Monday, January 22, 2007

Me, Part II

Ok, so continuing w/ yesterdays self-intro, if for no other reason than to entertain myself on an otherwise boring day in the office and maybe one day be able to Google myself...

Things That Make Me Happy: Open source software, non-DRM'd media, good porn, My Dilbert desk calendar, my coozie turned pen holder from my brother-in-law that says, "A quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem. ISLAMORADA" (boy, that was a fun one to explain in Japanese to coworkers), the sound of kids laughing, q-tips (yes, I have an unhealthy obsession sticking things in my ears), snowboarding, the beginning of summer in Hokkaido, salt & vinegar Pringles, import food shops.

Things That Make Me Sad: Proprietary bullshit software, DRM, bad porn, Having 6 classes of munchkins in a single day followed by a 2 hour baseball practice, fighting w/ my wife, slack jawed Japanese idiots who point at me with eyes as big as quarters and yell, "FOREIGNER!!!!!!"

My Weird Quirks:

1) I hate spiders & flour with a passion. Some might do a cartoon-like double take "does not compute" on this one, but lemme try to explain. First off, spiders may be beneficial, in that they eat other bugs & whatnot, but why must they decide to come into my house? On top of that, the spiders in Hokkaido tend to grow into these evil gigantic monstrosities the size of rats that look like they could easily devour small animals, children & little old ladies. I literally feel like puking whenever I happen to find one. Secondly, flour. I have no idea what dark seeded childhood memory this stems from, but flour is just...wrong. Ya know how some people can't stand the thought of finger nails on a chalkboard (not me, BTW, I could do that all day long, even though some people reading this may be cringing right now)? Well, for me, that's flour, in all of its forms. Even the thought of flour gives me goose bumps. *shudder* Yes, that goes for powdered sugar, corn starch, chalk (kinda sux to be me, seeing that I ended up as an English teacher, huh?) and any other powdery substance, too. The thing that really bites the big one is that since Hokkaido is so cold in the winter, the only kind of snow we get is the really fluffy, powdery kind. Great for boarding, but ya know what that stuff sounds and feels like when walking on it? Fucking flour.

2) I'm a weather junkie. Seriously, I check the weather forecast on my phone like 20 times a day. Why, other than the fact that I probably have OCD? Will the weather forecast really change in the 5 minutes since I last checked it? Hey, it could happen! Maybe it's just that I got used to checking the radar last summer when I prayed every day that it'd rain so baseball practice would have to be canceled. Yes, I have issues.

3) Not so much a quirky thing, but somewhat related to 2) and as mentioned in one o' my posts from last year is that I help coach little league baseball to 2nd & 3rd graders here in town. I played baseball as a kid from the time I was 5 until high school, so like the dork I am, I figured, "Hey, that'd be a fun way to get involved in my community!" Now, you have to realize that baseball in Japan is sorta like the evil twin of baseball in the US. There's a really great book by a guy named Robert Whiting called You Gotta Have Wa that explains it better than I ever could (and in convenient book form, even!), but in essence, baseball, and sport in Japan in general is the modern day evolution of bushido, or "samurai spirit". Boys of summer? HA! No, Japanese kids practice the whole live long year round, baby! The guy I coach with is a bit of a nutter, but at least he's better than a lot of Japanese coaches, who, in an attempt to create "fighting spirit" don't let their players drink water during 8 hour daily practices in the middle of summer or make their pitchers throw 300 pitches a day until their arms fall off. This is what we in the real world tend to refer to as "a crock of bullshit" that only wears kids out mentally & physically by the time they hit high school. No, I'm not bitter! Argh. Think I may have to table this topic for a "Things I Hate/Love About Japan" post as it's only serving to piss me off right now. My appologies, er, apologies. Why the hell can I never spell that word right? See what Japanese baseball has done to me?

4) I can never seem to keep up a blog for more than a few weeks. I've tried it both in English & Japanese and it never seems to work out very well. I even have an account on Mixi, a sorta Japanese MySpace (with much nicer layouts...and BTW, why does every single MySpace page that I've ever laid eyes on look like it was coded by a crack addled chimp?) that my wife got me hooked on, but wouldn't ya know it, after 3 months, I was burnt out, dude. This whole re-emergence o' bloggery after a 6-month hiatus makes me feel like I'm some mullet-headed redneck telling his girlfriend, "C'mawn baby, gimme 'nother chance. Ah prawmis ah won't hit ya no mowr." Who knows? Maybe now that winter's finally got around to making Hokkaido it's bitch again I'll be able to keep it up for a while until the snow finally begins to thaw in July or so...

Ok, guess that's it my little exploration into online narcissistic self-gratification for now. Too many other things going on in my head right now that I just simply must write/read/blather on about.

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