Does anybody still read this thing anymore?
I'm back. AGAIN. No new excuses (read: ninja abduction beyond my control!), but here I am anyway to tease you all with a random post. I do get the urge to expand on this sorry little snippet of my life in Japan more than you'd think, but by the time I sit at the computer, I realize that there are at least 10 new awesome videos on Youtube that I need to see. Oh, and that's right, my weekly webcomics have updated. What about that anime I downloaded the other night? Hmm speaking of anime, I should study more kanji...
... and that's one chapter in the thrilling novella of my ability to do everything but write in this damn journal.
Anyway, I have some steam, I'm going on before the coal engine is full of cinder and ash. A word of warning - get ready for a bunch of random stuff stringed together. The theme of this post is: Stuff I just thought of that I want to write about.
Clearly the one thing that most deserves my attention right at this juncture is a bag of Cheetos
and my Nintendo DS. The good thing about this picture is that the bag of Cheetos is actually from America, sent by Jeff's family and put in my care to be consumed at a later time. The Cheetos will therefore taste like (brace yourself) Cheetos, and not sponges soaked in melted cheddar. The bad thing about this picture is that it's not a bag of Cheetos from Japan, for if it was, you would see that the labeling actually says the flavor is "Hella Cheesy". I wish I were making it up, and I will try and get a picture of it later if they still sell it...at Toys R Us.
The FUN thing about this picture is that this is my typhoon survival kit. "But Brett!" you exclaim, coming out of your clam-chowder-induced coma and wasting what will only be seconds of consciousness on a silly observation: "I thought it was still rainy season, and that typhoons won't come for a few more weeks!" Well, right you are! Which is why I'm kinda confused, too. I've actually already sat through one typhoon, and found myself underwhelmed. Things DID get crazy, yes, but if holing myself up in my apartment for a few hours to play games augured cataclysmic natural disasters, my dinky little prefecture would not only be hundreds of miles under the ocean, but STILL on fire despite the millions of tons of water on top of it.
No straggling - NEXT PICTURE...s.
You'll see what has me so confused/disgusted/HUNGRY in a few more pictures. I wanted to take a little break for an Ichiban Group ROLL CALL. First up is...me. Possibly the most glorious thing about Ichiban Group is the lack of a group leader. Whereas in most awesome giant-robot fighting forces there is a clear main character, we each bring our skills to the table, sit as equals, and then renew a long-running battle to assert ourselves as the the true captain of Ichiban Group. It's important now to mention that "ichiban" means "number one", and being number one of the number one Group is an honor humanity has dreamed of since first throwing burning sticks at animals to keep them from our food. Seriously.
The next member of Ichiban Group is one Jeff Bailey, whose name has been unedited so that I don't have to try and remember a pseudonym every time he wanders haphazardly into a story on this blog. He hails from Florida, where they ride alligators to school or drink Gatorade or play football or something. I don't really know, I mostly phase him out. What I DO know is that he happens to be wearing a white shirt, and so you might see the resemblance between us. Even if you can't, most Japanese do - in fact we pretty much are the same person as far as they're concerned. This gets us involved in an uncanny number of escalating evil-twin incidents, where we invade each other's home towns and commit wanton acts of Americanism under the guise of the true resident. Unfortunately we lost track of who lives where along the way, and now we just act like we escaped from the circus wherever we go. On that note, I have to work on getting those business cards that claim I have diplomatic immunity...
The third member of our triumvirate is the venerable Nirav Mehta. He calls New Jersey his home when he is not out shocking Japanese people with his ridiculous drinking tolerance/penchant for alcohol and nearly running old women over with his motorcycle. His other super power involves having ridiculously large feet. Where size 13s may only turn a few heads in the States, it's cause for national concern in Japan, as size 13 1/2 is the cutoff for enormous city-eating monsters like Godzilla and Gamera. If
Nirav has the bad fortune of stubbing his toe and having his foot swell up some day, he will be considered fair game by the Japan Self-Defense Force, who will then have license to fire an obscene volley of missiles at him. Jeff and I continue to pray for that day.
The previous three pictures of us are possibly the blandest ones I have stocked in my colossal photo archives... but they were selected with a special purpose, as they were all taken just before the next picture was taken. Look, and be amazed!
This is a mud skipper, or in Japanese, mutsugorou. It is Saga's mascot, which should give you an idea of what a hole in the ground Saga can be sometimes. Sitting next to the fish is some sliced up raddish, and closer to the camera, the mud skipper's sliced up body. As for the mud skipper... it is STILL. ALIVE.
It was regularly opening its mouth and gasping for air, its slimy eyes probing us vindictively as we did what we had come to do - eat it. When I was setting up to take this picture, the owner of the restaurant came over and grabbed the little guy, trying to perch him up on top of the sliced radish for his big close-up. We watched in mute horror as he gasped pathetically a few times before falling onto his side on the plate, so which the shop owner said something along the lines of "Well you did your best."
To be completely, damningly honest, it didn't taste half bad. Nothing spectacular, mind you, but considering this is a creature that spends its life flapping around in the mud, the results could've been much worse. Also bear in mind that this is sashimi - raw fish. After we polished off the meat, the owner came and took what was left of the mud skipper to fry it up and let us finish the job. Great experience...and also a place I'll be taking any visitors I have from America! Don't all buy your tickets at once, now~!
Well, that's that. Normally I muse over these posts a little more, edit, tweak, etc, but I have long forgotten what it's like to just post and immediately enjoy the fruits of said post, so I'm going to publish this. Kudos to whoever manages to read it first, and wish me well in the impending typhoon.