Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My weekend flew by. Went on trip to Nagoya complete with cute children, white gyoza and old art. It was fun, but too short as always and maybe a tad too exciting. (Next trip I'm suggesting barbiturates and an Ingmar Bergman film marathon to balance it out.) Had a good time, went to tutor some of Will's hilarious/cute younger students, met a bunch of Will's pals and enjoyed the general merriment. Went to Tokugawaen and the Tokugawa Art Museum. Got a great new book from Will about large folk art environments from all over the world which in turn features two Georgia artists. Something about our fine state breeds a particularly eccentric brand of creative weirdos and I am happy to call it home. Admittedly I'm a bit down to be back home because many aspects of my current situation are absolutely pissing me off besides the fact that I miss Nagoya-in particular the aforementioned resident within its borders. All this will be solved in due time.
Snowboarding again this weekend-look out mountain, I'm gonna getcha!

White gyoza are a tad different from other gyozas in that they are harder on the outside. Plus they don't have any rhythm.

Met this guy at a flea market.

The weather was so nice on Sunday......

.......we went to Tokugawaen.

Because the "let's take a cute couple picture" never gets old and you know it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Japanese tutor let me borrow this c.d. today.

Whoosh! It's apparently one of the top selling albums of all time in Japan which is totally believable because it sounds like ABBA meets Miami Sound Machine meets Barry Manilow. And I bet you didn't know that one of the guys from this band composed music for Sonic the Hedgehog.

It's been sort of a long week, but it's about to be over and then I'm gonna go visit this character.


Sunday, January 22, 2006



Honestly, is this for real? I especially like his bumper sticker catch phrases.

Kate vs. Mountain

Today was my first day of snowboarding, and I feel like someone put me in a snowy blender of pain. Took quite a few spills, but didn't mind too much because even if people were mocking me, I couldn't understand half of what they were saying. One of the employees came up to us and was llke,"Hey you're the foreigners who bought the season passes! Nice to meet you!" Some other kids thought we were celebrities. It's the little things, like I always say.
It was way fun and even though I sucked, I improved a little and ready to suck less next time. We hit an onsen on the way back which was cool, although it's still hard to lift my arms to drive.


On the way to Seaside.

The slope. If you look closely, you can see my face imprint all up and down it.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

My camera phone, 1st installment

Ever since I first heard of camera phones I considered them completely useless. Absolutely. Until I got one. Now I'm sayin-they're awesome. Not only is a camera phone small and handy, but it's perfect for all those hilarious little things Japan has to offer. I picked some of my favorites from the last few months. Dozo.

Saw this in Tower Records.

Puttin' the "ass" in glasses.

That is one pissed off crazy owl.

Racism anyone? It's only 200 yen.

On a bag of chocolate chips.

A lunch box at the 100 yen store.

Cute moments can also be captured.

Saw this guy and three of his friends walking down the streets of Nagoya screaming and making a bunch of crazy noise with a rollable PA.


Obviously! This guy was way proud of his shirt. (And had no idea what it said I'm fairly certain.)


Monday, January 16, 2006

brang on some fun

This weekend was productive, fun, exciting, and a tad moist. Friday night went to an awesome newly found onsen in Uozu. I would have taken pictures of how awesome it was, but I'm pretty sure that's frowned upon.

Saturday I headed into Toyama for a New Years International Thingy at the CIC. There was lots of food, people, internationalizing, dancing, puppets, singing and general merriment. I won a Hello Kitty camera in their raffle.

Went out with Rachel, heard about her awesome Christmas trip to Thailand-ate Indian food with a bunch of Toyama folks.

Today Gill and I went to Takaoka to the Nabe Festival. Nabe is a traditional Japanese food prepared in a hot pot with lots of delicious vegetables and fruits of the sea.

For three dollars a pop, we ate our way around the city. It was fun. Here is documentation of our three bowls.

# 1: Corn, shrimp, potatoes? I'm impressed, this is going to be a good day-a good day for Nabe, that is.

#2 Oooh, a big, dead critter afloat in this bowl!

