Monday, September 17, 2012

Our abuse of stereotypes might have been offensive if any of us was actually Japanese

So I've told you before that I like costume parties, right? Understatement. Well, this past Friday, my fabulous roommate and I had a Japanese themed party as our last hurrah in our apartment before we move out in two weeks, with the twofold purpose of also celebrating my new job and upcoming move. Genius decision making on our part. But then that's what we are: GENIUSES. (If you don't believe me, ask me about biscuitpalooza).
Geniuses. Boom.
Since you might not be aware of the details, let's recap: I'm waiting for my work visa now, and the scheduled move is tentatively set for the weekend after Thanksgiving. I'M GOING TO TOKYO, PEOPLE!! But you knew that. In the meantime, I will be happily homeless and jobless, wandering the country visiting friends and family like the vagabond I have officially become. Or will become. SOON.

So anyway, back to the important stuff: THE PARTY. If ever there was a theme our home was meant for, this was it. My roomie didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on decorations, and I just gave a (gentle, not mean) scoff and said "I got this." While she ran an errand, I went into my bedroom, gathered anything Japanese that I have, and when she returned to our apartment she said, " looks like Japan threw up in here." Easy peasy.

Vintage obi to use as a table runner? Check.
Adorable stationery that just had to be sewn into a banner? No problem.
Kimonos for us to wear? Done.
Japanese art for all the walls? Cakewalk
Enough toys to make a toddler's palms twitch? Cruel and yes.
Books, magazines, comics? Of course.
A Hello Kitty snuggie? Duh.
And I could go on and on. Just look:

View when you walk in the door. There's Pedro!
tanuki and some subtle Hello Kitty textile action
Uh huh. A painting of my favorite Pokemon card.

More friends
Panda-X - you are learning so much right now.
Rody Meets Freestyle, aka MOST AWESOME MINI PEZ EVER.
Do you see the mini cowboy hats between their eyes?
Do you understand the amazingness you are witnessing?
Just tell me you get it, even if you don't.
Don't even think about stealing these. I will end you.
For food, we kept it simple, with the highlights being the Harry Potter Mochi and the wasabi almonds.
Add gelatin to a butterbeer recipe and
you've got some very weird yet delicious Harry Potter Mochi
Even Vader likes it!
I think our concierge is often very concerned about what goes on up here. We asked people to come in costume, they obliged:

Meow Meow Anime Princess, Risa, Lip My Stockings, and Pikachu

No detail overlooked
Meow Meow and her nerd

And we even encompassed other parts of Asia. How very all-inclusive!!
And let's not forget Pedro's kamikaze moment. We're talking BLAZE OF GLORY. He would not back down. I mean, HE BENT A METAL BROOMSTICK. But ultimately, he gave up the goods. Good man, that Pedro. He will be missed. Already is. There is a Godzilla shaped hole in my heart. RIP Pedro, 4-eva.
Saying our final goodbyes.
Meow Meow can't get it done.

This does not look safe.
Pedro holding strong.

But it always ends the same: Picking over Pedro's guts. 
I sincerely wish that whenever I was asked by an interviewer "Why Japan?" that I could have just brought them to my house and said "THIS IS WHY."

P.S. I have awesome friends.

Friday, September 14, 2012

TGIF, except for the part where you know a friend is cruisin' for a bruisin'

Three years ago, I was shopping at Target, picking up necessities, and as always happens in Target, I got sucked into an impulse purchase. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't hang your head in happens to all of us. I had just selected some conditioner, when I walked past the party supply aisle and this little guy called screamed my name:
I ask you: How do you leave the store without this? Impossible.

Yeah, that's right: went in for conditioner, came home with a piñata. What, that's not your life? Meet Pedro, darlingest Godzilla piñata on two stumpy legs. I looked into those fierce red eyes and I was done. He came home with me and I have to tell you, we've been so happy together. He spent two years in my living room, surveying his domain, keeping the peace and whatnot, and now for the last year he has been stationed on a bookcase in my bedroom watching me sleep. No worries...Pedro is a GENTLEMAN.

And now, Pedro's day has finally arrived. Tonight, we are having a Japan-themed party to celebrate the end of a fantastic era of shenanigans, as my beloved roommate and I prepare to part ways, and the beginning of a new era as I plan to invade Tokyo. And frankly, Pedro is going to steal the show. At this very moment he is perched on a pedestal, ready to Kamikaze pilot his way into immortality. See:

Keroppi pin for courage. Fierceness just cuz.
All week I have been preparing myself for this. It has come time for Pedro to fulfill his ultimate destiny. IT IS WHAT HE WAS MADE FOR. And I'm not even being poetic. Like he was actually made to be filled with stuff and beaten to pieces. These are the brutal truths of piñata life. *tear*

And we are going to do him PROUD, don't you doubt that for a second.

