Saturday, December 23

A list of things I've done in Thailand so far.

No real time to blog, so here's the quickest, laziest blog entry ever.

  • Saw the recling budha.
  • Got a Thai massage.
  • Saw the palace and all that stuff.
  • Ate some Thai food.
  • Ate some more Thai food.
  • Took a Thai cooking class.
  • Ate some more Thai food.
  • Got a lap-dance from a 45 year old woman.
  • Got chatted up by a transgender male.
  • Rode a tuk-tuk.
  • Went to a house club.
  • Visited the night market.

Bring on day three. Off to Khao Sok. Pictures and stuff will follow my return to Japan.

Tuesday, December 19

Bon Enkai

Bon Enkai was last week sometime. It was fun.

Made a video, its worth a watch just for the music in my opinion, the music is fun and used without persmission of the artist.

Monday, December 18

A Blog For Marion Who Believes My Blogs A Too Long, Well Maz! Is This Short Enough For Ya? Wel.... Is It? Is It!


Woke up.

Got a call from Angela, she told me a lot of things I liked hearing.

Still felt hung-over from the night before and Patrick called round to tell me he was feeling bad too.

Talked to Angela for maybe 2 hours before she asked if calling my Skype number was the same price as a local call, I didn’t know.

After talking to Angela I let my duvet tee-pee subside and made a cuppa.

Called Marion, got no answer. Marion called back.

I met Marion for coffee. Had coffee, it tasted coffee-like.

Long way up

Climbed a climbing wall we found. I got half way up but Marion scaled it.

she kissed me like I was her pet dog, there was a lot of nose and no cupping

Went south to Kagoshima. Went to a Christmas party, played pass the parcel and my prize was a kiss from Marion, she kissed me like I was her pet dog, there was a lot of nose and no cupping.

Got drunk and had sex with a JET in the back of her car, afterwards I seriously considered learning to drive.

Woke up with a hang-over, didn’t talk for the whole morning.

Left Kagoshima, saw a bunch of bikers, lets call them a gang, a biker gang.

Talked about my blog with Marion, she thinks it’s too long, I agreed.

Got home, gave Marion some cucumbers, I think she appreciated the gift.

Ate some crab at a neighbour's house and went to bed early. I was knackered.

Lumpy Cabbage Soup


Have you ever bought a cabbage from your Agricutural High School students and then realised you didn't know any ways to make cabbage tasty, and the cabbage you have is bigger than your own head? No...? Just me then.

Here is how I dealt with it:
  • One cube of chicken stock
  • Half a head of cabbage
  • Two big ol' cloves of garlic
  • A cucumber
  • Masala
  • Peas
  • Miso soup mix
  1. Get a pot, some oil, fry your chopped up garlic. At the same time finely chop your cabbage and slice your cucumber. Put your peas to boil in a seperate pot.
  2. When the garlic is all but a burnt husk dump your cucumber and cabbage on top, add more oil. Wait until the peas are half cooked and add the peas to the mix with the enough water to cover the ingridients. Crumble your stock cube and add a lump of miso and stir it up. Whack some of that Masala in there too.
  3. Wait.
  4. Wait.
  5. Wait for 30 minutes or so.
  6. Serve and wait some more for it to cool. If your soup isn't very liquidy, is very lump and the peas are hard and chewy you've got what I've got.
Looks like a mess but taste damn good.



No one is likeable in this film. Matt Dillon exudes a certain cool but ultimately his character isn’t heroic or inspiring and whilst his troubles are darkly comic enough to keep the audience amused I felt that I was always waiting for something to happen and finding myself disappointed that this is really a film about non-events and non-entities.

Little Miss Sunshine

Films about dysfunctional families that star Steve Martin are rubbish and not just in retrospect, they have always been terrible, save The Jerk… maybe. However films about dysfunctional families that co-star Steve Carrel are genius. This film is so thick with character, pathos, humour and then finally satire. Underneath it all there’s a lesson about life. This is truly a wonderful film.

