Friday, May 29, 2009

Paper Planes

I love long flights.  I think I may be one of the only people in the world to feel this way, but my momma taught me that it’s important to be “original.”   I have been following these instructions since I could walk, much to her dismay ;)  Love you, mom.


Here is why I love long flights:


(1)  It’s a great excuse to watch horrible movies. 


There is no other opportunity to take six hours outta my day to watch back-to-back B movies that apparently went straight to video. And guess what?  I LOVE these movies. I just finished watching a movie about some obese mall security guard who saves the entire mall from the bad guys.  It’s a total slapstick and I am the only person on this flight amused.  In fact, it is completely dark on this flight (I am on it right now), but then there is this one little light on, just bright enough to annoy the people around it.  The person under that light is me. And the snorting laughter is also me.  I actually have tears in my eyes from laughing so hard.  Man.  Good stuff.


(2)  I love plane food


Considering that every night in Japan I eat rice and soy sauce, the plane meals offer a nice change of pace.  This stuff is GOOD!  I be grubbing, yo!


(3)  I have no internet access


I can not be tempted by the evil seductress named email, who always captivates me and eventually devours me.  I will start writing back to emails with the intention of doing so for an hour or two, then get caught up with the momentum and lose eight hours (no joke).  Email is my weakness – it is SO efficient!


(4)  I can get hardcore work done


I set up a little office during my flights.  Ya’ll would laugh.  I get out my laptop, I get out the latest book I am reading, I get out the research articles I want to peruse, I begin writing the articles I want to write……the people next to me must think I am on speed.  I will tie back my hair, put a pen behind my ear, order some plane coffee, get out my ipod, then JAMMONIT.  I never turn my little overhead light off ;)


(5)  I can listen to good music


Again, I am the biggest advocate that music is the best mood stabilizer known to man.  It can chill you out, rev you up, or help get your creative juices flowin’.  I am all about Robin Thicke right now, and we are in a serious and committed relationship.  I am one of those people who will listen to the same song on repeat 42 times in a row and love it EVEN MORE the 42nd time.  Awesome.


(6)  I actually have an excuse for looking homeless


Seriously, if I could look homeless all the time and have it be socially acceptable, I would.  I love flying bc I get to put on my sweats, tie my hair back, get all grunged out, and feel super greasy and gross at the end of the flight – this state is my most comfortable state and how I often end up looking in the privacy of my own home after working for several hours.  I feel sorry for my neighbors on this flight as I write….


(7)  Flights are the best form of birth control


Not that I have anything to worry about in this department (trust me, I ain’t that cool).  When you look to your left to see a poor mom battling her two year old to eat a spoonful of flight-tray food, you can’t help but sympathize.  I just watched this interaction take place and I can safely say that the mom lost – BIGTIME.  The little tike not only knocked the food off of the spoon, but he threw the entire tray on the floor.  Then, he proceeded to scream bloody murder just to top it off.  All the mom could do was laugh nervously and try to secretly drug her child with Benadryl (you know she was trying to do this before and prolly slipped some into the food he knocked on the floor).  Damn.  He is sleeping silently now.  So I guess mom won in the end ;)


(8)  I love landing in NEW places and seeing NEW things.


Even if I have visited the final destination before, there is something about the act of traveling and the anticipation of landing that makes me smile from ear to ear.



Ah.  Just had to say that.  “Lunch” will be served soon – Yes!


Ideally, this blog was supposed to be used to document random events throughout my year in Japan.  It has served it’s purpose to some extent, though I haven’t had as much time as I would like to write down the cool day-to-day things that make me think, “WTF?”  And I think this EVERY DAY while walking to and from work in Japan.  No joke – EVERY DAY.  How lucky am I?  Haha. Have I mentioned that I am full on IN LOVE with Tokyo.  I have advanced through the infatuation stage – I am now ready for serious commitment.  Woah.  Robin Thicke had better watch out.


 I have tried to write some of these things down on a post-it note, but now that I am looking at the post-it note, it doesn’t make complete sense to me.  So, I am gonna try to quickly list off some of the more interesting moments/things I have noticed while living in Japan.  Warning: randomness ahead, folks!


