Things You Need to Know

I love this man.

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(I particularly love it when he wears the pants in this picture, I also love his equally festive, vegetable version of these pants.)

His name is Mauro, and I used to work with him at Mother's. I taught him how to fold little cranes out of the wax patty papers that we used to get bread out of the warmers.

In turn, he spent months making me these:

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Yes, those are booties. He made them out of wrappers from a box of Newman's O's.
Forget flowers, give me a crafty item made out of what would otherwise be trash and my heart will melt like Earth Balance on hot toast.

And then, there was this one time. . .

Where I went to Hokkaido,

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for the
Snow Festival

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and it was very, very cold. . .

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veeeeeeeeeery cold.

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BUT, there was this really nice guy named Miller, who let us stay in his warm, cozy home.

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It was quite a large home for a lowly ALT. I was very impressed. He even had a gigantic television that swiveled with the touch of a remote control.

We had a great time.

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We thoroughly enjoyed the sculptures.

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There was "hi touch",

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and "Hard Gay".

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I particularly appreciated the children in their poofy snow suits and goggles.

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I think the boys appreciated the fact that Hokkaido Ladies don't let a little (and by "little" I mean a ton of) snow stop them from prancing and dancing around in their short skirts and sleeveless shirts.

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(Where as I, on the other hand, had to give myself a pep talk before exposing my fingers long enough to snap a few crappy photos.)

We all enjoyed the Chocolate Factory

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Where there was this clown,

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whom, for reasons that still evade me,

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dropped his pants.

We pondered deep questions,

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and learned a lesson or two.

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I heart Hokkaido.

Once Upon a Time

I wrote a blog. It was a very long and complicated blog, full of pictures and anecdotes from an adventure in the northern regions of Japan.


The internet ate the blog, and left me empty handed.

It's a cold cruel world out there, and now I'm too tired to deal with it.

I should stick with choose your own adventures.


linky dink and a lovely day

So I started to write a blog, full of links, stories and photos. But in the end it was boring. So instead, I will give you the linky words and images in chronological order, and you can write your own version of my lovely day.

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I leave tomorrow (today) for a six day trip to Kyushu. I'm going with a friend of mine who lives in Satte, her soccer coach boyfriend and five of their soccer playing friends. We're renting a van and going to drive around and camp where ever we see fit. The only thing on the agenda so far is playing a game of soccer and laying out at the beach. Which are pretty much two of the all-time-last things on earth that I would want to be doing with my free time.
Playing sports and prancing around in a bathing suit in front of a bunch of sports loving strangers is not my idea of a good time. When my friend had told me the plan, I told her that she had just described my own personal hell, and asked if we were also planning to go hunting for small baby animals, which we would later eat for dinner.

Honestly, I am excited. I love road trips, I love camping, and my friend (Rachel) is great (taste in extracurricular activities aside), and her boyfriend seems pretty cool too.

Besides, it can't be any worse than what I did for Golden Week last year. . .

Some of you may have read this before, so don't feel obligated to do so again. And to all you first time readers. . . knock yourself out.

"Curiosity almost killed me.

Perhaps I'm being melodramatic (such is my tendency), but this morning I was certainly wishing things would come to an end, because they only seemed to be getting worse.

WARNING: Don't read this if you have a weak stomach, or plan on eating olive oil any time soon.

The story: A couple of weeks ago, my friend Adrian enlightened myself and a few other friends to the commonness of gallbladder stones. it turns out that 99 percent of the population have them. Fortunately, this can be taken care of a by a "simple" at home remedy; which involves drinking (Oh no, I'm feeling queasy just typing this) 2 cups of olive oil and about one cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. (If you want the details, you can find them here: http://www.alternativehealth.co.nz/gallbladder/gallbladercleanse.htm If you want photos, you're disgusting, but so am I, go here: http://curezone.com/cleanse/liver/default.asp)

Miracle of miracles. I was able to get it all down, and keep it there for about 12 hours. until, around 7 this morning, I got up for what I was hoping to be the exit of the alleged gallbladder stones. but instead, all the olive oil and lemon juice projectiled out of my mouth. Stones or no stones. I don't care. I'm never trying that again. and I'm not eating Italian food for months. UPDATE: Holy crap. Just to let you know. . . it turns out that it worked."

Icing on the cake

The other day. . . I was with a couple of friends and was about to tell a story. It was the kind of story that pops into my head at random. This type of story gets me really excited, and when they come to me, I feel the need to share them ASAP. This urgency is expressed with an array of hand gestures, raising of the eyebrows, and more often than not, a series of small jumps.

Anyhow, as I was about to unleash said story onto said pair of friends, one of them interrupted me, and said something along the lines of my stories being great, even if they aren't about anything interesting, because of my delivery. I imagine that this was intended to be a compliment, but somehow I felt slightly slighted. I think the reason this commentary rubbed me the wrong way, was that it wasn't followed up with a disclaimer, such as "But, your stories always ARE interesting."

This planted a seed of doubt in my story telling confidence. What if my stories really aren't interesting, and it's only all the jumping and eyebrow gymnastics that hold people's attention?
Have I become a person that's all bells and whistles, with nothing of substance to follow all the fuss? Am I like one of those fancy 3-D cakes with a big race car on it that looks all cool and everything UNTIL the cake has been dished out and you realize that you're holding a plate full of frosting on top of a layer of sugary yellow cake that most likely came from a box with the words "Just add water" printed on it???

Don't answer that or any of the previous questions. I'm not interested in your pity comments, and if the answer is that I am correct, it's probably best that I don't know.
Ignorance is bliss, even if it is blissful ignorance laced with a bit of paranoia.

Freak of Nature

Today, I saw a cat crossing the street while I was on my way to work. The cat's tail was lopped off. Perhaps this was due to some kind of accident, or maybe it was born that way, or maaaaaybe it has a really mean owner that has poor taste in animal appearances. . . but all of this is beside the point.

The point is, that the way the cat's nub of a tail rested on its butt, gave it the appearance of having two heads.

Today, I saw a two headed cat crossing the street while I was on my way to work. I was so distracted by the sight of it, that I nearly fell off my bike.

I've been reading far too much sci fi lately.