Trallageda Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Will Ferrel does absurd so well that you could easily believe that the genre of comedy this film and Anchor Man belong were invented by him alone. Nights takes ridiculous and amps it up a notch. Will plays the idiot savant again; this time he is the number one racer in the redneck filled Nascar circuit until a gay French F1 racer comes to steal his throne. Before Will can face his nemesis he needs to face some demons of his own and burry something from the past, standard story with great comedy.


A horror movie set in a college, the main protagonist is a pretty and clever but fragile young girl… sound familiar? People start to die on campus, something sinister is stalking the campus. The good thing about this film is that it doesn’t go for the obvious jump scares, in one scene the cat in the cupboard scare is subverted in a disturbing way. The scariest thing about this film is the way it comments upon a society which is becoming more and more reliant on technology and virtual communities, slightly cyber-xenophobic, but a fun no-brainer none the less.

Casino Royale

The opening credits were gorgeous looking but had no Bondness about them. The opening scene was violent, bloody and harrowing. The first action scene was fantastic with some amazing stunts and although later action scenes came close to it none surpassed it. And Bond his self is finally multi-dimensional, displaying more than just a cool exterior. His heroics fuelled by egotism and arrogance, this is a Bond who I can believe in. Great film!

Thursday, December 14


I was thinking about bento boxes today. I ordered a 500 yen box for lunch and was pleasantly surprised that it was a lot better than the 400 yen box I usually settle for or the salad and slice of pizza I walk to the shop for.

I was told, I can’t remember by whom, that bento’s are supposed to be eaten in a certain order. If eaten in the correct way you will feel healthier and your digestion will feel/work better.

So I wikipedia’d bento boxes and had a look for the correct order to eat the bento. The answer wasn’t there unfortunately however I found a link to a great blog about bento boxes and discovered that the IBM Thinkpad was based upon the design of a bento box.

Its odd where the inspiration for certain things comes from. On Tuesday for example I was at an International Seminar, which is a fancy way of saying I was teaching English to 1st year kids at an event held in another part of town.

One of the tasks the kids had to complete was to think of another fantastical use for a normal household item. I brought in three normal household items for the kids in my group to imagine into new things. I brought an ironing board, a cork-screw and a shamoji (しゃもじ is a paddle used to scoop rice from a rice cooker).

flying machine or an electronic pet, all conveyed in self-deprecating mimenot my student

The kids in my group found it hard to think of any fantastical uses for the items I had brought in, but did manage many mundane uses, like turning the ironing board into a chopping board, or using the shamoji as a shoe-horn. I threw out some ridiculous suggestions like using the corkscrew as a flying machine or turning it into an electronic pet, all my ideas were conveyed in self-deprecating mime FYI.

Eventually we decided, by way of democratic vote, that the shamoji should become a table tennis paddle and we would market the paddle as one you could never lose with. We then made a slogan for the product:

“Everyone is strong and beautiful.”
And then we made a skit for a commercial to sell the product. We then performed the skit in front of a captivated audience and finished to rapturous applause.

Although the idea of turning a paddle for rice into a paddle for ping-pong is a bit humdrum, the work that followed was great, the advertisement making part was totally fun and the slogan is so out there it couldn’t fail to stay in your head. So, yeah, it’s odd where we find inspiration.

Tuesday, December 12

Poetry: Verisimiltude

The truth
The undeniable fact
The writing ‘twixt the lines
Repeated for thoroughness
On the bottom of the page
The one thing alluded to
But never said
So obvious it stares you down
Stare back!
Don’t flinch!
It’s only the truth
Fear not as its’ keys jangle
It will set you. . .

The fact however
Is that your liberator
Had a firm grip
Upon those keys
For the term of your sentence

I wrote this poem with my left hand after being told it may tap into some creative well or something, I'll let you be the judge.

