Wednesday, March 30, 2005

3/27-3/28: unhappy flight time

It's 9:15PM here in Tokyo, which means it's...uh...who knows what time it is in California. I'm just glad I managed to find the apostrophe key. Anyway, I'm sitting here in the Yahoo Cafe at the Shinigawa Prince Hotel, sipping a caramel cappuccino and backspacing every two seconds because I keep accidentally hitting the key that turns my letters into hiragana. It's been a long day, so I'm all about staying in the hotel tonight and catching up on e-mail and writing an entry.

Anyway, K was kind enough to drive me to the airport on Sunday morning, despite her wicked hangover, and she even came inside with me. When she saw my tour group, she whispered, "The geekitude in here is so strong I can barely even breathe!"

"No kidding," I replied. "Christ, that one Dawn Weiner-looking chick is really loud and obnoxious. How much do you want to bet she was my original roommate?"

Yumiko and Ken were both there, although neither one was going on this tour, and Yumiko gave me a big hug when she saw me. Unfortunately, Ken did not, but the mere sight of him was enough to get my juices flowing. She began calling out names, and sure enough, Dawn Weiner was the chick I was originally paired with. I could have kissed Yumiko's feet in sheer gratitude.

Eventually, Isaac showed up and after a head count, it was time to begin the laborious check-in process. I gave K a hug goodbye and then it was off through the gates.

The flight to Japan absolutely sucked. The plane was full to capacity, which meant no row all to myself like last time. No, I got the middle seat between another tour participant and a woman who would not stop bitching. "It's too hot, the food's so bland, I can't understand the stewardess, why are they showing Fat Albert?" I finally put on my iPod to drown her out, which did much to improve my mood.

When we arrived at the Kansai airport, we had time to relax for a while because our Japanese tour guides were getting our rail passes ready. I bought a Coke from the vending machine and sat down. My right calf was killing me, so I became convinced that I was suffering from deep vein thrombosis. Fortunately, it was time to go before I could dwell too much on it.

We took a train to the Kyoto station, and then we checked into the Hotel New Hankyu. I went to my room, did a happy dance to commemorate my arrival in Japan and my lack of a loud, annoying roommate, and then I walked to the convenience store across the street to buy dinner: an ice cream sandwich and a bottle of Pocari Sweat. Then I took a long hot shower and passed out for about three hours, after which I was wide awake. I felt very Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.

(to be continued)

Monday, March 28, 2005

reporting from Japan

Hello from the Kansai airport, where we are waiting to receive our rail passes so we can go to the hotel and crash. This keyboard is a mofo to use, and I cannot find the apostrophe key, so I shall close this up for now. A full report when I get home, of course.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

and she's off

Okay, so I'm all packed. I've got my t-shirts and my panties (including the crucial grease pairs) and a pretty dress in case we go anywhere fancy. I've got my perfumes and spare batteries and a brand-new titsling. My iPod Shuffle is full to capacity with everything from Meg Rock to Kid Rock. I've got a mad grip of yen and American money to boot. I've got a brand-new notebook with perfectly pure pages just waiting to be filled with wondrous adventures. I have had a tearful goodbye on G's front porch. At long last, I'm ready to roll.

In less than 24 hours, I'll be winging my way to Japan. See you on the flip side!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

(early) media update: March

I'm posting this early since I've got so much to do before I leave on Sunday, and I doubt I'll have much time for reading or movies between now and the end of the month. Asterisks denote something I particularly enjoyed or found especially worthy of my time; as always, your mileage may vary.

Apparently, March was Chick Lit and Inane Foreign Films Month.


1. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin: Chick sleeps with, then falls in love with, her best friend's fiance. Oops. Wraps up a little too neatly for my tastes, but it's not bad.

2. The Shining by Stephen King: I thought I'd read it before, but I think I may have actually thrown it aside in fear, because it doesn't seem familiar to me at all (except for the parts that were also in the movie; quite a bit was changed). God knows the movie scarred me for life, to the point that I cannot go into a bathroom with a drawn shower curtain.

