Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Language and coffee stains

The following floated into my inbox the other day, and it reminded me of the many times I've hopelessly tried to understand and look up an incorrectly or hastily-written kanji character with a mis-placed stroke or a coffee cup stain blurring the ink:

“Try reading the paragraph below. When I read it the first time...
...I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was
rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a
rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht
oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the
frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl
mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the
huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a

Though this may be true, I'm still waiting for the day when I can properly read a coffee stain.

Friday, March 25, 2005

After a healthy week of luddite living, I'm right back here again, window shopping...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Happy St. Urho's Day

If you're not already engaged in debaucherous celebration, I suggest you raise a glass! Today, we are honoring St. Urho: a phenomenal man who ridded Finland of grasshoppers. And this, just ONE day before Mr. Patrick cleared Ireland of snakes! An amazing tale, really. The man spoke in tongues, if I'm not mistaken, and had a history of cutting insect E pills with Nosema locustae. Cheers, St. Urho!

(*edit/disclaimer: This is, of course, sarcasm. the man probably never had anything to do with any bioinsecticides or x pills. And, probably never SPOKE in/ or GOT any tongue...)

Friday, March 11, 2005

page 123

Usually, I don't entertain these kind of things. In fact, I'd rather wash my Q-tips than masturbate with chain-mail games. But I just saw this one and it was too easy to ignore.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet!

Without getting up or moving more than a few wrist muscles, there are three books near me:

1)Tales of the Tartan Army (Ian Black):

"'Masticating?' said John. 'Are you sure you're pronouncing that right?' Ramon was at the hotel bar and he noticed when, unprompted, The Heart came up and gave us back our money."

2)Please Kill Me - the uncensored oral history of punk- (Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain):

"'What is it, Patti?' 'It's Bobby's birthday.' 'Bobby who?' 'Bobby Dylan.'

3)Mini Political Atlas of the World (AND cartographic publishers):

"Ribeirao Preto. Niteroi. Sao Paulo."

Well, that was fun. But, I'll bet you my new driver's license and back-up ramen supply that all the other sentences on all the other pages, put together, are far more interesting.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Today was the day. We all drank two extra cups of the plastic-stale coffee. We took four steps for every necessary one. We set up the chairs, floor sheets, flowers and mikes and bowed-in the guests. We ganbarimasu-ed and posed strong. We stood and sat in unison. We showed humility to the speeches of our elders and sang the school song with vigour.
And, I cried like a baby. I couldn't look at the faces of my students. Everytime I did, I would begin to giggle at jokes, recall stories, hear hearts, and re-witness freeze-frame human growth and the primordial sculpting of pure character.
Ok, basta. This has to stop now, as I despise sentimentality and cheese surfers. Suffice it to say that I was well touched grieving (as I have only been one other time in Japan).
On the fun side, I get to go party now with my fellow cheese-surfers and then head to Osaka to see some fat, Japanese men, wearing tissues around their waists, stare at each other, rock back and forth and then role over a line! My first sumo experience coming soon..!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Revitalizing Rope Swings

Just got back from eating an unmentional number of various animals and fish, grilled to excellence. It was delicious. And, the master of the izakaya, (aside from offering me his first born son as a husband), informed me that the water he serves is a 'youth revitalizer'. I drank lots of it and am hoping to wake up tomorrow asking: "I GET it, but why exactly IS the sky blue, mommy?'
I have also started to think about finances. I think I've deduced that if I start saving now, I may just be able to buy this beautiful island in the Bahamas in under 5000 years. I may even be able to get a fishing pole and put up a rope swing! Who's with me?