Saturday, September 02, 2006


You ever wake up on a Monday and somehow, you have been cosmically endowed with the knowledge that your week is going to be less than stellar? That was my Monday morning. I could just feel it, the dread welling from within. I knew this week was going to kind of suck. And it did. Mind you, it was not a horrible week but it just wasn't great. Where to begin.

Okay, this was my dream that I had last night. So I am at Costco; right off, no good can come of this. I am on vacation from Japan and I explain to this guy I am helping that I normally live in a town called Fukuchiyama and I am on vacation. He then tells me that his wife taught in that town as well and starts to get all buddy buddy with me because he found the one thread of life we have in common. This is a messed up dream for a couple of reasons just based on the little bit I have told you. First, why on God's green and fertile Earth would I be working at Costco for my friggin' vacation? Second, I hate customers that try to be all friendly because they have found out some minute detail about your life that they can relate to. They start acting like their your best friend because they found out that your grandparents lived in the same town that their second cousin got drunk and screwed a goat in. I hate people who try to be my friend when they hardly know me and the stuff they do know about me is some set of minute tedious facts. Anywho, back to the dream.

So this guy is following me around Costco and telling me his life story about how his life was when his family lived in Fukuchiyama. He's telling me this stuff about a nice, clean river with smooth embankments that his kids would play on and he and his wife could watch them from the backdoor of their house because the house was nestled right against the river. For some reason, in my dream I am picturing like some rural Scandinavian bungalow with tall grass rolling down toward the stream and kids frolicking in the midst of these green blades. Part of the suckiness of dreams is when they are like that, you wake up and you live in the ghetto and all of the streams near you are semi-dirty and bug infested. Anywho, back to the dream.

So this guy is telling me his tale of bliss and the entire time I am roaming the aisles of Costco looking for the dumbest thing in the world. I am looking for a pup tent for this guy to go camping in and he wants this one brand that is all silver and tiny and structurally resembles David the Gnome's cap. He will have to go into a fetal position to fit into the tent but that is the one he wants. Now, not only do I think this guy is a moron for wanting a dumb tent but I can't find this tent and I am stuck with him. He is like a dead soul who haunts me because he has unfinished business in my world. So yeah, that was my dream. The odd thing is that I have dreams that I am back in the good old service industry with some frequency. Sometimes I like what I am doing, sometimes I don't, but all I am doing in these stupid dreams is working. You are supposed to kill zombies or screw super models and movie stars in your dreams, not work at Costco. After these dreams you wake up and feel shafted because you didn't have a cool dream and you didn't get paid for the work you were doing in your dream.

So there was my dream and then there was my Thursday night. Thursdays at the school I taught at this week usually aren't too bad and this one wasn't either, it was just that an odd event occurred that I have had to deal with since then. So I am teaching a class of twelve year olds and almost all of them are girls. One girl in the class is named Kana and she is normally a pretty sweet kid to have in class. She has a nice personality, is pretty smart, and is well-behaved. But on Thursday she was acting weird. We were all playing a game that splits that class into two teams and has a person from each team drawing pictures on the board. The other people on the team relay what I want drawn from me in the back of the room to the person sitting at the whiteboard. Its all good fun and all of them like this game. So I am sitting behind everyone and I notice something. Kana is wearing a shirt and a pair of light blue gym shorts made from pretty thin fabric. On these shorts I see a blotch, no big deal, I figure she sat in something or whatever but there is a small yellowish blotch on the butt of her shorts. The game continues and minutes tick by. The time I have left with this class may have been shrinking but the blotch on Kana's butt keeps growing...and growing.

I ask her if she is feeling okay and she says yes, so I don't worry too much but the stain is growing. By this point, the stain is taking up two-thirds of her butt. Pretty soon, Kana turns to me, all sweaty and pasty looking and asks to use the restroom. I pretend like I don't notice anything unusual and I let her go. I also pretended not to see her back herself out of the room so that the other kids couldn't see. She was in the bathroom a long time.