#3 Really mastering that cooling technique by the third one as well as the creeping heartburn.

Had some coffee, studied, bought a new coat, ate Mos Burger. A great weekend, but my tummy hurts. I think the burger is fighting the Nabe which is fighting the coffee which is all provoked by my craving for a cigarette. Let's hope the week goes well so I don't start smoking from every possible orifice. (But I'll be sure to post pictures if I do!)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Here is a recipe for feeling like ass-a-rola.

4 gallons of snow
2 cups of work, or no work at work as the case may be
2 tablespoons of homesick
A dash of boredom
1 cup of lonesome
One big scoop of nicotine craving

Stir feverishly like you hate the batter.

The first week was a little bad, but the cure for this ailment is starting at a new yochien. Seriously, I'm at another one for the next few months and it's great. It's small and they are so cute and funny and sweet. I told them my favorite Japanese food was okonomiyaki and the principal left and bought the ingredients and made it for lunch! After this week, it was exactly what I needed. That and the onsen I just discovered. Thanks life in Japan for pissing me off hardcore and then feeding me delicious food and providing nude baths.

If you don't know the story, the Japanese Snow White falls into a coma not because the apple was poisonous, but because of the shock that it cost $7.00.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Well I'm back and it's so cold I wanna elbow someone. Got in last night and had to drag my suitcase through a ginormous mound of snow. It was comical, but did nothing to squelch my longing for the Hotlanta weather. It was great to see all of you guys-I miss you like the dickens. You're always welcome here, and I promise if you come I will introduce you to unusual food, poor drivers and a little something I like to call "style".
Went to Inuyama the other day and had a blast.

Inuyama Castle.

View from Inuyama Castle.

Narita-san Temple.

Eeeeeek, a temple zombie. Good thing I brought my lawnmower.

Doesn't get much more Japanese than this.

Glad to be back. The sake helps.

This is my new life.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Magical Candy Christmas Crap

Coming home was fun. Thanks everyone for hanging out and making it a good holiday. See you again when my soul's searching leads me back to my home-or when I get sick of this country and my only other option is moving back to the land of anger and too much food.

Believe it or not, this is the standard airplane oxygen mask nowadays.

Only a lady like Jayne could make her drink match her outfit.

Here's some of the old crew doing what they do best.

Ghetto animals made a stunning reappearance at my surprise party.

Kate and Laurenzo.

This is what happens when I leave my cellphone at home.

The Aquarium is the biggest new thing in Atlanta......

.....I actually saw more people's heads than sea animals, but it was still pretty awesome

Santa's gettin' a slap for giving this karaoke machine to my sister.

Mexican food always tastes better when eaten with family. Check out that giant pixie stick.

Back in Japan, Will eating natto.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Comin' back to Japan on Thursday, and I'm kinda ready. I find that America is a lot like malt liquor. It's familiar, cost effective and gets the job done, but too much will make you violently ill.

I will need this kind of enthusiasm and flexibility for the plane ride home.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005-you were a biggun

Well the year's over and as I look back on it, it's been quite a busy one. So I bring you Kate's 2005, the highlights.

My Trip to Greece: Ah Greece, with it's columns, magical tales and swarthy menfolk. This was arguably one of the best trips I've ever taken. I hope to live there someday. Gyros are delicious.
Senior Art Show: When I think of all the glue, wood, paint, and hours in the art building with the company of Jared, X, and whordes of cockroaches it makes me more than a little nostalgic.
Graduation: Yep, I sure did that.
Two surgeries: One more sugery this year and you might as well send me an I.V. I can hook up myself to save everyone at the hospital some time.
Parties: My going away party and my recent surprise party were awesome because I have great friends and pinatas will never get old.
The Big Move to Japan: The best (and most difficult) decision I've ever made. And I've still got some dried squid if anyone's takin'.
Goodbye smoking: I usually regard New Year's resolutions as a load of crap, and rarely do they last through February, but this year I've decided to give up cigarettes......for good. Wish me luck, and if you see me smoking throw a rock at my eye.
Have a good 2006 everybody. Don't forget to write.