Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Odelay! (incomplete) 24 hour randomness! Now with extra tangents!

A confession, before we begin. I have been a bit truant about this post. I put it off for a week for a reason that isn't apparent, to me or to others. Oh well. I just did. Deal with it.

And then I wrote it in fits and starts, adding bits and pieces. Its now been a good two and a half weeks since this day, so I am (in a moment of pique) posting it unfinished. I haven't tossed any seriously long reads up recently, so here is half of one. I'll update the rest of it tomorrow or the next day, but if you are reaing this passage, then I haven't updated it yet.

OK. Enough preamble. Here we go!

A while ago, I actually managed to get in 24 full hours of randomness in one 24 hour period. That's right folks, 24 hours of randomn shenanigans with not a moment's sleep! woohoo!

The 24 hours can be easily subdivided into three sections, corresponding to the three separate parties or party-like gatherings that I joined.

they are...

1) Pottery
2) Geoff's Birthday, with Karaoke!
3) Matt's Birthday, with big, plentiful balls!

Party #1: Pottery Party!

Through various random connections, I have managed to befriend a certain pottery instructor. She made me swear up and down that I wouldn't mention her by name on this blog, so I won't tell you her name. But it rhymes with Goshiko.

Anyway, here is a picture of the back of her head. Be sure to check out Jason, the top native English manager at (COMPANY NAME), who is looking extra sultry and/or stalker-like in the background.

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On an unrelated note, a really good way to get yourself posted here is to hang out with me and make me swear not to do something exactly like this.

Anyway, here's a great pic of most of the Pottery Crew - a group of foul minded (aka "like minded") teachers and friends - engaged in pottery.

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We met at the reasonable hour of 9 am. Unfortunately, the reasonable place we were reasonably meeting was a reasonably reasonable 70 minutes from my apartment by train. To maintain suitable levels of hygiene and odour, I have to wake up and shower, so that led to hauling out of bed at 7:30. You should be aware that I see 7:30 as a "bed time" about four or five times for every time that I greet it as a "waking up time"... so it was understandably difficult for me to haul my sorry ass out of my futon to greet the sun when it's so horribly close to the horizon.

Stupid horizon.

Anyway... I managed to do it, and met a good bunch of my cheerful coworkers, friends and soldiers of sketchnanity.

Language Aside

(J-readers: "Sketchnanity" is not a word. Sketchy means "questionable" and "nanity" is from "insanity". Sorry for mixing my adjectives. E-readers: Sorry for the language lesson. I'm a teacher now, so shut up and deal with it or I'll go on work-to-rule". J-readers: "Work-to-rule" is Bitchy Canadian Teacher English for "I'm not teaching any club activities right now. If you want them, give me some more money because life is hard and your children are brats".)

A N Y W A Y. Moving on from politics and grammar....

You, dear reader, may or may not know that I happen to have an occasional potty mouth, especially when it comes to telling stories. I have also had at least three questionable experiences in my life. If you aren't sure what those three things are, pick three posts at random from this blog. You will be shocked to discover that you have picked THREE sketchy things. The secret behind this magical blogging trickery is known only to me, and I will never speak of how it is done.

In any case, one of the things that happens to save me from being a total social outcast here in conservative, consensus seeking Japan is the fact that the average person doesn't speak English at a super high level. While I suspect that this level is higher than most people would ever admit - Japanese folk are notoriously shy and embarrassed about speaking English, even when they speak it quite fluently- the average person doesn't often catch what I say when I am speaking quickly and using a lot of rude words.

And I do use a lot of rude words. Why this is, well.... no one knows. But it can lead to funny situations with friends. For example, on the way to the pottery shop, a brief interlude on the the bus ride went down like this...

Brent: (dirty story, dirty story).

Nice Pottery Dude: (innocent comment)

Brent: Hey, I once saw a stripper smoke (innocent comment) while tearing the elastic out of my friends underwear with her teeth!*

Nice Senior Teacher: Why are you always so dirty?

Brent: I can't help it. You could say "I like cookes" and I would say "I once knew a hooker that liked cookes!" I just can't shut up.

Old Japanese Lady Sitting In The Seat In Front Of Me Who Certainly Doesn't Speak English: Hey, can I ask you a question? What are you guys doing in Japan??

Brent: (gripping thigh to pull foot out of mouth) Uh... we're teachers.

Old Japanese Lady Sitting In The Seat In Front Of Me Who Certainly *Does* Speak English: Cool! I'm a translator. Why are you in this part of town...?

Chastised and Sheepish Brent: Well, we're here to make some pottery...

*Actual dirty comments may not be exactly as described.

Still...we ended up having a delightful conversation about language. Turns out the lady speaks four languages (Japanese, English, French...and German?) and she even gave me her card. This suggests one of three things 1) She really needs work. 2) She's really forgiving/friendly/in need of foreign friends or 3) She's a smut factory upstairs and loved my jokes.

The pottery iteself was good fun. I had set out to make a "blob" or a "paperweight", but I changed my plan once I learned that improperly compressed clay EXPLODES in the kiln, due to the pressure of the air bubbles. So instead, I sculpted an Improvised Explosive Device.