3. Spiral by Koji Suzuki: Sequel to The Ring. Nice twist at the end, but otherwise meh.

4. Eleanor Rigby* by Douglas Coupland: A lonely, nondescript woman ("I'm the blank tile in a Scrabble set") gets a hell of a shock when the son she gave up for adoption twenty years before finds his way back into her life.

5. Hanging by a Thread by Karen Templeton: God, the shit I'll read when I'm bored enough.

6. Wedding Season by Darcy Cosper: Marriage-phobic woman must attend 17 weddings in six months. Basically standard chick lit, although it gets points for a funny loudmouthed lesbian character named Henry and the fact that it doesn't end remotely like I thought it would.

7. Prep* by Curtis Sittenfeld: This is the book that's being touted as the new Catcher in the Rye (albeit with a female protagonist), and although it's not up to Salinger's standards, this is a damned good book.


1. The Secret Life of the Lonely Doll by Jean Nathan: The tragic true story of author Dare Wright, who was kept in a constant state of total dependence by her overbearing mother, and was left completely helpless when she died. If you've never read Wright's definitive work, The Lonely Doll, I highly recommend it; imagine if David Lynch or Cindy Sherman decided to take pictures for a children's book.

2. A Rip in Heaven*: Devastating true crime story about the author's cousins and her brother, who were walking on a bridge late at night when four teenagers assaulted them, raping the girls, beating her brother, and then throwing all three of them over the side of the bridge. Her brother survived; the girls did not. Because the police didn't believe he could have survived a 50+ foot drop, he was placed under arrest for his cousins' murder, but even after the suspects were apprehended and he was freed, he and his family had to watch as the killers became media darlings. A searing look at how victims continue to be victimized long after the fact.

3. Witness by Amber Frey: Oh god, the shame.

4. Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood* by Koren Zailckas: Uncompromising memoir of one woman's love affair with alcohol.


1. Extra Heavy Syrup* by Yayoi Ogawa
2. Billion Girl vol. 2 by Miwa Sakai
3. Confidential Confessions vol. 6 by Momochi Reiko
4. Pink Prisoner by Kazumi Ooya


1. Bride & Prejudice: This has to be the most colorful movie I've ever seen, that's for sure. It wasn't great, but neither was it awful, and Aishwarya Rai and Martin Henderson sure look good together.

2. Shaolin Soccer: Unrepentantly dumb.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Grease is the word


9:00AM Alarm went off; felt discombobulated as it was my day off. Remembered my mission and immediately leaped out of bed and performed my morning ablutions.

9:15AM Hopped into my car and drove to Carl's Jr, where I placed my order at the drive-through: one Breakfast Burger and one medium Coke. Contemplated getting the combo; decided against it as gluttony is a deadly sin.

9:30AM Returned home and removed the item from the bag.

Removed the top half of the bun to perform a thorough inspection of the item to ensure none of the Devil's Vegetable [onions] were present. Found only a hamburger patty, hash brown nuggets, a fried egg, cheese, bacon, and ketchup. Thus assured, I began consumption of the item, which proved difficult as I am unable to unhinge my jaw like an egg-eating snake.

Verdict: Definitely delicious. Hash brown nuggets a tad rubbery, and fried egg (like all eggs) had distinct farty smell, but bacon was perfectly prepared, hamburger patty was delectably charbroiled, and cheese formed a luscious protective barrier over all. Immensely pleased by high salt factor.

9:35AM Finding it difficult to finish item. Stomach is protesting against sudden onslaught of fat. I fear tha

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I will beat a bitch's ass!

Last night, I went to K-Mart (I’m not proud) and had the misfortune to stand behind a swarthy (no other word will do, plus it’s a great word that doesn’t get used enough, like “candyass” or “douchebag” or “lagniappe”) man who had a bug up his ass the size of an ant from Them!

Witness, if you will, the crapitude.

The cashier said, “Hi, how are you doing tonight?”

A noncommittal grunt from Swarthy McButthole.

“Could I get your zip code, please?”

WHAT DO YOU NEED THAT FOR?!” he roared. The poor girl actually stepped backwards.

“Um, it’s for…”

“I don’t need to give that to you,” he barked. “That is a violation of MY PRIVACY.”

Um, how?

