Friday, October 30, 2009

the kind of guy who...

My friend Gigi posted this on twitter...It is self-explanatory

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep... wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have you.... The one who turns to his friends and says, 'that's her.'”

ahhh love.

weird Japanese ish...Halloween candy style

Yes, that is a photo of regular, Ginger ale, and fruit flavored Kit Kats.
Mind you, this isn't ll of them. I've heard of Soda Pop, Sweet Potato, Caramel flavored, etc...
The Japanese pull no punches on the candy, even though they don't celebrate Halloween. My first Halloween in Japan. Now this is going to be crazy!

FYI, the ginger ale Kit Kats are white chocolate and definitely taste as advertised. (weird)
The fruit Kit Kats are white chocolate, with orange food coloring, and taste like fruit candy with a chocolate cookie consistency. I'm not a fan.

Monday, October 26, 2009

art and sex...

I'm in a mood. 

I'm in a mood that only one of two things can quench, art or sex. 

Where most wouldn't understand...artists comprehend the correlation. 

Sex (love) is the ultimate creation with someone else, while art is the ultimate creation alone.


"Admiring your lava, I keep calm..."

Monday, October 19, 2009

my tooth broke in half (again) Japan

I was amped for lunch today. It's was curry in rice. Not the brown kind, the green kind that reminds me of many ethnic meals of the past. I was going in, and found myself truly enjoying these small plastic snack packets filed with hard dried seaweed. I'm all about texture, and as my mother says, I have a fixation with working for my food (i.e. Alaskan King Crab Legs). I admit, I tend to enjoy foods that require some sort of labor. Today was no different. One of the Japanese teachers was giving away her packet and greedy Evita claimed first dibs... 

My second bite into one of the seaweed pieces and half of my back tooth came off in my mouth. Disgusted? No. Sadly, this is not the first time something like this has happened. Surprised? No. I was told this tooth needed a root canal before leaving New York. $1000 I did not have. Plus, it never hurt. It just wasn't in good condition.  

Slight panic sets in and I realize I need to (today) find a dentist in my area, that will take walk-ins, and that accepts credit cards, for monetarily I have no cash. One of my teachers begins the hunt, scouring the phone book and calling all the dentists in the area. "Sorry, cash only!" Every turn was cash only. One thing Americans may not know is all that plastic money you think you have in America is good as nothing in Japan. This is a cash country. In seven months this will be the first time I have used mine. I pull some side teaching and company contacts to come across Matsumura Dental Clinic, in Kobari. Though I don't read Kangi, I know exactly where this place is. I find myself lost, writing for hours in the Starbucks inside Apita, right across the street. 5pm and I make it. Let the language barrier begin.  

As soon as I walk in I'm greeted, "Evita San. One gaishimas!" Apparently, they knew I was coming, and being the only foreigner in the area, it had to be me. I hand over the gaijin card (equivalent of a green card in America) and take a seat. That's when I notice it... This place is amazing. First, off it's huge. I'm talking ridiculously high ceilings.

So high, it accommodates a TWO floor play area for children, with a spiral staircase. I'm talking about fake life-sized indoor trees, a showcase area of books and DVDs along with tooth brushes along a counter, a bathroom with decked out heated Japanese toilets (including bidet, my fav), personal television screens above everyone's dentist chair with your own attached head phone, and a computer LCD screen attached to your chair that mimics the dentist's computer screen so you can see what he sees. Two leather massage chairs in the lobby, not to mention.....ok I'm being called in.  

I sit on my chair while the dentist assistant takes my slippers and hands me a blanket. I am now waiting for my dentist in a chair, with no shoes on, and a blankie. Only in Japan. At this point, I rebuke every dentist I have ever had in the past. New York, step your dentistry game up. He speaks Japanese, I don't. Through broken forms of both our languages, we make it work and laugh the whole way through. Until I show him my tooth.  

As soon as I opened my mouth, I got that Asia "ehhhhhhh" that I have written about in the past. I shake my head and say, "I know," reaffirming his horror. Then, laying mouth open, I wonder if he is reacting to that specific tooth or my entire mouth. I'm telling you guys. I take care of my smile, but once you get into the back of my mouth it's a crap shoot.  

