Clocks went forward last night. This is always where I feel that summer has started. The Boat Race was today too.

And we all sit round here in our home town
Listen to the waves as they all crash down
And watch the fire as it slowly burns away
Glowing embers fly across the sky

Here by my side, in my summer, our last summer
The world passes by, in my summer, our last summer
The light makes shadows fall, surrounded by each other
Alive to watch it all, the view from our last summer
The view from our last summer...

I've spent the day inside playing videogames, but I'm glad I did. I'd stopped playing properly for quite a while, to the point where I felt like I should play more to keep up to date with my hobby and the only industry I have really specialist knowledge in.

This has already helped me at work, since no one else knows much about them in my company and I've been recruited by a Senior Manager to help fill in his knowledge to create some business in that area. I hope some actual work for me comes out of it too though.

In other news, saw Station Agent on Friday, a film about a dwarf train spotter, an over enthusiastic cuban hot-dog seller and a middle aged artist whose son and marriage have both died. It's an american indie film and it's probably quite hard to find a cinema showing it, but I can't recommend it enough. It's touching, has some genuinely perfect comedy moments and is perfectly and convincingly acted. Go See.
I was actually debating on whether or not to leave e2. But now I think perhaps this is something that I can do somewhat statically, as more of a hobby than something to be perfect at. I have a hard time letting myself do something without feeling like I have to be perfect, but hey, it's worth trying for sure; it's always worth doing something if it will cause you to grow as a person, yes?

So, here I am.

Have you ever felt like the biggest bitch in the world, but you can't help acting that way? That's been my experience for the last few days. It's amazing that my boyfriend still sleeps over anymore! There was an unfortunate incident with someone waking someone else up at 6 a.m. in the morning when it was completely unnecessary. But it's made me think that if my opinions are as well-researched as I think they are, then I might as well get something out of it, which made me think "everything2". Hopefully then my inner bitch won't come out in my daily life so much, and I can still state my opinions or write about topics of interest, even if I don't have a class or a reason to do so. I'm wanting to have my cake and eat it too. So three cheers for e2, and here I go...

Let's hope this helps my morning relationships.

A Poem for Wendy Cope

Why is it, when push comes to shove,
I always end up writing about love?
Love can be stupid, is often lame,
Most love songs are largely the same.
So though I know there are higher themes above,
Why do I always end up writing about love?
Two ducks have moved into the moat around the Scottish Widows building. This means that the high point of my working day for the last couple of days has been watching them bob about, diving for edible rubbish and so on.

Previous high points have included:

  • Noticing customers with especially entertaining names.
  • Similarly, learning of policies we sell which have faintly amusing titles, like 'Top Hat' or 'Temporary B00B Assurance' ('oh yes madam, I can assure you that you do indeed have boobs right now - but please do come back soon so that we can make sure they're still there').
  • Teeth-gnashingly furious letters from Independent Financial Advisers, which I am in a position to be meanly entertained by as I have no personal stake in any of it and don't know any of the people involved. My favourite so far was scrawled in inch-high letters in black felt tip, something of a break from protocol in the financial services industry.
  • Stumbling across a hither-to unknown relative, out in Wales somewhere. Their surname, Crawshay-Williams, guarantees that they can't be more than a few branches of family tree distant, but beyond that I have no idea.
  • Writing poems which I know won't be entirely understood by anybody who doesn't do my job, like this:

    Transfer Thief

    Somebody’s stolen my transfer.
    I had it right here in my box.
    Destini Applewood, exiting Sesame.
    Many an agency.
    Where did they go?
    Who’s violated my drawer?
    I might start to lock it, and take home the key.
    I don’t want strange hands in my papers and tea.
    And I don’t like my transfers just walking away.
    If somebody wants them, why don’t they just say?
    They can take them, it’s fine, I would just like to know,
    ‘stead of sitting here thinking ‘When, where did it go?’

    Oh, hang on… I sent it to Credit Control.
    ...and this:

    I Seek The OB Liability

    I am on a quest.
    Scouring through hundreds of pages of policies,
    I seek The OB Liability.
    Like a haggis hunter out in the Highlands
    I try to keep faith
    That my prey must be out there, somewhere.
    I pray that I will know it when I see it:
    That I’ll not let it slip past my watchful gaze
    Like a heffalump hiding behind a tree.

    I have been on my mission for months now.
    Hundreds of times in dozens of transfers
    I have thought that I caught me a glimpse,
    Like a flash of a unicorn’s horn through a forest
    Which, when you come close,
    Shows itself to be merely a gleam from a stream
    Annuity payments and other such things
    Make me think for a time that my quest’s not for naught
    But look closer, they’re more airy nothings.
  • Finally finding a pension policy with OB liability attached to it. The joy! The validation!

Oh, how I wish I was joking.

i want a new job.

Kyoto, Japan
from the foreign female perspective
Day : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Huge men so close you can see their bums ripple as they slap their thighs. Calf muscles so massive they are obvious even beneath half a foot of adipose tissue. Oiled hair styled in cute little fans on the tops of men’s heads, colorful thongs covering massive behinds, rolls of fat everywhere you look...

Yeah, we saw sumo today. And it rocked.

We woke up early and the boys decided it was time to hack off their facial hair with dull single-bladed razors, which led to a lot of whining. I read in bed.