Sunday, December 10

Taiko Today

Well, after todays very negative morning blog entry it was great to then go out and spend a whole day watching some great Taiko!

I knew we had a performance today but wasn't aware that it was for a competition. All the Taiko teams from all over Miyazaki were in attendance and everyone had a great time playing and watching the performances.

I screwed up, about four times, but fortunately Kodama Sensei done the Monket Dance Distraction and no one seemed to notice me fumbling the beats. I'm sure they will notice it one the DVD though, I will post the performance as soon as I've ripped the DVD and edited it.

In the mean time here is another groups performance, I've not seen this footage and can't be bothered to quality check it, its 10:30pm, time for bed, been a long but fun day.

Tornado in London, Shitstorm in Saito

Apparently there was a tornado in London recently.


No one I know was affected by it, which is good.

On Monday at work when the 5th hundred person tells me that the weather in England is colder than it is here (which isn't true), I can tell them that there was a Tornado in London, which will be far more interesting than just replying "Oh yes, it gets very cold" and "Oh yes, it rains a lot".

The weather today is fine with no sign of rain, just in case you was at all interested.

they relaxed almost completely save their motor-mouths and gossip-lobes

Although last night, I've been reliably informed, certain JETs bitched up a storm at an event called Bitch & Stitch. Bitch & Stitch was a knitting party, if you could imagine such a thing, a bunch a women and my neighbour meeting up to knit scarves and relax. From what I gather they relaxed almost completely save their motor-mouths and gossip-lobes.

The topics of coversation were pretty much the same as always and focused on two people in particular. I got this news by proxy by the way so I can not be sure of what was said or if the conversation only only extended to two people. The fact that certain people were in attendance and I was not leads me to wonder whether my name crossed anyones lips that night...?

Friday, December 8

Fuk U Ok A: Japanese Learning Proficency Test

Saturday morning… hung-over.

So I’ve decided that I’m not taking the test. I don’t feel it will be a positive experience that I will take anything from except confirmation of what I already know to be true and that is that I’m not very good at Japanese. I’ve not been motivated to rise to the challenge of the JLPT and this is odd as I came over here for the challenges, but this one challenge I feel won’t benefit me at this moment in time.

My lack of Japanese language skill is a huge problem, bigger than I would have previously admitted. It was recently brought to my attention that I express no gratitude to the people who help me at taiko practice, it wasn’t put in that nice a way but the point was the same. When I was accused my rebuttal was that I didn’t even know the word for gratitude in the language, I had simply assumed that my diligence and commitment would convey gratitude enough.
So this is one motivation to learn more Japanese, but my main motivation is that I really need to socialise with people who aren’t JETs.

The ability of some people to make a mountain out of a molehill, to harbour ill will or bad feelings and lose sense of perspective... is like a circus act of negativity

I try, and fail abysmally, to not be critical of people, to accept them on face value and be aware that everyone is flawed. Other JETs however are very intolerant to flawed personalities, which would be fine in its self if this simply led to them giving each other a wide berth. However, it too often leads to one JET being very vocal about their grievance about another JET in some cases so much so it seems that a slur campaign is being run against them.

The ability of some people to make a mountain out of a molehill (しんしょうぼうだい)、to harbour ill will or bad feelings and lose sense of perspective all at the same time is like a circus act of negativity, imagine someone juggling whilst riding a unicycle over a tightrope, stressful right?

But as for the test? I’m in the big city and I should be having fun.

Saturday afternoon, dinner with Evania.


Evania points out that quitting is just like failing. I think to myself that quitting is a lot easier than failing. She talks to me about not taking the test and says a few things to encourage me and I decide to take the test. At this moment its resolute in my mind, I’m taking the test! Which means there will be no wild parties tonight for me, early to bed… alone.

Saturday night, far too sober.