So the decay has since gone through the dentin, yet there is no nerve damage. This makes sense because I have had no pain. Even with half a tooth gone, I finished my full day at work pain free. Thus, no root canal needed. (By the way I am being told this through an animation book that they have with photos, and translations in English). No root canal needed, and it makes sense. Interesting, considering in February I was told I'd need about $1000 of work done on one tooth. He says they need to clean it, fill it, and make an impression. In a week, I will have my new tooth. I asked again, and he assured no root canal needed, just to fill in the gaps after drilling the decay out. I don't know who to believe, but I'm in Japan now, I like the energy of the place, therefore the Japanese dentist trumps the hood dentist who left a neon blue filling in my mouth for kicks. Asshole.  

So, the most anxiety producing question follows. I ask, " I kur a des ka?" How much is it? He swings around my LCD screen and starts tallying up totals on his computer. He comes up with 4,340 yen ($46). In a joyous outburst, I proclaim, "Ok! Let's go!" I am getting a crown for $46. As my kids say, "Oh my God. Evita Sensei, Unbelievable!" 

Local anesthesia came in the form of Novicane, but in a new vessel. This was less a needle and more a hand gun that clicked. I felt NOTHING, not even the pinch I braced myself for. I noticed immediately that the numbness was centered. In the States, my least favorite part of the dentist is the effects of numbing. I drool, talk awkwardly, and in some cases my mouth is distorted for hours upon completion. The entire section of my face is on leave. This injection was tooth inclusive and that was it! No lingering side effects. I popped back up to find my bill had jumped from 4.340 to 6,290 yen. He apologizes and says, "I'm sorry, big cavity. Ok?" I respond, "Ok." For about 40 mins I go back and forth between him and his assistant. It ended with his assistant putting the oral equivalent of acrylics they use on fake finger nails, around my tooth. She could double as a manicurist if she wanted to.  

There you have it. All for 6,290 yen, or around $65. Why are we debating health insurance in America? Mind you, this price was out of pocket. I haven't even told my Japanese insurance about today yet. Unbelievable. I'm coming home with veneers. 
The memoir is going to be great folks...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

an artist's work...

No foreword can prepare you for the artistic ability you are about to witness. 

Funk Soul Brothers...Japan style

Many of you have read about my excursions around Japan over the last few months. You have also read about my lovely foreign and Japanese friends. Last night was no exception. 

After a day of company protocol and many Evie verbal declarations of, "I can't!" while side eyeing Megan, it all turned out right. 

Miwa, a Japanese friend and Niigata University student who lives around my way, met us at the bar I work at. Once my shift concluded, two cars worth of us headed to Shame for the Soul/Funk night that my homie Suguro put me onto. Suguro and Kotoyo are my oracle for everything hip-hop, old-school, soul/funk, and cheap in Niigata. For that, I am forever indebted. 

It is becoming more apparent that when the time arises to leave this place, it's progressively becoming harder. The first half of this trip was daunting, resembling a jail sentence more so than an experience. I now have legitimate friends...Japanese friends. These friends are not guaranteed to ever visit my country, let alone my city.  These friends barely speak English, and have solidified that it truly doesn't matter. They have been there for me when tears have come down my face, alcohol was consumed, laughs were produced, and dance floors were destroyed. 

I truly love you all. Thank you for being in my life.

Enjoy the video y'all.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OBAMA becomes Japan's English Teacher

I found this article on the net today, as it was posted to a friend.

The New York Times has put words to the experience I have here.
In past blogs, particularly those that I posted when first reaching Japan, I spoke of the influence that Obama has had on this country. It is an experience, and pride, that I go into much detail about through anecdotes in my memoir.
This man is loved. From first grade to sixth grade, these elementary school children know two people on cue: Obama and Michael Jackson. Fitting.

Enjoy the read. There is an excerpt below, and the full article link beneath that.