/sorry. that was tasteless. but funny!
//Also, let's all give a big crackergaijin "Let's welcoming" to the good people at the NSA who have just joined us! Thanks for visiting this website!

Anyway, truth be told, the sculpting went off without a hitch. There were some crude jokes and a somewhat frazzled instructor (our poor "nameless friend"), who had to take care of a pack of foreigners doing their best to make a mockery of everything.

I actually ended up settling on a "lazy cup" for drinking tea while using the computer. I say "lazy cup" because I purposely made it much larger than the average tea cup, thereby saving my self the horrendous effort of getting up and going to the kettle in the kitchen for more hot water.

Despite the lateness of this post, in fact, the IED/mug/expression of my lazyness is still in the shop. It needs to be fired in the kiln a few times and then glazed as well. Fear not, I will certainly post a picture of my wonderful creative genius/pure stupidity as soon as it becomes available.

Party #2: Geoff Turns Eleventeen!

Geoff is a stand-up fellow. So stand-up, in fact, that we even let him choose where to have his birthday party. In a move no-one expected, (seriously), Geoff selected 六本木 or "Roppongi", which is a highly fashionable place with at least 4893 times more money than common sense, Roppongi is also a great place for people to promote vacation spots. The flavour of the day was....


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Yep, thats right. Someone had managed to import a bunch of "authentic" tribal dancers to go crazy Botswanna-style in the middle of one of the most expensive bits of real estate in the world. I suspect that after this performance, they ditched the tribal rags, grabbed some slick duds and hit the club scene. But that's just my theory.

My favourite thing about Japan, honestly, is the juxtopositions. Temple beside a skyscraper. Chick in a kimono talking on a cell phone while ordering McDonald's. Louis Vutton Backback with ratty black sweatpant-tights. Me in a culture full of respectful, reserved and consensus seeking conservatives.

Well, here's another one: African Tribesmen and women dancing in an artificial park with part of Roppongi Hills (a "city within the city") in the background. Where else in the world would you see this?

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Oh yeah, Roppongi Hills folk also really liked "Wild Wild West" the movie. Here is their honorary fan club "giant metal spider".

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FYI: as is evident by the lack of capital letters, this section of the post was composed by cellular telephone....

mnomnde jkldedeststdepqr a st a stghimde


geoff's party was great. geoff is the latest in a string of amazing people who have been cool enough to maintain a friendship with me despite not having a penchant for "da drinking."

i appreciate g's company, and i was happy to help him celebrate his... taste in lady friends AND his 28th year on this wacky planet we call "let's pollution"... or was that "earth"?

i can never tell.

anyway, geoff decided to make up for his lack of drinking by scheduling his party at what is arguably the drunkest place in tokyo, roppongi. thats right, that land of drinksanity and gaijin chasing whores.

(not whores in the literal sense, ie "girls who will have sex without a lot of coaxing", but whores in the true sense...the kind that want money. good old geoff.

he managed to find a place to order north american style pizza, and read a menu in english. brilliant. also, the name is brilliant, but only if you live in japan (or know a lot about it). the name of the place is "pizzakaya"

this also seems like a good place to make my first footnote for non japan-ites. so, everyone from canada or oregon, scroll to the footnote. 日本人 and gaijin, keep reading straight through. let's equal treatment!

some of you may have noted my abandonment of capital letters over the last section of the post. that's right, this section was brought to you by the letter n, as in 南武線 (nambu line), the letter k, as in ケータイ (ketai, or cell phones...though my katakana may be wrong...feel free to correct if you know better!) and the number 23, for the number of minutes i was jammed into the least possible physical space that a 94kg dude with a laptop can be jammed into on a friday night.

yee haw for japan!!

Coming soon:

Party #2 continues, with added Guns 'n Roses action!

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Party #3: Matt's Big Balls!

Here's another sneak peek picture!

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Check back soon! I'll post the rest by Friday!


Improvised Explosive Device: This is what the rebel/insurgent fighters in Iraq are using as weapons - basically a home-made bomb. A sizable portion of the American public doesn't take too kindly to these types of tasteless jokes.

the NSA: probably the largest US spy agency, larger and more secretive than the CIA or the FBI. They spy on people and gather information. Mentioning "Improvised Explosive Devices" or "IEDs" three or four times will probably get this site flagged somewhere on their searches and perhaps even get me fingerprinted at the border! whoopee!


Goshiko said...

Thank you very much for writing about pottery day. I'm glad you didn't make a bomb. Your cup?! looks good.

By the way, "ketai" is ok but "keitai" is better, I think.

Andrew said...

That stripper was surprisingly gentle . . . . and I'll never view Canadia 5 dollar bills the same way ever again.

Wow, I was really drunk that night

Merry Man In Japan said...

Brent: Andrew, are you ok?
Andrew: I'm not sure.
Brent: So, what do you remember?
Andrew: The smell.
Brent: Ok, how did it smell?
Andrew: BAAAAD.