Eventually, one of her friends asked to go to the bathroom and I let her. Pretty soon both of them were back in class and within a matter of minutes class was over and Kana was gone. I teach one more class and once that class was finished, a kid comes up to me and tells me that there is crap on the floor of the bathroom. Beh. So I wait until all of the kids have been picked up and like the explorers of old, cautiously make my way into the bathroom. The thing about this classroom is that the bathroom is in the main hall of this building and so a couple of other businesses also use the facilities. If you need to do personal business in this building this one bathroom is where the party is at so to speak.

So I creep into this bathroom and my dread was confirmed. Kana exploded in the stall. When I say exploded, I mean this literally, there were bits and gobs laying about the entire stall. I shuddered. But, I am a grown up and as such a proceeded to clean the stall as good as possible. I clean up and flush the toilet and in the exact moment I flush, I realize that the toilet is already clogged. The fun part to Japanese style toilets is that they are built into the floor and the body of the toilet only rises about two inches out of the ground at its low point. If your toilet gets clogged and its a Western style, no biggie, you have six or seven inches of clearance before the damn breaks and you have a mess on your hands; not so for the Japanese counterpart. So I flush and the water is pretty much to the point of overflow but not quite and that is where it stops. I let out a sigh of relief and figure I should sneak out of the bathroom and go home quickly before someone else notices the problem. The other thing about Japanese toilets is I do not know how you unclog them, their construction makes plungers out of the question.

Sometime between the time I left on Thursday to the time I returned on Friday, the toilet flooded. Fortunately, the first one to notice was one of my students' moms and there just happened to be another person that worked in the building standing there when she did. They talked about it for a few seconds and I figured that was that. Well, I think it flooded again today and I still have no clue how you unclog the bugger. Not my problem anymore though, I am not back at that school until the end of September.

In other news, I almost got a Black Nintendo DS Lite. It was sitting in a store but I wanted to trade in my old DS to get credit toward the new one so I waited to buy it until yesterday. In that one day, the Black DS Lite had sold. It made me sad.

Now that the weekend is here, things will pick up. Karie and Reid are coming to visit tomorrow and they will stay until Tuesday so I am excited for that. News about the Tokyo Game Show is popping up more often now so I am getting excited for that as well. Its rumored that Nintendo is going to announce the release date and price of the Wii at the show and so I will be one of the first ones to hear about it. I want to be in Tokyo right now!

Well, its time to fix myself some dinner and chill for the night. Have a good weekend!


At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Steph said...

Bummer, that is a shitty (sorry) week. You handled it really well though. Poor kid, you and Kana both.

Oh and on the dream front, I've found writing it down REALLY helps exorcise the subconscious demons. And working for Costco on vacation is definitely one you need to plunge a stake through the heart of.

Btw - how's your rice paddy coming along? haven't seen an update in awhile!

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Mogwai said...

I will try to post a pic of it tomorrow. It will probably be the last one because all of the rice is pretty much fully grown now and is just waiting to be harvested. It looks very nice.

At 2:21 AM, Anonymous Phyrry said...

Hey, you will be proud of me. In the past week I went to the Funny Bone comedy club and ended up at most of Gigantour 2006 (with Megadeth) this very evening -- both for free, through work.

I might even end up at Merritts one of these evenings...

Here's wishing you better dreams than dreary old Coscto and those damn customers!

At 6:17 AM, Blogger Mogwai said...

Wow, you are becoming quite the socialite! Why/How did you end up at a Megadeth concert? If you do eat at Merritt's, play a couple of jukebox songs for me. Whip It and The Final Countdown will suffice. :)

At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Phyrry said...

Will do. ;)

As for Megadeth, we got free tickets through the X because Microsoft is a tour sponsor in order to promote the new 360 game Gears of War -- so my boss, Jason, did a promotion on the X where we will be giving away one copy of the Super Special Extra Pricy Edition of GoW to somebody who preorders the regular game with us. Wah wah, who cares about preorders (well, Jason's boss in the corporate structure, but we all hate him anyway), we got to go see Megadeth. ;D Go Team Slacker!

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Phyrry said...

Oh, and, um, why? Well, I went 'cause Jason was all "We have one more ticket to go see Megadeth and I don't know who to give it to!" and I was all "MEEEEE!" even though I had no real clue who Megadeth was. Though I have a better idea now (thank you, Wikipedia).


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