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you say herd, I say gang

Just as I stepped off the ferry w/ my map, a deer walked up and snatched it out of my hands. These Miyajima deer are a shifty lot-I saw 8 of them chasing an italian tourist down the shopping arcade.

this is what my students look like

PE uniform

Since they don't shower after PE, they spend most of the day in their PE uniforms. This poster is telling them not to look so messy.


Wii is the most fun you can have w/ clothes on. One of my coworkers bought wii fit - yoga, balance games, dance games, hula hooping - I was good at balancing & yoga, but somehow I managed to hula hoop myself off the balance pad.

The past couple of days have been a little frustrating, so I'm glad I didn't stay in tonight. This morning I finally got emails from the hotel booking services, apparently it is impossible to get anything in Kyoto for under $250 a night at the end of March. If I was traveling w/ friends, I'd skip Kyoto, but it's my mom and this is probably the only time she'll ever visit japan.

the plan:
2 days in Hiroshima (actually, Miyajima)
2 days in Kyoto
3 days in the frozen north
2 days in Tokyo

My mom originally wanted to go as far south as Nagasaki, I kept telling her that Japan was really long & I live way at the top bit, but she didn't really believe me until she visited the travel agency and they LOLed at her when she said she wanted to visit Nagasaki AND Aomori. LOL.

Even though I told my mom that a trip to Nagasaki was chotto... I secretly really want to go there, and I am a little disappointed that I probably won't make it down there.

(the Baptists taught me that it was "Jesus'" and Denis Johnson would agree, but I think I've seen some "Jesus's" around. That can't be right.)


Japan - the last 6 months

As of today, I have one day less than 6 months left in japan. Of course, since my plan b involves staying for comiket, it might really end up being 6 months and 3 days. There are 14 books (12 unread, 2 1/2 finished) on my bookshelf. I also have a ton of food that needs to be eaten and a himitsu cupboard stuffed w/ recyling - cardboard boxes, packaging, magazines - the magazines will probably be smuggled out to a conbini trash bin, but the boxes might be left as a lovely surprise for the next person who has this apartment. "Welcome to Japan! Here's a cardboard box and some mold. Ganbatte."

None of the books I have left are really what I want to read right now.

the books:

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov (too Russian)

At Swim-Two-Birds - Flann O'Brien (was recently the subject of an article in the new yorker and now not only do I feel like I should have read it already, but I also don't feel like reading it at all.)

The Road - Cormac McCarthy (friscalating dusklight)

Wind, Sand and Stars - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (this one might go to the dentist's waiting room w/ me tomorrow.)

Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston (don't care much for dialect)

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore (I've been told I'd love it and I'd get all of the jokes thanks to my baptist bible education.)

Island of the Sequined Love Nun - Christopher Moore (came w/ Lamb, no desire to read it.)

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Historian soured me on literary thrillers.)

Beloved - Toni Morrison (depressing)

The Dud Avocado - Elaine Dundy (can't take it to school w/ me, it needs a book cover.)

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell (might read over the weekend if I finish BBC I, Claudius.)

Light in August - William Faulkner (depressing, oh my god dialect)

started, not finished:
House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski (too big for the bus, not exciting/scary enough to get me off the internet at home.)

The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs - Irvine Welsh (so far, surprisingly dull.)


In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

A boy once yelled at me because I said that Beulah's When Your Heartstrings Break was the only Elephant 6 album I ever really loved. According to Pitchfork, it's the 10th anniversary of Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

People say that it's one of those love it or hate it albums, but I've always felt pretty, um, neutral about it. I've been told that my inability to "get" ITAOTS means that I have no soul. It's not true, I think that my lack of a soul is a completely different, unrelated issue. Correlation & causation, you know.

"I like the title track, and 'Holland, 1945' is nice."
"I said I liked it."
"It's about Anne Frank!"
"Yeah, like in 8th grade when we had to read the Diary of Anne Frank and write poems about it. I wrote a haiku."
"Oh, and that other song is pretty ok."

I guess w/o ITAOTS there would be no Colin Meloy, Arcade Fire, Okkervil River, or Beirut, so, oh, whatever, I'll give it another chance during tomorrow's hour long bus ride.

(Drag City is gone from emusic. How do they expect me to get the new Silver Jews when/if it comes out this year?)



I finally bought a new bicycle. I don't know why I waited. I knew the one that was stolen was never coming back to me.


(blue) house

Finally getting around to House of Leaves. I started it before I left for japan, but it was too heavy to pack, so it got left behind. My mother recently sent it to me, along w/ vitamins, protein bars, and cheez-its. It was a pretty good weekend, of course, almost anything would have been better than last thursday, the day my bike was stolen and I got food poisoning.

So far, the framing story is more interesting than the story about the house. If it it's bigger on the inside than on the outside, wouldn't that make it this?

lucid dreaming: “Only in New York or California do they worry about this stuff.”
This sounds a bit made up, doesn't it? Online couple cheated with each other

I'm tired. I don't know if I'm tired-sick, or just tired-tired. It might be tired-sick since I did get over 7 hours of sleep last night and a nap this afternoon. Also, all of this procrastination is exhausting.


truly truly truly outrageous

For some reason, I thought this was sweet. My recent tokyo visit was the first one w/o an elliott/arcade fire soundtrack. The mp3 player's charger was left at home, so once I was off the night bus, the sounds of the city surrounded me. Tokyo shopping lives up to its hype. I almost bought a dress that looked like this, but I didn't.

I feel exhausted, but also revived and inspired. Bookstores and coffee do that to me.

Alex James published an autobiography last month. At one time, that would have been required reading, especially since his writing is fairly amusing. Remember this? It's nice that he got the Wodehousian lifestyle he always wanted.

And in LJ news...
LiveJournal creator leaves as Six Apart fails to spin


Today was the first day of the festival. Everyone in my office pulled the city hall float. There was real pulling involved, I thought we would just be guiding it along while someone inside the float drove. I'm so exhausted.
getting it in the garageCollapse )