Saturday, August 26, 2006


I know I keep doing this... But I have found a cool new place for my blog and I couldn't resist.

This will (hopefully) be my last move!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


The reason I haven't been online of late is because I was taking a three-day intensive French pronunciation course.

When I say intensive, I mean intensive. I mean we start at 14.15 and chant "ah"s and "oh"s and "uhn"s until 19.00. For three. Consecutive. Days.

It wasn't quite what I expected. The instructor, who was nice enough, tried to explain the finer points of French pronunciation... in his version of Japanese. He ended up saying things like "This (pointing at the letter A) is an eel", and "An F requires a less healthy lip than a V". He also ended every sentence with an emphatic "desu!", which, while not technically wrong, started to irk me a bit by the 7th hour in.

To make matters worse, it never occurred to me that as an English speaker, it wouldn't be the best idea for me to take a French pronunciation class tailored to Japanese speakers. I have no interest in perpetuating any more stereotypes about the Japanese than is necessary, but here goes.

Here are the sounds that do not exist in Japanese:

F V J R L Si Ti ...and a handful of assorted French vowels that I don't even know how to type on my keyboard.

It's difficult learning a foreign language as it is, but doubly so for a Japanese monoglot. I can now say with absolute certainty that my Fs, Vs, and Bs will rock your world. Hopefully I didn't pick up a Japanese accent.


One of my favourite blogs of all time is, written by the inimitable, foul-mouthed, irreverent, self-proclaimed SAHM*, and altogether fabulous recovering Mormon known as Heather B. Armstrong. To get a short and sweet example of what you might expect on her site, check this out...

*"Stay At Home Mom" or "Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker". Hey, she said it, not I.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Friend: "Where were you?"

Me: "I went out to get LOST."

Friend: "You went out... to get lost?! Where??"

Me: "In Jiyugaoka."

Friend: "That's your own neighborhood!"

Me: "Hunh? I know."

Friend: "You got lost in your own neighborhood?"

Me: "Yeah. At Tsutaya."

Friend: "You got lost at Tsutaya?"

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Poor Kouki.

Not that I saw the fight, but my reliable sources gave me the play-by-play: the punky attitude, the 12 rounds, the dubious win, the bawling, the Kimi ga yo. The full hour that you couldn't get through to TBS because of all the phone calls protesting Kouki's win.

I gotta get a copy of this fight.


Oh. My. God.

After all my gushing the day before yesterday about my favourite boy-boxer, I forgot all about his World Title match and spent the evening sipping iced tea at Ark Hills with a potential employer. I didn't realize my boo-boo until I received a text message from one of my friends, in which she complained about the rubbish rendition of "Kimi ga yo" at the end of the program. (That's the Japanese national anthem, which is notoriously devoid of melody or rhythm. Which I find hauntingly pretty, nevertheless.)

The good news is that after no trifling amount of agony this week (including a 3-hour test-fest at a dodgy recruitment agency in Toranomon) , there are some good work prospects on the horizon. Editorial work, no less. Maybe I will finally get a chance to break from my much-abhorred translation career, which, while being a totally acceptable means of making money, often brings me face-to-face with bitter Japanese women who want desperately to prove that their English is better than mine. It's a bizarre phenomenon and I still can't get my head around it.

Perhaps because I haven't had enough time to myself recently, and because I was properly violated by a sadistic, snub-nosed, and incredibly short recruitment agent, I've been feeling a bit down. And whenever I feel down, my thoughts always wander back to Jonathan, and how much I miss that guy. Death makes sense when it happens to someone you don't know. It's the simplest thing in the world, when it doesn't concern you. It's so hard for me to accept that my buddy is just gone. Poof!... and it's as if he never existed.

Meanwhile, my French adventure continues, with daily Paris apartment searches and fevered attempts to read Anna Gavalda's Je Voudrais Que Quelqu'un M'attende Quelque Part.

Monday, July 31, 2006


If you are in Tokyo this coming Wednesday, 2 August, don't forget to catch my latest crush on TBS at 19:30. I realize he's a bit silly and wears really bad outfits and he's nineteen for fuck's sake, but that doesn't change how cool he is.

Kouki Kameda (pronounced "cokey", not "cookie"), the eldest of the famed Kameda boxing brothers, will be going up against 27 year-old Venezuelan Juan Landaeta in the WBC World Light Fly Weight Championship.

Above, flanked by his two younger Kouki-facsimile brothers

You don't get the full hotness of this kid by looking at the photos. It's not about his looks (though you gotta admit, the body is pretty nice); it's the fact that he's the way a guy should be: active, family-oriented, physical, kind, and yes, a bit of a maverick. I can't tell you what a relief it is to turn on the TV and see a Japanese boy who doesn't pluck his eyebrows.

He also scores high as an entertainer, with all his bravado and his boyish presence. His dad, who is also his trainer, devises some pretty ingenious Rocky-style regimens - digging holes, catching chickens, sawing enormous felled trees - in lieu of pedestrian gym workouts.

This is a must-see.