Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Land-based animal!

This weekend we saw this fellow on the side of the road. He is a kamoshika, or Japanese antelope. I have seen a few of these beasties before, when we were snowboarding in Nagano... but that was a bad day. We were SO close to this little dude. It was pretty exciting. Yes, I am a loser who is really excited about a deer-looking goat creature.

Monday, September 25, 2006

drowning in neutral

Dreams freak me out.

I was on a beach, in a very desolate area, almost everything is of a neutral tone. The sand looks grey, the water a pale foamy nondescript color. I enter the water wearing scuba gear, and am pulled out from the shore. We are off the shore of an island, and I have trouble submerging. The water is a bit choppy, and I try to go under with my snorkel, but end up coughing and choking a bit on the sea water. It tastes thicker in my mouth, almost a bloodlike viscosity. I spit it out, and remember to clear it with my regulator, as I switch to breath through it. I have about 3 breaths of air before I am sucking at nothing. I remember how cold the water was, and the feel of the rubber against my lips. I keep trying to clear my mask, and I can't see anything. I open the bottom to let the cold water in, hoping that will de-fog it, but to no avail. I realize that my tank had been prepped, and then the air valve had been closed again. I noticed that all the people around me (maybe 4) had their heads in the water, and seemed to be heading in the same direction. I blindly followed, but was concerned, because I didn't think we were heading the right way and I couldn't breathe. I finally caught up to a girl, her hair was short and blonde, and her ear was half-covered with water. I began calling to her, to help open my valve. I thought about doing it myself, but would have had to take the vest off. Plus, I was already having difficulty keeping bouyant, with no air in my vest and fighting the current that was pulling us further out. I watched her ear the entire time I called to her, mesmerized and terrified by the water, which was keeping me from breathing, as it covered her ear with each wave. She didn't hear me until the third call for help, and when the valve opened, I immediately lifted a bit out of the water as my vest filled. I had this calm over me throughout the whole experience. I was really scared, but its like my body refused to convey it. I was moving mechanically, felt out of myself.

The dive was over, I had spent all my time trying to breathe/etc. Everyone still seemed to be heading the wrong way, though. I began to panic, and finally got oriented. I walked out of the water with some difficulty, and dropped my gear on the shore. There was still no color anywhere. I felt drained. I felt like the landscape around me had lost all its life, and felt like the air I so desperately needed in the water was taken away from me again. On dry land, I couldn't breathe. No sun, no color, no life, no air. I felt the sand, I could still feel, but it just felt empty running through my fingers.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Deviancy Tour 2006

The Bunny and I graced the town of Osaka with our presence last weekend. I was in need of a retrospective weekend, and she was in need of a distraction. We descended upon the Amerikamura area after a 6 hour local train adventure. I finally used up those damned tickets.

My first tattoo, which the piercer did a fabulous impression of. The original.

Me and Magoshi.

Bunny also got a lovely haiku upon her left arm. It is quite striking, and was the talk of the train on the way back to Toyama. Alas, I have not a picture.

Delicious Thai food was consumed, then the capsule hotel! HERRO!


How many dog kennels come with their own TV!?!

So, after all that madness... we went to get pierced! I wasn't planning on it, but I couldn't resist the temptation. As a bonus, I got to practice my Nihongo with the really cool appointment dude at the studio, Masami. He was telling me how he implanted a ring underneath the epidermus on the top of his hand, all by himself. Dude. That is pretty badass. COMPLETELY disturbing, but the idea that he did it all himself is impressive as hell. Oh yeah, so I got another piercing of my conch (that's my ear, perverts), above the previous one. All went smoothly, and we actually got the man to accept our tips, which is a huge accomplishment in Japan!

I am tired, so will stop there. It was a great weekend. Hope to get back to Osaka soon, its great to get out of inaka for a while sometimes.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

the taco hats cometh

Having lived in Toyama-ken for a year now, I figured it was time to see the famous Owara matsuri. It takes place for 3 days in Yatsuo-shi, about 20 minutes outside of the prefectural capital by train (in case you wanted to know). The Owara festival is based around the Owara dance, or dance of the harvest.

Bunni and I braved the throngs of Nihonjin tourists and vicious obaachans to witness the taco-hatted splendor. There were lines upon lines to get a ticket to get in a line to take the train to Yatsuo, then follow a massive crowd down a tunnel-like street to several spots where you would witness the dancing. Along the way, we were entertained by adorable children in yukata, and a man with a teddy bear riding on his head.

There was also a plethora of festival food. The takoyaki vendors were out in droves. They also had kakigori (with optional condensed milk on top), which I partook of. It was not as good as the one J and I had in Osaka, though. I guess I will just have to go back to Osaka for true icy goodness.

We sat outside of a temple for 40mins or so, waiting for a dance performance, and surrounded by a crowd with the average age of 60. It was worth the wait.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Today is apparently the caterpillar *fuzzy-type exodus. I went to the bank to send an overdue furikomi (nice to know I am on top of things) for my upcoming winter vacation, and the madness began. I was about 2 blocks south of my humble abode when I noticed the little fuzzy bastard on my thumb. I flicked it off, and continued on my way. No harm done. After noticing the main bank was closed, I turned tail and headed back home. I put my hand on my bike, and felt a squish. I looked at my hand, it was green and moist. I looked at the handlebar, and half a kemushi remained in fuzzy death spasms. I felt simultaneously saddened and disgusted. Then my attention was drawn to the front of my bicycle where another little beast was wiggling its tufted bum at me in mockery. I waited for him to get into position... FLICK! Oh... bad shot, straight into the bicycle wheel of no return.

One kemushi, ok, I can understand. Hell, I have been attacked by two slugs before after a battle of wills between me and the evil bicycle ojisan of Takaoka eki. But, never have 3 creatures of the same species come at me at once. To make matters worse, last night, whilst making my green pepper hummus, I sliced into one to find a horrible horrible surprise. A kemushi had boored its way into the pepper and set-up shop. There were more eggs than seeds in there! And the cherry on the cake was the carcass of the mommy just chillin in there, awaiting consumption by its own young. EEEW.

Back to the onslaught. Upon returning to my apartment, I noticed what was happening. It is easy to miss at first glance, but if you look carefully, you will see hundreds of fuzzy creatures inching their way up the wall, across the ground, and over anything in their path. This included about 4 of the bikes parked there, 2 of mine. I am sure some of you are thinking, "awww! how cute!" But you would be wrong. It was just creepy.

Last night was a party in the fountain park. It was good times until the neighborhood party-pooper and the police came to shut us down. Boo hiss! Here are some of the revelers. Enjoy!