Oddly enough (or not odd at all), I realized this isn't the first time I've found myself preparing to mourn a piñata. Given what a crafty middle schooler I was, I made a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle piñata (Michelangelo, of course. DUH.), and after 13 good years of hanging around the house, his day of glory came:

We will never forget.
At least I've been here before, and I know it will be difficult, but ultimately good. Why is life like that so often? Me and Pedro are going to philosophize on this for a bit. Talk amongst yourselves.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Someone owes me a boatload of money

So it's been frantically busy around here ever since I got the news that I've got a job and junk just got real. Turns out moving to a foreign country is kinda complicated, and you get to do awesome things like run a criminal background check on yourself (I'm not a felon...yay!!!), and retake passport pictures because for whatever reason showing your teeth makes you unrecognizable or something...or they just want us all in serial killer pose, so as to reveal some underlying evil personality traits (see above: I AM NOT A FELON).

Anyway, it hasn't been so busy that I didn't have time for the realization that I INVENTED POKEMON.

Allow me to present the evidence.

In 1989, my friend and I created this awesome finger puppet:

I know what you're thinking: Coolest 12-year-olds ever. You're right.

 And then in 1995, this appeared:

Couldn't make this up if I tried. Well, maybe.
 Coincidence? I think not. I think Satoshi Tajiri has some explaining to do.
Now that I'm going to be going to Japan, I'll go to the Ministry of Pokemon and lodge a formal complaint. And probably organize some kind of rally. Probably? I meant definitely. The hardest choice will be deciding which Pokemon to dress up as. These are the kinds of problems we all dream about, am I right?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This would be the best kind of vomiting, but still...

So after my last interview, they told me I would hear about their decision in 5-10 days. That was FIFTEEN days ago. I have been on tenterhooks (and enjoying using the word "tenterhooks") since then. And today, I finally got the news that I GOT THE JOB!!!!! Can you be so happy that you throw up? That's never been my experience before, but that's how I'm feeling right now. Going to try to not do it though, because vomiting is vomiting, and I don't care how happy I am, I'd really rather not add dry heaving to this moment.

And so now it's REAL. Really, really REAL. This was the only obstacle that kept me from booking a flight, finding a roommate, and really buckling down to learn how to actually be an English teacher. I'm on it!!


MICHAEL!! I'm coming home to you, baby!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bust it

We all have a working definition of ourselves in our heads. When I looked in my head (which I do a lot), I found that mine was fairly rigid: I do this, I don't do that, I like this, I don't like that. And I didn't question this very often. But last year when I found myself suddenly forced to change everything else in my life, I decided to toss that preconceived idea of myself out too.

For as long as I can remember, I felt extremely uncomfortable with even the idea of dancing. That's right: THE IDEA of dancing was enough to make my chest tight and get my brain cranking with excuses to get out of it.  I have ridiculously long arms and legs, and just felt generally gawky, gangly, and uncoordinated. Have YOU ever asked your bellybutton what it's doing so high off the floor? I have. I do not jest. You try going from short to tall in the span of one horrific teenage growth spurt and you'd feel like an alien in your own body too. I swear all 4 inches went straight to my legs. Which obviously is not the worst thing in the world. Except when you have to buy pants. I hate shopping for pants.

Legs for daaaaaays.

And it didn't come up often, but once in a while there would be a situation where dancing was the social expectation of the moment. I could handle the non-dancing of slow dancing, but that was about it. The rest of it sent me into a panic. Though I may or may not have used not dancing as a way to sneak extra cake at a wedding or two…there's no one around to judge you for eating 3 pieces of wedding cake, and you know I love me some cake. WINNING!

So as I started this process of redefining myself, as lame as it may sound, dancing is what scared me most. It became my Everest. I had to conquer this. And my dear friend Angelo was willing to be my Mr. Miyagi. (I know I've mixed some metaphors there, but TRY TO KEEP UP). So on our very first outing, Angelo and I were the only ones on the dance floor, gradually surrounded by hipsters who were NOT dancing in that I-wanna-punch-em-in-the-throat ironic way they have and were instead enjoying the blacklight atmosphere by drawing on each other with highlighters. Every time we looked around, the scene just got weirder and weirder. But it was definitely a "if I can dance here, I can dance anywhere" kind of moment. And with repeated outings, the fear has melted away and gangly or not, I'm ready to bust my awkward moves. AND I LOVE IT. I bet my next door neighbors ADORE listening to my daily morning dance party in the shower. Sorry, guys! Not to say it's been perfect, but I'll tell you this: you haven't lived until you've dislocated your knee on the dance floor and had to be carried out of the club in the arms of a hot EMT. Unfortunately that love affair ended 10 minutes later when he kept giving me some line about "I'm sorry miss, but that's the maximum dose of morphine I can give you" in the ambulance. He's dead to me now. But it was nice while it lasted.

Hey, little knee cap! What are you doing all the way over there??

What are you missing out on?
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