“Okay,” she said meekly. She finished ringing him up, and then she picked up one of the paper sneakers that K-Mart is selling to benefit the March of Dimes.

“Would you like to buy a---“

DON’T try to sell me anything else,” he hissed. “Jesus!” Then he grabbed his plastic bag and stormed out.

I looked at the poor cashier, and she was blinking back tears. “Hi, how are you?” she mumbled, waving the price scanner over my kitty litter with a trembling hand.

“Much better than you, I’m sure,” I said, shaking my head.

My phone rang at work yesterday, and I picked it up and did my usual spiel.

Daddy-O, without preamble: “What’s crunk?”

Where does he GET this shit?

E-mail from my boy:

Holy God in a Tijuana beaver-bar downing body-shots off a syphilitic smack-whore with a suspiciously prominent Adam's apple! The insanity continues. I am sorry to report that there is apparently no career-prudent way for me to avoid staying late again tomorrow. (Kill me now.) I am, however, HAPPY to report that the CAUSE of all this lunacy will soon expire (our big goal is to get all our major mailings out the door by the end of March), meaning that even in the absence of our eventual new hire, gentler times lie ahead. (Belay that kill me now order.) In other happy news, it's M's birthday this Saturday, and by complete coincidence, she has decided upon a trip to the Huntington Gardens! We have, of course, been invited to join the fun, and as partial payment for working overtime every day this week, I have secured my freedom for the whole of the weekend. So, Saturday with C and M (and R, who managed to extend her stay!), and Sunday with just the two of us. Interested?

God yes. After last weekend, I’ve got the GTs.

In the process of uploading songs to my iPod Shuffle, I fell in love with Shudder to Think all over again.

I am wearing Comme des Garcons Spicy Cocoa perfume today, which smells like those Pacifica Mexican Chocolate candles I love, and I keep wanting to lick my arm.

I am craving salt something fierce.

I have read way too many chick lit books in the past couple of weeks.

I want to jump on my desk and shout from the joy I can’t seem to keep inside.

And I want some gum.

And if you got the origin of the title, you read way too many glossy magazines. But that's okay, because so do I, and I love you anyway.


I Googled "crunk", and apparently it's a combination of the words crazy and drunk. I still don't know where Daddy-O heard it, or why he asked, because he had to get off the phone right after his query.

A lagniappe is a freebie or unexpected bonus.

GTs: short for "G tremors", this refers to the listlessness and ennui that overcomes me when I am sans boyfriend.

And last but not least, I am so happy because:

a) I have Friday off (thanks to working 10-hour days all this week);
b) I get to see G this weekend, thereby staving off another attack of the GTs.
c) Finally, I got an e-mail from one of the tour directors saying that they have an odd number of women on the tour, and as such, I get a single room to myself.

But wait! There's more!

Because I am a "special guest" (by which I took to mean that I've traveled with them before), I don't have to pay the supplement for a single room...which would be about $500 extra.

Holy fucking yay!

Oh, sure, the room will probably be the size of my closet (and I have a really, really small closet), but I don't have to worry about an Alaskan woman putting her stank feet on my pillow!

Okay, things are just too good right now. Please, please, please don't let this be fate's way of setting me up for a cosmic bitchslap that will knock my fillings loose.


I'm not supposed to tell anyone that I'm getting the single room without an extra charge, which I can understand because I'm sure they don't want people carping at them for not being the Chosen One, so that's a secret between you and me. I doubt anyone reading this knows anyone who's going on the exact same tour as me, but if you do, mum's the word.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

meat me in my dreams

G is the most attentive and considerate boyfriend I’ve ever had (I’m disqualifying M1, who clung to me like a remora and greedily sucked away at my tiny supply of the milk of human kindness until I freaked out and screamed “Stop being so fucking clingy all the time!”), but there are certain things even he will not do for me.

Case in point #1:

We were sitting on his couch when they showed a commercial for Carl’s Jr’s new Breakfast Burger.

Ingredients: a fried egg, bacon, hash brown nuggets, cheese, ketchup, and a charbroiled all-beef patty on a sesame seed bun.

“Look at that thing!” G said in horror.

