspect of it completely. But they had fun. Then, rode horses at the little pony park next to the maze. We also gave them some carrots. It was all very domestic and cute, but the best part of it was that it was over by 10AM. There was some random bitching, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Overall, I'm pretty nervous because it is obon week now and that means I don't have club for 9 straight days. I am definitely going go to go crazy hanging out here for over a week.
I went to Burger King today and had a burger called the Garlic Meat Beast. It was everything the name promised, and slightly more. It had garlic on it, and lots of meat. It had a full Whopper patty, and a chicken breast, and some sort of pork-slab. It also contained lettuce and tomato. It was pretty good actually, especially if compared to the typical double or triple whopper. The chicken-whopper combination was especially tasty; however, the presence of the pork-puck was almost meaningless. Instead, they should have included some of those nasty brown intestines they call bacon at Burger King. Anyway, it was a lot of meat, and now my farts stink.
Damn this is boring. More like frustrating. I much prefer going to school. I don't know if it's because of the kids or what, but my wife is too irritable all the time. Even when things seem to be enjoyable, it can change at any instant. With no cause or warning, sudden irrational anger pops up at random intervals. Is this what I have to look forward to for the rest of my life?
Well, today was the last day of summer school for me. I don't mind teaching summer school actually, because I like the kids. Summer school is usually not as rigorous as regular classes, so I can have more fun and fool around more. This year, I got a really easy job for summer school. It was rough for the kids though. They were given an hour to do self study on a certain range, and then given a test on that material in the next hour. This pattern was repeated for all the major subjects. So all I had to do was pass out prints and watch the study for an hour, while of course engaging in eraser-throwing and other various shenanigans, or I had to sit and watch them take tests.
And then after that was guitar club practice for 5 hours. That was pretty tiring but also enjoyable. I don't even mind coming into school on all my days off, because it's better than hanging around my house. The kids are at least nice to me and treat me like a human being.
Well, I thought I would start writing here again, now that I can be reasonably sure that no one is reading anymore. It's always easiest to bare your soul when no one is watching. But if you are reading this, please leave a comment to let me know. That being said, I have nothing to say at the moment, except for that. Good night.
The making of The Blues Brothers - How "The Blues Brothers" movie got made. Spoiler: it involved lots of cocaine.
99 life hacks - There are some good ones in here. I'm proud to say there are a few I was already using as well.
The other day we took Hana on a tour of the Kewpie Mayonnaise factory in Kurihashi, which is not too far from my house although it is also the middle of nowhere. The tour is geared towards little kids, so it opens with a stupid animation of some kids battling and evil bad-nutrition villain with mayonnaise-covered vegetables. Then you get to walk around the hallways of the factory and look down at the machines running through some windows. You get to see everything that goes into the production of the sickly sweet goo the Japanese call mayonnaise. The machines are pretty cool; they've got one that they invented for cracking eggs and separating the whites from the yolks. The whole production is mechanized; there are some people on the floor but it doesn't look like they have that much to do. Unfortunately the tour runs in reverse order, so you see the finished boxes of mayonnaise bottles being loaded into the trucks, then the bottles being put into boxes, then the finished mayo being bottled, then the bottles being made, then the mayo being mixed, then the eggs being cracked. They're really proud of their egg-cracking machine and spend a good bit of time on it, but overall there's not enough time looking at the machines and nothing at all hands-on about the tour. At the end, they lead you into this room with a big pile of lettuce in it, and give you free reign to sample any of their many salad dressings, all of which are available for purchase on your way out. They also have a big grassy knoll out in front of the factory, which I think was Hana-chan's favorite part.
Wow, I drank way too much on Friday night. It was a proper binge. I met this guy who's a friend of a friend's husband, and he's into guitar too so we went to this bar near my house that is patronized almost exclusively by musicians and other people who are into music. THe guy who runs the place is also really into music, and lets whoever comes in put their latest tracks. We got there at like 6:00 and started drinking and talking to all the people there, including this one old guy who was convinced that all jazz musicians are secretly Jews, even guys like Miles Davis, and that that somehow matters. We couldn't even figure out half of what the guy was saying. We started out drinking normal draft beer but soon moved on to Belgian Trappist, and before we knew it, it was 1:30 and we had been drinking for over 7 hours. I think I went home soon after that, but I really don't know. All I know is that the whole next day was a complete loss, I was so hung over. I got up to pee a few times but mostly just hung around in the vicinity of my bed the whole day. There was no barfing or anything like that, but a whole Saturday was wasted. Being a teacher in Japan, or even just an adult male really, means drinking several nights a week, but I very rarely feel more than a little bit groggy the next day. I blame the Belgians.
Japanese Defence - a brief summary of different perspectives on the military in Japan.
Close the Washington Monument - Admit it. The terrorists won.