·      I teach English to a post-doc who works with the Yakusa periodically. He is an addiction counselor.  They promise to “hook him up” if he ever gets into trouble.  I road the elevator with six of them the other day – intimidating.  They all had tattoos and slicked their hair back like woah. Badasses.  I said “Ohayo gozaimasu” to them and they just grunted.


·      I ate the worst salmon ball thing the other day and had to literally regurgitate the salmon back into the rice ball without people noticing.  Skills.  I was successful.  I practiced this technique during childhood, so I am a pro (I will not provide further comment, as this will be completely incriminating).


·      My boss is awesome.  He says funny things from time to time that make me laugh inappropriately.  The other day he was talking about “libido” problems that people have when taking psychiatric meds (he is a psychiatrist), and I had NO idea what he was saying.  I thought he was saying, “Lipid.”  Our conversation was a complete disaster, as you can imagine.  He also pointed to another psychiatrist at our institute and said, “He like dumb blond.”  Wow.  How to respond?


·      We had a lab party a week ago.  They decided to have a BBQ outside, which started at 7pm.  Everyone got hammered.  I did too (off of one beer), as everyone kept chanting, “Gaijin!  You must drink!” Damn. This is my first Japanese relatively “forced” drinking experience – chalk it up, homies. Luckily they came armed and ready with a breathalizer and IV (no joke – what a bunch of nerds we are!).  We all played with the breathalizer and racked up some pretty intense numbers.  The IV was used on the one doctor who wore the apron that said, “American Cowboy” who wore a towel on his head (literally) to look like “Al Qaeda.” The police were eventually called and we retreated back to our lab.  Awesome.


·      I have received a massage with my Japanese sensei two times so far.  At the end of this relaxing experience, they karate chop your head – repeatedly.  No joke.  I burst out laughing the first time, which was not well received.  Interesting.


·      I went on an accidental date with a random Japanese guy who helped me buy my washer and dryer when I first moved to Japan.  He took me to a Japanese-alternative-yodeling-karaoke bar. People had dreadlocks and BO like woah. Enough said.  Yes, I did try yodeling.


·      A while back the power went out in my little shoebox of a home.  I had NO idea how to fix the problem and it was pitch black.  So, I wandered into the hallway outside.  I moseyed on downstairs, where I saw this GINORMOUS switch that seemed to be a logical solution to my problem.  So I switched it DOWN.  I should have known. The power went off in the entire building.  I did the logical “Gaijin smash” thing and ran.  Far away. When I came back, all the lights were on ;)


·      At the gym, people line up for something called “The Rodeo.”  People climb on this thing, and all hell breaks loose. They start gyrating like WOAH and have the most serious expressions on their faces.  It is priceless.  It looks like they are getting their butts kicked in a major way, but they endure.  I will not try this machine, as I feel like it would be more appropriate in the middle of a seedy bar with drunk people and sawdust.


·      I almost got assaulted by the most famous hula hoop girl in Tokyo (she looks like Pink). No joke. She was putting on a crazy show at a Shibuya night club. She wore a fluorescent bikini thing that glowed…as did her hula hoop.  This random Japanese dude rolled up and we were innocently talking about Japan and all that jazz for 10-15 minutes. Turns out homedude was her boyfriend and she is insanely jealous.  She saw us talking, and then got this crazy look in her eye.  I was like ,”Woah, dude, what’s her deal.”  He replied with, “Yeah, that’s my girlfriend and she gets jealous if I talk to other gaijin girls.  You should watch out for her.”  At this point, her show just ends and she is coming straight at us with a vengeance.  I grab my friends and we haul butt outta there.  He is now my friend on Facebook.  Oi.


Woah.  This entry is developing into a novel.  I can assure you, however, that there are A TON of other stories of the “magic” that is Japan.  Never a dull moment!  Ever.  It is just too funny.  Oh.  And never miss the last train – usually around 12:30am or so.  That is a guaranteed adventure EVERY TIME (and I have missed the last train on multiple occasions….)

Here is also a random slideshow - YATTA!  I went to Tokyo Disneyland and saw Zed with Marc (on his birthday). TOTALLY RECOMMEND ZED!

Ja ne for now!