“I’m looking,” I gurgled, wiping drool off my chin.

He turned to me and said, “That actually looks good to you? That’s like a full day’s worth of food, not to mention about two thousand calories [803, actually].”

“Yeah, it’s a lot of food, but just look at it! Look at all that meat and cheese and…and hash browns,” I moaned orgasmically. “We could always share one.”

G, who considers eating to be strictly a utilitarian thing, not a thing of sheer beauty, stared at me as though I’d suggested we strip off all our clothes and run naked down the freeway singing “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” at the top of our lungs.

Case in point #2, occurring perhaps two hours after CIP#1:

“Is there anything good in the theaters?” G asked.

“I’d like to see Bride & Prejudice.”

“What’s that?”

"It’s a Bollywood---"



“Oh, god, no.”

"---based on Jane Aus---"

“Nope.” I gave him a hurt expression, and he said, “You do realize I’m straight, right?”

Unfortunately, G will be working mandatory overtime this weekend, so I’ve got to find something else to occupy my time. I think I’ll go scarf down one (well, more like half; it really is an obscene amount of food) of those breakfast burgers and then catch a matinee of Bride & Prejudice. I’m thinking I’ll have a whole row to myself, thanks to the rumblings from my meat- and cheese-clogged colon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

answers to questions that nobody asked

’Sup, fool?

Oh, not a whole lot…just haven’t been in the mood for writing for some reason.

How are things with G?

Still cavity-inducingly wonderful, thanks. We went to Little Tokyo on Saturday with C and M, and because the Alameda exit was closed off, we wound up getting lost in a particularly nasty part of LA. That was fun…four people so white you could ski on them, sitting at a stoplight and praying no crackheads would come over and start (or indeed throw) some shit.

However, once we did reach our destination, all was well. I bought the usual glut of magazines and junk food, as well as a notebook to serve as a trip journal. The cover is sprinkled with strawberries and says “All tiny things are pretty”. We had dinner at a little sushi/ramen joint and I had a bowl of nabeyaki udon.

Back at G’s, C and M took their leave and we stayed up late playing RE4. We just bought the Chicago Typewriter from the merchant and are enjoying its kick-ass firepower.

Sweet. Hey, what was your first exposure to porn?

My mom bought a copy of My Secret Garden (a collection of women’s sexual fantasies compiled by Nancy Friday) back in the late 70’s, and she was so appalled by it that she threw it away. I overheard snippets of a conversation between her and Daddy-O (“disgusting…absolutely degenerate…you know I’m pretty liberal, but my god!”), and after they had gone to bed, I sneaked out into the garage and fished it out of the trash. I read it cover to cover in the dim glow of my unicorn nightlight and was thoroughly traumatized. I remember pulling the blankets over my head and thinking "Oh my god...people can have sex with DOGS?"

Got any consumer advisories for us?

I put on a fragrance called Miss Natasha on Sunday and when G came back into the room, he sniffed the air and said, “Did you just spray Raid?”

Another recent fragrance flop: The Pink Room. It smelled like an old, heavily-powdered spinster who delights in pinching the sweet tender cheekmeat of little kids and making them cry. It also made my wrists break out in angry red bumps.

No Nonsense Almost Bare pantyhose = sucktacular. I bought a three-pack and went through the whole thing in three days. They ran literally minutes after putting them on, and it’s not like I have sharp dragon lady nails or anything. Avoid.

And I had the foulest sweet and sour chicken TV dinner last night; I want to say it was Lean Cuisine, but I’m not sure. It tasted like Jean Nate perfume licked from the asscrack of a dirty whore. K was watching me grimace and she finally said, “Christ, throw it away already!”

There just isn’t enough drama online for my tastes. Any suggestions?

The Live Journal community called No Ugly Babies. (I would link it for your convenience, but LJ's a restricted site here at work, so I can't go on there and check the direct link. Just go to Live Journal and type in user name "nouglybabies".)You can actually feel the heat from the flame wars emanating from your screen and singeing your eyebrows.

Anything else you were going to say?

Yes, actually, but I can’t remember what it was. Welcome to Senile Town, population…uh…I forgot.