It's raining today in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, Japan.
I had plans to take photograps of the beautiful Kanemaru area that is home to Kaneda Minami Chu Gakko (Kaneda South Junior High School) where I am teaching this week. But no. No photographs today.
Despite the school having exams this week, I am here in school and don't really do much but visit one class today. Booooo-rinnng!
What's worse is that I have to stay until 5PM as Takano-sensei, the kendo teacher corrals me to chat about my hometown of Toronto and Canada in general and then about other geographical things. Oh well. It's better than being ignored. At least the man has perfect English skills. He should be teaching English!
My two Grade 9 buddies give me a nude postcard of the famous Japanese model Miyazawa Rie (surname first). Yowza! That's her in the photo.
It depresses me that this might be the last time I see them. They'll go to high school and that will be it for our friendship. I hope they do well with their lives.
I ride home with English teacher Mrs. Yamamoto. I tell her about me staying a third year - maybe. She's excited by my possible decision and asks me why I wouldn't.
Great question. I don't really have anything going on back in Toronto. I was a journalist with the Toronto Star newspaper, but I'm pretty sure I don';t want to do that again. I can do it, but it seems not as fun as what I am doing now.
Back in my large three-bedroom apartment with the two balconies (west and north), with no one to tell me what to do or when to do it, I sit and watch some television and read a book simultaneously - because I can.
Ashley - my ex-girlfriend calls - and asks if I want to meet her at Iseya - the city's large grocery/department store. She wants me to come home with her and decorate a tree she is buying.
I'm unsure what that means - but perhaps it's in anticipation of Christmas.
I'm not in a particularly good mood because of the rainy weather. And because I am tired. And because I have to bring my own food. Because she has already got her own dinner. And because it's soup and she's not that great at making a soup that is tasty.
Still, there might be sex involved - we are supposed to be friends with benefits, but I haven't seen any benefit to that arrangement and if I had something better on the go, I would seriously think about ending that arrangement - still, ain't nothing better on the television, so I grin and watch the re-runs.
No... I'm not really watching TV. That was me describing how it feels to have a girlfriend who says she wants to have sex with you, but not a relationship, but still manages not to have sex with you but still manages to eat all the food et al at my place.
At Ashley's tiny four room apartment that would fit in my living room, i pretend to fall asleep while she cleans her microwave - reluctantly, I might add, just so I can cook some food that Mrs. Matsuda gave me yesterday.
Anyhow, I finally snap out of my funk, eat and watch It's A Wonderful Life (for the first time ever - in its entirety), while we both decorate her Christmas tree.
It dawns on me that I feel like Jimmy Stewart's character right now. Doing so much, but no one seems to care about me.
If people did care about me, wouldn't they show it? Why would Jimmy Stewart's character want to kill himself if he didn't feel so unnecessary? Why don't people show their appreciation of others more often?
Now, rather than when it is too late? Not everyone has a Clarence (Guardian Angel) to watch over them.
I'm put off by Ashley inviting me over and me having to bring my own food - she knows I hate soup. It's not a meal! And then showing such disdain to have to clean out a microwave that looked like someone barfed in it - I mean, come on... do something for me if you aren't going to be my girlfriend or sleep with me. I don't have to be here. I could be home alone and not so stressed!
When the movie ends, and I hide my face while wiping away a tear, I snarkily tell her "Thanks for the movie and the food... er, well, not the food.... I'm kidding!"
But, I wasn't.
Still.... tomorrow will be American Thanksgiving (she's from Augusta, Georgia), and I had asked her last week if she was coming over for a meal - and she said yes.... anyhow, I do tell her : "Oh, tomorrow I might have lasagne for you when you come over."
She says "Hmmmm."
But I have other plans.
Apparently so does she.
Somewhere cooking up a scheme,
Today's blog title is rocked by The Offspring: