Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Balls! I haz some.*

Maggie sent me some balls!

(About time you might say.)

Here's Brown Cat enjoying the balls. They help with the feeling of loss he still has after losing his own in an inexplicable accident whilst at the vet's office. His mama was too cheap to buy him neuticals, so these will have to do. If it didn't cost $39 bucks, i would immediately get a neuticals keychain, just so i could fondle them.

*For those of you who haven't found this time waster yet, this is
lolcat speak. Patches introduced them to me and i curse her daily as i am drawn back to squeal at yet another stupid picture of some adorable animal.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Umbrella etiquette

Back to Japan.

These pictures are all from Tokyo, where it rains quite a bit, not unlike the Northwest. But NO ONE wears a raincoat (the Mister and i stuck out in ours.) They all use umbrellas. These umbrellas are available at pretty much every store along the street, the clear ones for as little as 300 yen (about 3 bucks.)

There is a complicated set of rules for umbrella usage. You should not take your wet umbrella into a building without putting a condom on it first.

There is an umbrella condom machine outside most large buildings. You just jam your umbrella in and yank it back out, fully encased.

Alternately, you can store your umbrella in one of these umbrella racks, where you put it into a slot and lock it in with the little numbered key.

It was also a windy day in Tokyo, as evidenced by this umbrella graveyard. One of many that we encountered that day. One advantage of a raincoat is that it doesn't turn inside out in the wind and become useless.

I have included this picture because ISN'T THIS JUST ABOUT THE CUTEST THING EVER?


I spent half an hour on the phone with my mother yesterday, who scolded me a little for not calling her sooner after we got back from Japan. She was mollified when i told her that Em and i had turned around and flown to Ohio.

Not once during the half hour did she ask about either the trip to Japan or the one to Ohio.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A brief side trip

You will not be able to guess where i am at this moment. Frankly, i am not sure where i am either.

Having not been pwned (Em assures me that this is how it is spelled) enough by flying home from Japan, this morning i got up at o'fuck thirty and flew to Ohio with Em.

So yeah, i am in Ohio, three MORE hours east from Japan.

Em is checking out a college that she feels pretty sure she wants to attend.

We had to drive for about an hour after flying into Columbus. And what did Em and i notice about the drive? There must have been 50 road kills in the 25 miles we drove after getting off the highway, and two thirds of them were raccoons. I am not exaggerating, fifty!

How are there any raccoons left?

Does someone collect all the carcasses and make coats?

What kind of steak was that that i just ate for dinner?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


We went to Arashiyama Monkey Jungle. Oh yes we did.

It cost about $5.00 to get in, and there are monkeys. What more could you ask?

We paid our money and we took our chances. You can't take any paper bags or food into Monkey Jungle because the monkeys (who are free to roam) will think it's food and get all up in your face. There are also instructions not to stare at the monkeys as they will interpret this as a sign of aggression.

We walked up a steep hill and after about 10 minutes....Look! Up there! A monkey! In a tree!

I feared that this might be the only monkey we would see, so i took a picture.

Here's a few questions about monkeys to keep you entertained on the long walk up the hill:
And here's the answer to the first question:
Got that?

In a few minutes we came upon many, many monkeys. Here's the Mister getting a shot of a monkey with his really big lens. This shows how close we were able to get to the monkeys.
This little guy was doing some sightseeing of his own:

Awwww, just awww:
While we were there, a man came out and gave a talk about the monkeys. I didn't understand a word he said, but it looks like the monkeys were very interested.
On the path on the way down, we encountered a different sort of primate playing:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Potty Talk

I am home. All went very well, thanks to the compulsive planning of the Mister. We had a wonderful time.

However, i am feeling about as bright as a 15 watt light bulb, as my body doesn't know what the hell is going on, time-wise. Plus i managed to catch a little cold the day before we left.

So today we are going to talk about Japanese toilets.

This is the B534S model. The first time i sat down upon it i screamed because the toilet seat was hot and i was not expecting that.

Here are the controls along the side:
The picture is pretty dark, but you can still see all the buttons. I love the little graphic of the butt. And yes, i tried all the buttons. Butt (heh) i still don't know what the "Stand By" button does. The toilet pictured above is from our hotel room. This one:
is in a public place. Thus the button with the musical note, which turns on and off a fake flushing noise. There is also a volume control for the flushing noise, in case you need more camouflage.

I KNOW! Brilliant! I apologize for the terrible photo, but i was worried about the other bathroom users calling the police because i was flashing photos and giggling.

Here your intrepid reporter from the east is standing over a "traditional" Japanese toilet:

It is flush (heh) with the ground and you crouch over it and hope for the best. That's why it's wet all around the toilet, because most women's best isn't very accurate.
Note that there is no toilet paper. I was prepared for this and so i carried a little pack of tissues in my purse.

In addition, many public toilets have no soap, no hot water and no way to dry your hands. Most women carry little tiny towels around with them for this purpose. (I used my jeans.)

Here is a sign directing you to the toilet:

Note that the only way to tell the difference between the male and the female is that the man has a V neck, and the female has a crew neck (at least i think that's right.) Em ended up using the men's room at least twice.
I will have more to tell you when i am more alert, and now that we have the toilets out of the way, we can move on to monkeys, deer, trains and umbrellas.

It's good to be home.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Anxiety and Meme from ETK

I have mentioned before that i am an anxious pre-traveler. I am running around like a chicken sans head getting ready to leave for Japan tomorrow morning and worrying about what i may have forgotten.

What if Grey Cat disappears like he did for 24 hours earlier in the week and i can't find his fuzzy ass to take to the cat boarder? I'm not letting him out tonight.

I went to the money place yesterday and got 430,000 yen. Sounds like a boat load of money doesn't it? It's about $4,300. Which is a boat load of money. All they had was 1000 yen notes, so i literally have a pile of money about 4 inches high. How will i fit that into my wallet?

I haven't had a period since January (TMI, i know.) But what if i get one in Japan. Should i take supplies or buy them there?

And so on.


I was tagged by ETK over at
I'm Just Sayin'.

She thought maybe i was too cool for memes. Baby, i am too cool for everything.

Here are the "rules";

List one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother's maiden name.
At the end of your blog post, tag one person for each letter of your middle name. (I am not too cool for memes, but i am waaaaaay too cool to tag anyone.)

As it happens, my middle name is really long. Sigh.

E - is for the Elephant that i will feel like in Japan.

L - is for Lugubrious. I am often ridiculously sad. For no reason. It's absurd. I want to slap myself just to give me something to be sad about. (Wow, i just heard my mother there.)

I - Irritating and Inert.

Z - Zounds! This will have to be for Zoo. In the 5th grade, my best friend and i made an elaborate plan to run away from home and live in the bird house at the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington DC. We plagiarized this brilliant idea from the brilliant book
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. We saved up almost twenty dollars towards this goal, and then got bored and spent it all on candy and comic books.

A - Couldn't be anything other than Anxious right now.

B - Ha ha, what else could B be but BITCH? As in Bitch is the new black.

E - is for Edamame, which i love. I especially like the sensory experience of eating them. Popping those little beans out of the pod, licking the salt off my lips, tossing the shell into the discard bowl. Mmmmmm.

T - is for Turtle. I hope to take a trip to the Galapagos with my friend Kim next year and see some turtles. Plus some Blue Footed Boobies.

H - is for Hairy, but i plan to take care of this little problem post haste.


I'm off tomorrow morning for almost two weeks. I am not taking my laptop (gasp) but the Mister will be taking his. Mayhap he will let me use it to check in with y'all.