Thursday, April 22, 2010

rock 'n' roll

one more week snags in the middle and then flaps by. with the filing-down of a few thorns in my side, the weeks have sped up and are whirling past, a blur of loud tuesdays, dull thursdays, and long saturdays before i step off the carousel with my head swimming. my triumph of the week was sending a fax from a state-of-the-art copy machine in a convenience store without having to ask for help (thank you animated cartoon pictures). it can also print glossy photos or the documents you email from your home computer, but i'll have to test-drive that another day.
since your closest 7-11 is often only half a block away, maybe even closer than the site where you have to lug your well-sorted trash, they've pretty much murdered the idea of convenience. i mean that as in, "hit the center of the target so hard there's a big hole in the wall behind it." 7-11 is sometimes the only place you can get money during public holidays when the ATMs close. after nearly four years, that still boggles my mind.
golden week is coming up in three days, a whole week of vacation (at last), and i've withdrawn money in anticipation. first my college roommate is coming down from tokyo to visit my place for a change (yay!!!) and then i'm heading off to osaka for a much-needed reunion with my favorite big city in...the world, i guess! i'm flying solo for a day and then meeting some friends to try out the onsen theme park SpaWorld.
i bought my train ticket today and started to get really excited. i love osaka! i'm planning to get yakiniku at tsuruhashi station, ride the ferris wheel at tempozan, eat coconut shaved ice with chocolate, and basically do all the fun things i've done in the past, again, 'cuz that's how i roll.

Monday, April 12, 2010

spare parts

though sadly i haven't had the chance to pursue my breakdancing dreams lately, i've been trying to stay fit so i can hit the dancefloor running (or walking on my hands) someday. usually i set a goal of twenty to thirty minutes of running, then move on to other machines. i generally try to set a low goal so i can feel awesome when i surpass it.
last week, i was having this weird pressure/tension in my chest, and whatever caused that, worrying about it made it even worse. i don't feel like i have much real stress in my life these days, so it was unexpected. i knew i needed to just run that stress out of my body. this has become my solution for everything; run, pray, sleep on it, feel better the next day. that day i kept seeing in my head: an for an hour. i'd never run more than 40 minutes without stopping, and i hadn't even done that very many times.
let me get math-y on you for a minute. the difference between 40 minutes and an hour, while only 20 minutes, is 50% more running than you've already done. even one minute can feel interminable. i was curious to give it a try, though.
i put on some new music that was mentally-involving, set a nice pace, and went. after half an hour, i thought, "this might be possible." i was having some knee and hip pain, but it wasn't too bad. after 45 minutes, i was sure i could do it. and i did! when i stepped off, i felt amazing! amazing and also in a little bit of pain. i made it out of the building but soon found myself dragging my stiff legs around in a ridiculous arthritic mannequin walk, but i didn't even care; i was a triumphant mannequin!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

the petal ceiling

tuesday is the first day of my week and the most painful. i have one class that screams everything ("MY NAME IS EITO!!" "I'M 8 YEARS OLD!!" "IT'S MY TURN!!" "YOU CHEATED!!" not to mention, "LAUREN FIRE!" coined to describe my angry face, heh heh) and another whose students' mouths i practically have to pry open with a crowbar like broken car doors. when they finally do manage to utter a feathery scrap of sound, they try to do so without moving their lips! i swear! they're either training to be ventriloquists or they just got back from having their faces numbed at the dentist. it's a menagerie of awkwardness and discomfort in varied forms. it's always a relief to get home.
in spite of that, after a day of flung-open door air, sun and flower smells finally permeating the sheet of gloom we've been wrapped in, the night is beginning to ripen. the flat winter air is filling up with dark green like the shadows under garden leaves and grass clippings swept in a heap. it's no wonder this is my favorite time of year: green is my favorite smell.
also, it's sakura season, the time when all japan goes heart-eyed over the faint pink petals of black-barked cherry trees. this year i enjoyed it with abandon! i stalked cherry trees like famous people, taking pictures out of my car window as i was driving by. they are really stunning, especially when they all hang out together.

more pretty flowers.