Sunday, September 28, 2008

Serious Dilemma.

I've a decorating dilemma on my hands. Just where does one put a real, dried pig's leg?

I've found the hard way that a dried, fleshy pig's leg just doesn't go with the decor in any of my rooms. But, it wasn't for lack of trying that I couldn't find a place...

Hanging in the kitchen with the rest of the measuring tools...

In my DVD basket...

Hanging in the doorway next to my bags (surely, guests will feel pleased and welcome?)

In the bathroom cabinet, along with the rest of my hair and make-up goods...

As an extra pillow on my bed...

I'll take suggestions. Anyone? Anyone?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh, What a Night

It was nothing like the song, or even remotely close to it, but it was a good time.

This morning, though, I woke to find the most odd thing on my kitchen table: a dried pig's leg. A REAL dried pig's leg. Among the other things that were laying on my table, such as my purse, a pen, my inhaler, and the cookies I baked yesterday afternoon.

I vaguely remember that the pig's leg ACTUALLY belonged on the wall of the bathroom of the bar I was at last night. But then this morning, it was instead on my table. My kitchen table. Which means I had to have somehow carried it home, among my purse and other things, to my house, where I put it on my table before crawling into bed. Again, I think this must have been a lot funnier last night.

This is how I THINK the night went (which is prefaced with some history that is important for you to know in able to understand the story best):

My friend, Lucille, the music teacher, invited me to join her for a night of jazz music by our favorite local pianist, Donny, who plays at the most amazing little club called Caballero. We had visited the club once last year, a night that encouraged us to come again, many times. Club Caballero boasts some of the most incredible decorations I have ever seen, with it's crowning achievement being the bathroom, one of the most magnificent rooms I have ever been. The owner, Boss (or Boss-san, to be polite), used to be a pretty huge jazz bassist in his day, and is now running one of the hippest joints around (for more on Club Caballero, click here). That first time, Lucille met a budding pianist, Eri, whom she convinced to become her pianist for all of our NIS concerts. Since that time, they have become good friends.

Back to last night, when Lucille and I daringly decide to invite copious amounts of gaijin (foreign) friends to infiltrate this bar. We were warmly welcomed by Donny, and the crew, who served us well with wine and music. One of the (many) highlights of the night: Donny playing 'Georgia on My Mind'. An old Georgia boy himself, Donny promised to play this song each night for his mother (or some good story like that). When minutes earlier, the whole bar had been talking over the music, at this point, we all sat silently. Even my Canadian friends were mute.

After the song, during the solemnity of the after-song moment, and being the comedian that I am, I requested Donny to play a song about Iowa. Of course, he had no song, but it sent me, Eri, and many others into a winded conversation about the cornfields and hog cribs of Iowa.

This led to Eri deciding to ask Boss if she could have one of the many dried pig's legs from the bathroom. He was happy to oblige, and without my knowing, a plan went into the works to present me with this kingly gift. So, as I am conversing during the break between sets, Boss delivered the pig's leg with a rousing speech, which, of course, was slightly embarrassing.

As the night got later, we realized we soon needed to leave to catch the last trains home (the second, which we missed, by the way, led to a very expensive cab ride home). So after the last song, we headed out to the station, I with a pig's leg in my hand. Once on the train, and no longer with a moral compass of what was right or wrong, we went into hysterics over the whole thing. Mike, who is one of the nicest guys I know, decided to slip his arm out of his sleeve, and replace it with the pig foot. He then proceeded to do a dialogue with the other passengers while we all laughed hysterically. One of his 'skits': putting his train ticket within the hoof toes and asking 'Excuse me, does this train go to Ozone?' Needless to say, it was the funniest thing I have ever seen. For all the money in the world, I wanted to attach the video, but my computer just wouldn't do it. Gosh, it was funny.

To end the story, I am now the (proud?) owner of a preserved, dead, fleshy pig's foot. A pig's foot, that for the memories, I will never be able to remove myself of. Plus, I wouldn't know which trash to put it in anyway...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life's Little Mysteries (part 1)

Why, oh why, does the windshield wiper function never go JUST the right speed? It's either too slow, or too fast. There's no goldilocks-just-right at any level.

Never, in any car that I drive in, do I find a wiper speed that works perfectly.

Woe is me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Alive and Well

I woke up at 2am on Saturday morning and was disappointed to be laying perfectly peacefully in my bed. I had prepared for the earthquake so dedicatedly, and then, nothing.

(I take back what I said about my stuff.)

But, for now, I am alive and well. Well, I am alive. I'd be well if I had some sugar-free kool-aid. I ran out of the package Tera sent me in March.

Oh, and I'd be better if there wasn't a person outside of my apartment practicing their harmonica at 7am on Sunday morning. Which is right now. Which is why I'm even writing this.

So, 'well' is too be determined.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's the end of the world...

... as we know it?

Predicted for this Saturday is the biggest earthquake to rock Asia since baked bread was first baked.

So, just in case, this will be my final will and testament.

Mom - you can keep my bills, (but you can have my insurance money to pay for it).

Nik can have all of my clothes. Cause we wear the same size tops. My bottoms, though, need to go to someone more rounded. Sorry, Nik.

Aimee Thode? You can have all of my teaching stuff. Please share it?

I leave everything else I own to Tera.

Except my cotton Supre bag. Mary can have that.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary

As of today, it's two years since my adventure around the world started. On the 6th of September, two years ago, I left America for an experience in personal growth that has led me here. As of today, I have spent more than 700 days abroad.

I look back to reflect the amount of gowing that I have done since leaving home. Life lessons have been plenty, including tears and fears to mend, semi-masterment of a completely foreign language and alphabet, professional growth beyond my my wildest reaches, and a sense of self-worth and accomplishment that can only com from having had the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to have.

So, in retrospect, I would like to share some of my most fond memories and learning moments that I can remember (in no specific order).

1. Who would have ever known that Canada was not one of the United States of America?

2. The best diet you can have? A broken heart. (But I don't recommend it...)

3. Gay men make the best friends.

4. Playing 'dumb foreigner' is the best way out of any sticky situation (and you can take that advice to the bank!).

5. Children around the world are the same. They love cookies, need bandaids, and give hugs. A hello in any language or a smile on any color of face is something that can make your day.

6. The second best diet you can have? Living in Japan.

7. Facebook and Guitar Hero are like crack.

8. Bacon, in any other country, is not bacon.

9. Most countries won't allow your auntie to ship real bacon to you.

10. Lighting and music can make or break the mood of your living space.

11. Friends are good to have, but keeping in touch with them is hard to do.

12. Mastering driving on two sides of the road is a skill worth putting on a resume.

13. A good resume is good to have.

14. Sometimes, long lost things do come back to you. And when they do, you often don't know what the hell to do with them, although you're mighty glad they're there...

15. Living is easy with eyes closed, but I wouldn't advise that either.

16. People come and go. Friends are good and bad. And life is too short to allow others to bring you down.

and lastly,

17. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or so they say.

Here's to 700 more good ones abroad (just don't tell my Auntie)...