TOKYO — When Utako Sakai was changing the background music in her beauty parlor recently, she did not opt for the classical piano pieces she usually chose.

Instead, she picked her favorite CD: “President Obama’s Inaugural Address,” released by Asahi Press, a Japanese publisher of language books. She says the speech lifts her spirits and helps her to learn English all at once.

“All our customers love it,” said Ms. Sakai, who is based in Ayase City, in Kanagawa Prefecture, outside Tokyo.

The speech CD and its accompanying book have been a resounding success, selling 200,000 copies since its release in January. A compilation of President Barack Obama’s speeches has done even better, selling half a million copies since November, solidifying his role as Japan’s English teacher.

Publishers have since flooded the market with over a dozen language-learning titles, including “Speech Training: Learning to Deliver English Speech, Obama Style”; “Learn English Grammar From Obama”; and “Yes, I Can With Obama: 40 Magical English Phrases From Presidential E-mails.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Below is the full length Oprah episode featuring Mike Tyson, in lieu of the release of the documentary on his life.
Honest, emotional, riveting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

can we have it all?

A conversation with my mother stirred up some dormant emotions today.

Can we have it all?

I am a 25 year old woman with many goals, and the Aries-like attack to go about getting them. I ram head first into everything I want. So much so, I didn't realize it, but when I get close to men, touching my forehead to their chest, back, or shoulder is actually a form of affection for me. Go figure?

Though my current breakup has more levels that are revealed to me, personally, with every passing day there's one theme that apparently presented itself to my mother and brother alike.

Living the life I live, primarily being at a point where I want to travel and see the world over other things, is a life-altering experience with some huge sacrifices. Especially in the world of Facebook, it seems like at every corner someone you went to high school with is either getting married, pregnant, and in some cases approaching their first divorce. I am officially in that age bracket. This is the societal norm. Yet, my lifestyle is far from norm. So do the same rules, or theology, apply to me?

I don't see this as a case of the grass being greener on the other side. I see it as people's lives taking different paths. But, is there some place when you can have the travel, the freedom, the exploration of the world and yourself...but also have love and a relationship while pursuing it? Is it possible? There are a number of couples with my company that did this excursion as a couple. They have made it a priority to see the world, yet make their relationship work simultaneously.

I want that. I want the man that has this need just as much as I do, is willing and able to travel, and share this growth with me. I want someone who understands this alternative lifestyle, its importance, and digs it as much as I do.

There is a serious fear I am facing here. The fear of ending up alone due to my 'over-ambition', and lack of men that will be able to keep up with it. What makes me so vulnerable to hurt right now, I realized in talking with Megan, is that......I thought I had it. I saw something in someone that I thought this could work with.

And as I have told him, I cannot be mad at him for giving me hope. For showing me an inkling of possibility.

Many things were said during the conversation..."It won't happen until you are settled somewhere, and for more than a year." There's validity to it all, but it doesn't make it any easier to swallow, especially right now.

Outside of this conversation I have referred to, there have been others where I wonder if people hear what they say.

For example, I had a conversation with someone I hadn't seen or spoken to in years. We were never too close, but enough to say hello every once in awhile. At an attempt to catch up, she asks me what I have been up to, and what my future goals are. I recited my intentions and her immediate response was, "Oh so you must not want to get married and have a family then."

Fighting the urge I had to tell her to go fuck herself, I had to stop and understand that just as I may not relate to those that get married at my age, many of them may not relate to what I am doing. And that is absolutely fine. But I was pissed because unbeknownst to her 'love' is one of my top priorities, and I CANNOT being to describe the amount of pain I feel knowing that my decisions with my life, may in deed, be keeping love away from me, right now. It's just a reality to my movement.

Truthfully, I feel I am at my best when in love, and have always preferred being in a relationship to the 'dating' scene. So, contrary to popular belief, one day I want to be married, and I want kids, and I want to show that family the same world I have been exploring on my own.

I will not move around like this forever. For now, it is what I have to do. So that when that day comes, and that man enters my life, I am then ready to give all of me because I have grown and found all of me. I will never stop traveling, but I will develop a home. My own home.