We arrived in 小坂 faster than expected after catching the super express train from Kyoto, but our speedy arrival was for naught due to a complicated map and stubborn map-wielder. I had put Aaron in charge of finding the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium, which was the location of the sumo match, and he took to the task with reluctant enthusiasm and middling confidence. I probably should have helped more, but I have always been a dunce when it comes to finding places (I would like to thank my paternal grandmother for that, it leads to interesting times, especially when she is in the car with me) and try to avoid frustrating myself. No matter where I go, I get lost. Even when I’m just trying to find the 井の頭, a train I’ve ridden nearly every day for six months, I will surely end up three miles from it if I approach it from an unfamiliar angle (like the 山手 line, as was proved only a few days ago).

So we ended up going in the wrong direction for approximately 15 minutes until Aaron finally gave in and asked a nice man pushing a lady in a wheelchair for directions. He caught his breath and hesitated, then reluctantly pointed in the opposite direction of where we had been steadfastly heading.

Oh well. We got to walk in the sun and see the city.

When we finally arrived at the Gym after I asked for directions one more time, we went straight to the ticket booth to see if there were any tickets left. Much to our dismay, all adult standing room had been sold out, along with all the affordable seating. Only box seats were left, which I scoffed at in the name of my pocketbook. So we hung out around the entrance for a while, taking pictures of the entering wrestlers, mumbling, writing postcards to Jessica and other equally as loved ones.

A random Japanese girl in a gauzy skirt approached us asking if we had gotten a box seat. She said she would be interested in getting one with us if we were so inclined, which we briefly considered and then declined. So the four of us continued to linger, loiter, and brood.

Finally us Americans came to our senses. It was the final day of the tournament. We had come all the way to Osaka to see it. We were on vacation. It was the chance of a lifetime. What’s 9,200 yen in the face of all that?

Just as we came to this conclusion and turned to the mysterious girl to tell her we accepted her offer, she disappeared. We looked everywhere, but she was not to be found. So we left.

Again, we brooded and stewed and hesitated. After walking a short ways, we again came to our senses, turned on our heels, and marched right back to the Gym to ask about getting tickets for three people. I asked the man at the window if it would be possible to have three people in a boxed seat meant for four, and he quickly said it was perfectly acceptable. So the three of us amassed roughly $300, handed it over, received some paper in return, and made our way into the bowels of the building.

A woman led us to our seats, which involved crossing the area where the wrestlers wait to enter the ring. We literally had to squeeze between sweating, nearly-naked men, in order to reach the stairs to our seats. It was awesome.

Our boxed seat turned out to be four pillows on plywood surrounded by metal bars, but it was cozy and had a good view. We passed the afternoon watching the match, cheering at the exciting parts, watching the ceremonies without much comprehension, and trying to figure out how to ask for an ashtray for Kyle without getting up.

We were there for about 5 hours all together. Kyle had the misfortune of being seated next to a stinky man, although his odor never reached my nostrils. There was a bald-headed man a few boxes ahead of us who seemed perfectly content to seat himself on the raised metal bar enclosing his area as opposed to sitting on a pillow on the floor like everyone else, so his head found its way into many of my pictures.

One thing I wish I’d done is order a big purple bag full of goodies. Every few minutes a Gym employee wearing a traditional coat and headband would make his way through the boxed seats carrying 4 or 6 of the things and handing them to various patrons, until eventually it seemed we were the only three in the entire place who didn’t have purple bags. Well, that’s not true. Some of the bags were pink or green. But I would have gotten a purple one.

We got dinner in Osaka and then went back to Kyoto, retiring to the surprisingly comfortable J-Hoppers lounge and reading, playing guitar, and talking with some of the other travelers. There was a girl from Dublin who was full of "Wait! I have an even better story…" that always led to random, over-personal information leaving us all dumbfounded, and she was traveling with a girl with a weird voice who was from Ohio. They busied themselves with 7-Eleven cheesecake after comparing tattoos with Kyle. The coolest guy in the place was Evan, a half-Chinese dude from Australia with a personality and face akin to a good friend of mine.

My phone rang during this time, and I ran down to the lobby to talk. I got to hear all about a traumatic event that took place at my house, involving a kid who ODed on morphine and went into a coma while my brother freaked out and had to call 911. Luckily my parents were home and helped. It turns out the kid had just gotten out of a psych ward and had been sent to my brother by a former friend of his, a certain AJ, one of the only people I have ever truly hated in my life. Picture a short, skinny, rat-faced sunnuvabitch with a straggly goatee and a bad hair cut, who speaks too much about things that he shouldn’t be thinking about, mocks adults, bites the hand that feeds him, and insults perfectly admirable and upstanding citizens concerning matters that are simply none of his concern. That’s AJ. He has a punch from my fist waiting for him the next time I see him. AJ had the balls to tell my brother that whatever this kid had on him when he ODed, it belonged to him. Who would argue for his right to rob a kid in a coma? Who would sell a kid morphine, watch him take it, and then send him off to die, and then rob him?

Anyway.

I’m glad my brother survived the ordeal. I think he learned from it, and the OD kid is okay.

That concludes day two of kaytay’s Kyoto Adventure.


Day : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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