Monday, March 30, 2009

internet cafe coffee is nasty

Here I go complaining about having nothing to complain about. What are you supposed to do when everything is going undeniably, blissfully well in your life? I wake up every morning excited to do the same things I did yesterday, taking immense pleasure in the smallest of life's intricacies. I feel like the little prince. Spring has come, and everything is blooming. I really think my mood is attributed to the air. My only fear: Nothing gold can stay.

I'm so much more interesting when I'm angry. No one likes reading about happy people.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My name is Lorraine, and I'm an Internet-aholic.

"Hi, Lorraine."

It's been three days since YahooBB cut off the Internet in my apartment and I gotta say, I don't miss it nor do I feel any sense of urgency to reset it. I was horrified at first, naturally. I came back to my apartment after a weekend away deliciously anticipating the big fat number of new e-mails I had received only to notice the damn Internet was not connecting. Panic mode ensued, I tried doing whatever amateur computer user faced with such a debacle would--resetting the computer, plugging and unplugging the modem, aimlessly clicking on Internet related icons on the hard drive. But no, the ominous green light on the modem blinked and blinked and blinked into the ether, mocking my desperation. I was cut off cold turkey. I had been using my predecessor's Internet for three months without paying a single bill so it had to come sooner or later.

But after the panic and the cold realization came a calm. I channelled Buddhism 101 and cried, "freedom from attachment is the cure for suffering." I seriously think I was addicted to e-mail, Facebook, the blog. I would just stare at my unchanging screen for no apparent reason and hours would go by without notice. I had to quit the Internet. And gee willikers, I do feel a little enlightened. I got more done in two afternoons than my entire four months in Japan because I don't have the Internet immediately accessible. I signed up for Japanese lessons, bought running shoes finally and went for my first jog, I signed up for a gym, I bought a guitar, wrote letters back home, finished a book, and somehow fumbled through a hilarious new member registration at the Internet Cafe (OK, so I haven't completely cut myself off). The home computer is now just a glorified multimedia player. I've chucked the heavy modem into a closet and don't plan on releasing it ever.

The only thing that I don't like is that I just added $10 to Skype and I don't get to call Gramma as easily! And posts will now come intermittently and with fewer photos, I imagine.

I'm back on Internet land from a friend's laptop, and I only have one more thing to add:
My page looks ugly on a PC.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

onsen hoyoland

After four months in Beppu I finally visit the Onsen Hoyoland. I told you I was trying to be more productive. Whassat? Mixed-gender outdoor mud baths. What a wonderfully loaded aforementioned sentence! Every word juxtaposes the other. For 1050 yen (10 bucks) you too can bathe in five separate onsen (hotsprings) including the waterfall onsen, the sulfur onsen, the private indoor mud onsen, the outdoor mixed-gender mud onsen, and the REALLY REALLY MUDDY outdoor mixed-gender mud onsen. Take a look. 
Pretty thatch roof road to mud bath land.  

I snuck in my contraband camera. The partitions were an attempt at modesty, but I saw plenty of Japanese nibbles and bits, male and female. They saw mine too. It's kind of hard not to stare when you're walking around in nothing but a strategically placed a wash towel. I've never felt more leered at in my life, except for that time I walked around the Vegas strip by myself in a black dress during NBA All Star week. I was looking at everyone too because they were looking at me! Mutual leering makes it okay to be a creepy.  

Glorious mud! 

Monday, March 9, 2009


I did it. I took purikura (photobooth pictures) by myself. I didn't have the nerve to ask a Japanese stranger to pose with me but now that I think of it, posing with someone would have been terribly awkward, and plus, a Japanese person who actually knows how to use these machines would deter me from aimlessly pressing picture decal options and doodling nonsensical Japanese phrases, WHICH IS THE BEST PART OF PURIKURA. Why YES, that IS a picture of a live panda next to a dancing bunny costume! Of course! 

Oh, Vanity, it was fantastic, but now I have a shit ton of pictures of myself and I don't know who to hand these out to...even ironically. To my three readers, if you want one, I'll send one to you. Perhaps several so then you can deal with them. They're also stickers so you can use them to...dunno, stick stuff together?? 

What else, what else, this entry was pointless. I'm teaching in Beppu this week so I just mucked around one of the Beppu shopping centers. I didn't have to start my day until 5 p.m. So I had some KFC for lunch, and I also won lotsa Hichew candies somehow at the same arcade where I took the pictures. ANNNNND, I impulsively bought EXTREME Screamin' Dill Pickle Pringles. I hate things that are marketed as EXTREME. Unless a potato chip aerial heel flips out of its tube and kicks me in the face it's just a nasty pickle-flavored chip. 

Anyway, behold false marketing and me succumbing to its powers:

They were EXTREMELY rancid, but I couldn't stop eating them. 

That's about all I have to report to blogworld. This past week has been interesting and you don't know the least of it, but I'm happy-scrappy. I'm going to start being very, very productive. I've had a long enough break from reality. 

Seacrest, out. 

Monday, March 2, 2009


Whuddup blogworld, I am certifiably an alien. Booyah.    

I finally picked up my gaijin card at the Beppu city hall. Actually, I've been an alien for a while now. My ID card was sitting in a box ready for me to pick up since mid-December, but silly me thought they mailed them to your door so I had been waiting patiently all this time until I was informed otherwise! I thought there would be some outrageous penalty I had to innocently shrug and gesture my way out because I was so damn tardy in picking it up but the Foreign Registration lady just chucked it over to me, sealed in its own little carrying case of course. Apparently these babies have locator chips in them so the government always knows where we are. Allegedly, some foreigner killed a couple of Japanese people and the government freaked and now there is absolutely no gaijin privacy. (Don't the Japanese kill each other too? whatever.) I have nothing to hide so I'm indifferent about being found, but if some Japanese bureaucrats were looking for me before, they must have thought it was strange I was detained in city hall for so long. Well, it's not like I go anywhere anyway. I HAVE TO GET OUT OF OITA. Golden Week is coming up in May and I'm gonna join my Saitama training group besties Joe and Paul (HI!!!) for a week of much needed immorality in the more northern locations.  

If you look at the picture closely, you'll notice my left hand has a plaster on it (I refuse to call them Band-Aids) (and it really is my left hand, assholes, my Mac's Photo Booth takes mirror images). I gave myself the most unnecessarily huge paper cut ever with a classroom textbook and now I spite the company even more. My motivation to master Japanese currently stems from my desire to find a new job as a hostess. You think I'm kidding.     

Last doodle of the Usa commute. "Doolittle" by Pixies.