Saturday, April 4, 2015

Japan Journal Six: I get a Japanese Friend Hooked on Supernatural, and Assorted Other Happenings

I've had "After Ever After' by Paint stuck in my head ALL. DAY. LONG. I was completely bewildered, as it's been a while since I heard that song, until I realized that we're playing a Disney melody in kotobu, and "When You Wish upon a Star" is prominently featured. That explains it.
In other news, although I couldn't possibly sing "When You Wish upon a Star" with the correct lyrics, I CAN sing that part of "After Ever After," and it is apparently the first thing that comes into my head when I hear the actual song XD So, that's fun.
I love Nerdfighteria. Yesterday, this chick on the Nerdfighter facebook group was talking about how legit her kids are, and how much she enjoys having a nerdfighter family. I told her how legit I think they are, and that I aspire to raise a family that legit in the future. And she was like, "Why wait? Become an honorary member of our family now! We shall call you Aunt E--pronounces Auntie." It was so sweet! It honestly made my week/life. I'm all about alternative families, and creating families that are not related by blood, but are connected by love and shared awesomeness, so this is all about which I could have dreamed and more. I love being a nerdfighter; the community is so open, so kind, so friendly, so full of love. I'm lucky! And I am grateful for my new nerdfighter family. Aunty thinks you guys rock :)
Wise words that I lifted off of Tumblr:
physically i would describe myself as a noncommittal wiggly hand gesture with a vague “enhhh” noise
General topics of conversation that strangers bring up with they find out that I am American:
1. Massan/how much I look like Ellie from Massan.
2. Whether or not I am interested in marrying a Japanese person (....Maybe? I don't know. How do you even answer this question? "Sure"? "I'm game for anything"? I don't even know what I'm doing a month from now, let alone what I'll be doing by the time I am ready to get married. Although I understand the interest behind the question, and it's fun to discuss/think about).
3. Whether or not I am scared to go back to America because of Ebola (I WASN'T BEFORE YOU SAID THAT).
So, I was watching a talk show with my family, and for some unknown reason, the hosts had with them a large bottle of dirty river water (it somehow had something to do with the victory of a local baseball team, which honesty raises more questions than it answers). It reminded me of the only baseball game to which I have ever been (I was in the third grade), during which, in some serendipitous twist, my best friend was ALSO at the same baseball game, across the stadium from me. Which would have completely flew under the radar, except for the fact that her mother was chosen for some sort of drawing, in which she had to choose one of two boxes. The chosen box would contain either:
1. A 25 dollar gift card to a Wal-Mart-esque store, or
2. A bottle of Susquehanna river water.
Mom allowed bestie to chose the box, and bestie chose-yup, you guessed it- the river water.
A glorious day for us all.
And then-plot twist-at that moment in time, I DIDN'T KNOW that it was bestie, but at church, I told her about the adventure, and, in one of the most bafflingly exciting moments of my childhood, she revealed her identity.
We were like star-crossed homegirls. Destiny brought us together.
I will bet you anything that she doesn't remember this story, though XD
The other day, I got out my laptop to watch a YouTube video, when, as usual, a commercial began playing (yay, pre-rolls). It was clearly a commercial for a movie, but it was in English with Japanese subtitles, so that intrigued me. It was honestly super bizarre and somehow vaguely scandalous-looking; everything in the preview looked barren, and seemed to be coloured in various shaded of grey (honestly, this should have been the first clue as to which movie it was). I sat there for a few moments, feeling vaguely unnerved, before a character said, "Mr. Grey will see you now." AAAAND then I knew what it was, and I pushed the "SKIP" button like it was my JOB.
Why is there a 50 Shades of Grey movie? Why? Like, if you want to watch that movie, no judgment, enjoy your weird, offensive, heteronormative, stereotypical movie that degrades women. Okay, so, a little bit of judgment. I mean, meh. If you're into it, I hope it's great, and that you love it to pieces! I really do. But...yeah.  
Sometimes I think that Japanese reality TV is weird, and then I remember that we have Honey Boo Boo, Extreme Couponing, I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, and whatever mess happens on "Your Kid Ate What?," so I feel like we're about even. 
Actually, what the crap, America. You're weird.
One of my friends at school told me that she wants to be a comic book artist, but she knows that this is a difficult job, so, as her back-up plan, she has decided to work at a bakery, because she likes making bread. I'm all about that--backup plans rule. I'm frequently really irritating about this, like, someone will tell me that they want to major in music or become a famous model, and I'm just like, "RESPONSIBILITY: WHAT'S YOUR POLICY?!", but it sounds like this girl has got it under control. Rock on with your bad self, cool Japanese girl.
The father of a good friend of mine from high school has just passed away suddenly.
I am absolutely stunned.
She is such a sweet, sunny, intelligent person. My heart is breaking for her and her family.
If you are reading this, and you're a praying person, or a positive thought sending person, please send out whatever you can for her.
Host Grandmother: Which do you like better, America or Japan?
Me: I like Japan the best.
Her: Oh, well, half Japanese, half American kids are really cute, you know....
Every time. Every. Single. Time.
The fact that I am living in Japan is still kind of surreal to me. Sometimes I can't believe that this is my life. I am so, so lucky to live here.
If you are going abroad to Japan as an exchange student, DO NOT bring your Japanese textbook from home. You will never use it, and it will be heavy to carry and will take up extra, unnecessary space in your luggage.
I speak from unfortunate experience.
People keep telling me that I'm really good at aisatsu (greetings). Thanks? Sounds good to me.
So, mini ranty thing:
My host sister definitely doesn't like me. Like, at all. So, that's really not a big deal, but it would be better, because it would be great if I could practice Japanese with her, but she will not engage in conversation with me at all. Like, I am constantly bringing up conversation topics, and she's giving me one word answers, and then just going on her phone. GRR. Example:
Me: "Hey, how was Tokyo?" (Did I mention that she went to Tokyo with a bunch of friends, and I was not invited? I mean, I get it, she didn't ask for me to live at her house, and she totally deserves to go out with her friends without me, but she goes out and does cool, fun, Japanese things with friends every weekend, and she has not once invited me to come along. So, that's whatever, but it would be nice to go).
Sister: "Good."
Me: "What did you do?"
Her: "An attraction." (What the crap does this even mean?!)
Me: "Wow, that sounds fun. Like, karaoke?"
Her: "No, roller coasters."
It went on like this for a while, before I just gave up and let her play on her phone. It's not a huge deal, but it's kind of annoying. Like, at least pretend you like me. Just talk, please. I came here to practice Japanese.
It's no big deal during the week, but on the weekends when my family is my only source of conversation, it becomes very frustrating.
I showed Ben my cool "Master One Skill" shirt that I bought here, and he was like, "I get it, it's like, 'don't half-ass two things, Leslie; whole-ass one thing."
I love this kid XD
I got Yu-ti, my homegirl, hooked on Supernatural. I think it's safe to say that I'm a nerd hero.
She came up to me at school today, and was like, "I watched Supernatural this weekend, I LOVE IT!" I recommended it to her because she tends to like TV shows and movies like that. And, lo and behold, she did!
Later, she was like, "Sam, Dean, Sam, Dean, yay!" It made me laugh.
She also likes Harry Potter. This is why we're friends.

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