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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Killing Me Softly With His Song

It's Thursday... uhhh.... I think it's December.... yesterday was Aprilsss, so yeah, today is the 5th of gin in 1991 when Columbus discovered Ohio.

Oh god. The alarm goes off. Not too early or too late. It just goes off.





And... I


I wuzzzz...


I have the alcohol craps. Life is as simple as that. I have nothing left in my stomach, which is good that I am sitting as I evacuate, because the other option is barfing. Hmm, but at least if I barfed, my stomach muscles would tighten up. I don't need my ass muscles to tighten up. It's already pretty buff, if I do say so myself... and I am.

I don't wan to eat breakfast in case I load my ass up for more crap. I am just really, really, really.....zzzzzzzz..... I'm up!

I dress without waking up my drinking partner Nicholas Strachan who is stretched out on some futons behind my couch.

I have to go to work today at Nozaki Junior High School, here in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.

I grab a hot can of coffee from a nearby vending machine for ¥100. Holy crap... could I have a hangover? My first ever?

I chug the steaming can of joe and press the searing hot can against my forehead hopefully to permanently scar myself to remember to never drink this much again... on a weeknight... in December... in 1991.

I'm not naive enough to think I will just not drink again in this country.

At work I have a couple of cups of o-cha (green tea) served by the female teachers. They all knew what I was going to do last night, but it was still a pleasant surprise to see four Tylenol sitting atop my desk in the teacher's office.

I take two and after chewing back some rice crackers, I feel pretty good.

But that feeling goes away when I see that they scheduled me to teach in all five classes today.

Really? Did you not get the memo that I was going out drinking last night? Someone did, which is why I have Tylenol. Five classes? I have never taught five classes. Razazafrazzastupidsonofa...

There was some imagination used in a class where students were asked to act out a skit of buying something. Four boys staged a car theft! And then had a fence buy the car from the thieves. The English was passable, but they made the day go by quickly - pity it was in the 5th period when they performed.

After school, I sit around and chat with a few teachers - about women, men, relationships in Canada. I do my best, but they don't know I never dated until I was 22 and never slept with a woman until I was nearly 26. But, I do have good opinions on relationships to offer having watched a whole lot of television growing up... just tell them to do the opposite of everything I have done in a relationship. Hopefully, you know I'm only sort of kidding.

Mrs. Nagashima gives me a pretty sake set... (and here, I'm going to have to confess that I previously attributed this sake set above to Ashley - it was Nagashima-sensei). I was told by others that it was a very expensive set of pottery. (In 2012, I still use it, and take great care to not damage it).

Feeling chipper, I go out and play some baseball with the boy's team and some softball with the girl's team. I help them with their infield work lacing grounder after grounder to the four infield positions. (Did I mention I'm not wearing my eye-patch this week? I have depth perception!)

I'm unsure if this is Japan-wide, but here at this school, second-year students (Grade 8) get to participate in club activities, while third year students (Grade 9) are studying for high school entrance exams, and first -year students (grade 7) they actually take a 6th period - an additional class, for example - one extra English class a week.

I arrive home at 5:30PM - Nick is long gone, but has left a note thanking me for a great evening of man-time.
Good ol' Saint Nick.

Ashley shows up minutes later at my door. I don't kiss her - just proffer up a hug - and we eat some popcorn together. I hate having to share a bag, but I do. We watch a few videos, chat about nothing I can remember later, go to Mosburger for dinner (separate bills) and then ride back with her to her apartment in Nishinasuno-machi (Nishinasuno Town). When we say good-bye, I glance at my watch: It's 8:45PM.

I go home, watch a video and wonder about how strange my life is sometimes. It's wonderful strange.

I peer outside my balcony and let the cold wind blow through my hair... and spy a firetruck with its siren blaring... moving slowly... ever so slowly... for 10 minutes... is it looking for a fire? It's possible... there aren't any numbers on any of the houses... or street signs....

"Squad 51, we have a fire at ... uhhhh... farg!... uhhhh... some sort of field... and a rice paddy... uhhhh, it's in the northwest part of the city... no... not in the city... where the fields and rice paddies are... yes, I know there are rice paddies in the city - even beside the city hall....wait a moment.... if this helps.... the call came in from a... Suzuki-san... I don't know... I didn't take the call.... what's that Squad 51... you've found the fire? ... it's out? It's at an apple farm and a rice farm?... uh, roger that, Squad 51, but I think you need to keep looking for the fire... I think the.... uhhhh... yes... the one you just found was from last Monday.... is anyone still alive? ... why didn't you stop.... it doesn't matter if the fire is out... you are a member of the Ohtawara-shi volunteer fire department... can you turn around... no... I'm sorry, I know there's no room for you on these roads to turn around a fire truck... Look... just keep driving around... but please... the next time you think you see a fire or one that is recently gone out - stop and take a look around for survivors... if you don't... you know the rules of the volunteer fire department - you each get to take one item from the deceased house... unless it was the house that burned down....

But I digress...

Somewhere still drunk,
Andrew Joseph
Today's blog title is by Roberta Flack:


  1. no sharing the popcorn bag!!!!! just sayin'...... x

  2. We each get a bag, right? That's the best way to eat popcorn together! Someone gets it!