I hate being spoken down to! Someone, he will remain nameless for the moment seems to think it appropriate to speak to me like I’m his fucking hired hand. The cheek of the fucking goon! This encounter only makes me want to learn Japanese more so I can shake these absolute losers.

I remain furious for the rest of the evening, so much so I cannot sleep. I attempt to watch a movie at Evania’s and just as it gets interesting, I’m out like a light.

Sunday morning, alarm ringing, I’ve not had enough sleep.

Test morning! Need to be at the centre by such and such a time, need to get out of here now! Nothing goes smoothly, can’t repack my bag, can’t get the shower to run with hot water, can’t figure out how to lock the front door of Evania’s place! I get to the station, get on a train, get to Tenjin, get on the street, look for the bus centre… not a clue, ask for directions, directions given in Japanese, not a clue. Finally find the place! The bus station is on the third floor of a building, weird. Buy a ticket, look at the time, test begins in 10 minutes, trip on the bus lasts 30 minutes, I’ve missed the test, but I’m not bothered.

missed the test on a heavy comedown with no regrets

It occurs to me later that if I had stuck to my original plan I could have gone and partied with Evania and her friends and I would have missed the test on a heavy comedown with no regrets, now I regret spending Saturday night half watching TV.

Fish Poem

Fish with mouth agape
Giving it the sideways stare
Black beady eyes
Holding my gaze
A dark, disturbing glare

I stare right back
It doesn’t acquiesce
Just looks at me defiantly
And I look back silently
Until I protest
And devour its head violently

Wednesday, December 6

Phrases for Taiko Tonight

Boring Blog Entry Alert!!

Tonight at Taiko I will endeavour to use the following phrases.

- "Please show me one more time"
もういちどう みせて ください
mouichidou misete kudasai

-Thank you for your teaching me.
おしえて くれて ありがとうございました
oshiete kurete arigatou gozaimashita

- "Is this right/correct?"
これは ただしい ですか?
kore wa tadashii desu ka

- "I think I have it"
わかる ように なった と おもいます
wakaru youni natta to omoimasu

I'm looking forward to using the last one in particular.

Here is a video of the tune:

Monday, December 4

99 Problems

If you got girl trouble
I feel bad for you son
But, I got 99 problems
And a bitch ain’t one!
There’s so much drama in the Mi –Ya – Zak- ki it’s kind of hard being a Stephen W A L R –O N D, but some how some way I keep coming up with funky new tricks like every single day!

Just thought I would open this entry with some of my lyrical wizardry, I hope you dig it homeboy/girl.

So, Stephen, why the Jay-Z quote? And what is this drama? Let me answer that in a long drawn out protracted manner.

The drama ain’t mine, it’s about three girls, and in America they call girls bitches, a pseudonym (bitch being the name women assume when they become the authors of their own drama) which is oft very apt.

So if the drama ain’t yours then why are you bugging boo? Well another great question, lets analyse the human psyche and see if the answers lay within.

when they feel insecure in a relationship or a situation they take a cowards way out and desperately find a scapegoat

People are insecure, cowardly, desperate and needy. And sometimes when they feel insecure in a relationship or a situation they take a cowards way out and desperately find a scapegoat that they need to explain their abnormal behaviour.

I’ve become said scapegoat, a role I would happily play if I knew that it would lead to the resolution of their insecurity in the final act. Yet I don’t think that is where this drama is going, like I said, these problems aren’t mine. I don’t own them and I can’t solve ‘em either.

we all know the pretence of ignorance is not bliss

But as long as I remain the focus of these women’s vitriol, spite and polemic rhetoric they can happily ignore the problems they have. Well, not happily, as we all know the pretence of ignorance is not bliss.

My conclusion? I don’t have one but let me just say that I won’t waste another moment being shocked or disappointed by these peoples behaviour, if I only expect the worst from them I can only ever be pleasantly surprised.

This blog entry was brought to you by the letters J & Z, the colour Green and Ebonics … phool!

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