Friday, September 29, 2006

itchy and scratchy: the skin disease show

the sunshine predicted for today is masquerading as clouds and rain, so the overachiever plans i had for getting out early on a saturday morning have turned into something i enjoy a whole lot more: nesting. my knitting is out--i have this sock on the run! it'll be finished in no time....and by that i mean many, many hours (but many fewer than when i started).

in other news, my legs are in sad shape. due to my continuing allergies (the asthma and itchy lips are gone, thank goodness), i have developed some unchecked eczema. that means i go stark-raving mad with itching and scratching, and it feels SO GOOD, AMAZING, UNBELIEVABLE until i get into the next stage...large swathes of red, bleeding, oozing and scabbing skin. (sorry, but it's true.) i know the consequences, but like a junkie, i keep going back to the itching...just a little more...just one little patch, until i'm crouched, fingernails extended, and my skin is happy for a few moments. i never learn. i do have some left over expired steriod cream from a similar rash i had a few years ago. the only drawback is, and i'm quoting my doctor, "it could do violence to your internal organs." what kind of choice is that!? can i at least pick which organs?

while i'm on semi-embarrassing topics, i'd like to delve into another one. women using public restrooms in japan frequently flush the entire time they pee so no one can hear and take offence at their humanness. now, i already had what's called a "shy bladder." unlike most of my colorado "relieve yourself anywhere around anyone under any condition" sisters, i actually need a little privacy. i wish i didn't care, but i can't help it. however, it's SO wasteful for every woman to flush the entire time she's going that the environmentalist in me rebels indignantly. in response to this need, many public restrooms have installed devices called Sound Princess (electronic water noises), but no such luck in this town. now i have a problem, will all the other women teachers be offended if i refuse to do the flush-pee? i mean, my shoes are waiting right there by the door--it's not like they don't know who's in there. will they overlook my behavior as a brash american girl flaw, or will they all get together and admit shyly that they now avoid the bathroom when my owl-print keds are sitting there because they are so unused to the sound of peeing that it troubles them? this leads to an even greater quandary: worrying about being judged for a totally normal human function isn't helping my shy bladder complex. i guess i'll have to resort to my friend katie's mind-diversion tactic and attempt to multipy 14 by 16 in my head.


  1. Wow, I must say I'm impressed by the talent level of Japaneese women in the bathroom. Hovering, flushing, peeing, and giggling at the brash American-girl pee sounds all at the same time. That's quite a feat. Is the flusher in the same place as they are here, so they have to crane their arms behind them while hovering? Impressive. I think I'd probably go with the uncouth, let it rip method, and maybe just censor the #2 sounds!

  2. no, the flusher is in front, so it's much more convenient. it's those squat toilets i posted a picture of when i talked about Circle K. but yeah, it takes talent to do that all at once. :)