blacklilly: (moody)
Rainy season began about 3 weeks ago.  A nice, breezy sunny day, followed by a rainy day and then a wall of humidity that crawled into every piece of clothing and soaked it through.  I have made some concessions to the summer this year and have started wearing white and blue in an attempt to keep myself cool - it was the heat rash on an otherwise normal day that persuaded me to finally give in and turn on the aircon.  Only two more months of this to go and then typhoon season sets in. 

Today is not my birthday, but it IS my birthday on Thursday.  And it is a special birthday, for on Thursday I will be 30 years old.  I had been planning/hoping that my 30th birthday would signal the end of what has been the second worst decade of my life (my teens unsurprisingly taking the No 1 slot in the shit-stakes), and allow me to begin the fourth decade  significantly better off than I had been before.  However, I think that the cosmos is playing some kind of joke on me.  I'd like to blame God, but seeing as I don't believe in all that lark, I can't really do anything but blame the mysterious cosmic forces who seem to like reminding me again and again that I am a mere stain on the planet.  I seem to mired in ever increasing requests for payments, mainly to the Japanese government who want money for this and that and then some more of that.  Today I came home to find, not the first birthday card to be delivered through my letter box, but a request for the payment of 180 000yen (that's $1800) in 5 installments over the next 6-8 months.    This comes as no surprise, as I have been anticipating its arrival for a few weeks.  The surprise  for the Japanese government will be that I cannot pay this money back.  I'm living on 1000yen a day as it is.  I guess I will have to come to some kind of compromise with them...or just not pay it. The only way I can pay this back is if I receive my "Loss of Earnings" payout from the government, but as that seems to have no date upon it, I/the government could be waiting a while.

I become very morose around this time every year.  I always mark the year by my birthday and by the New Year and every time I feel that another year of my life has been wasted, though whatever the hell it is I'm meant to be doing instead eludes me.  The only things I have learnt from the past ten years are: stay the hell away from drummers, or indeed any kind of musician (though, to be honest, I'm still trying to learn my lesson here); don't spend money, save it - money gives you choices; and only a very few friends exist in the world, and they're often the ones you wouldn't expect to pick you up when you're down. 

However, there are good things - good things I should remind both myself and my few readers about.  The one thing I am proudest of at the moment is that I learnt my lesson with money and was able to make a choice where so many other people could not.  And despite the difficulties and the financial and emotional stress it has caused me, I'm going to be much better for it, though maybe not in the financial sense for some time to come.  I've gained so much more experience in the last two months than I did in the two years preceeding them.  I could regret that fact that I stayed as long as I did in my dead company, but when in a strange land, with your housing and medical insurance taken care of and a fear that everything else will be as bad as your current situation (and not having the money do anything about it), it's easy to stay.  I've also learnt that when things get tough I can take care of myself, and I have people who care enough about me to help.  I think my family are still under the impression that I'm a nightmare of a human being, but I think that fact that I have been able to ask so many people for help, and people who have willingly given that help, means that I can't be as bad as I've been told.

Tomorrow is Tanabata - but more on that tomorrow...


Jul. 9th, 2009 09:02 am
blacklilly: (Takoyaki!)
So, yesterday was my birthday, but I wasn't really in the mood for it as I'd had about 2 and half hours sleep, due to a combination of the heat keeping me awake, and finding one of these ugly motherfuckers outside my apartment.  Apparently, they're called toilet crickets, which just doesn't seem to do them justice.  Anyway, it sent me into intense scratching mode, in which I spent much of the insomnia having weird thoughts about insects crawling all over my skin, resulting in much jumping around scratching myself.

Yesterday was a day for much imbibing of sugar.  First, though I had to jack myself up on greasy food (I had a mad craving for salty chips - sleep deprivation actually makes me seriously hungry) so I went to Village Vanguard with Tommy and ate a fish burger with an excellent pepper, tomato and courgette salsa sauce on it.  Then there was ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins:

Afterwards I made spooky looking cups of coffee out of dry ice.  I didn't drink them though, as the coffee at work is made of evil.

Later, my student brought a selection of manju (pictures later) and we stuffed our faces in class.  Then I hit the bar after work.  Loads of people came down to say hello and have a drink, which was unexpectedly nice.  I conked out at about 1am and went to bed, and fell asleep listening to one of the many playlists on my iPod.  So, 6 hours sleep today, which is about normal.

After the sleep problems of May and June, I thought I'd managed to find the cure for the sleeplessness.  Seeing as my brain was racing full of thoughts, I decided to start writing down all the stuff that was flying about, which it turned out, once it was captured, was just boring day to day stuff.  Anyway,   it worked for 2 weeks.  (It may also have had something to do with not getting out of bed on Monday until 5pm, and then getting back in it at 11pm.)

blacklilly: (dean you're soooo sexy)
May I point all those in need of inspiration for my birthday to my Amazon wishlist, a link to which you'll find on the left-hand side of this page.  Poetry would be appreciated, and I'd kill for a good book of Guardian crossword puzzles. 

In preparation for my birthday, I got my manager to call up a rock bar in Ginza, where I intend to celebrate the impending increase in numbers.  All was going well until they realized I wasn't Japanese.  "How many foreigners are coming?" they asked sheepishly.  (Millions!  Millions! To drink your beer, ravege your women, and chase out all the other clientele!!!)  Half and half, I confirmed, wondering whether I should take my copious amounts of business elsewhere.  When they asked whose party it was (mine) and who was organising it (me), they started tittering away.  Apparently, it's not the done thing in Japan to organize your own party, but that's all I've ever done for my birthday, and at least it's done right.  I think I may trash their bar just to spite 'em. 

So, anyway.  I should sew up a hole in one of my dresses.  I'm going to see Circe du Soleil (sic) on Sunday afternoon and I should probably look presentable.
blacklilly: (Default)

It's chucking down with rain outside. There were some rumbles of thunder earlier, which I was quite glad for. I'm heading into Shibuya to meet Lou's sister Catherine for people watching, a bit of shopping, book swapping in Ebisu, and a Vegan-Macrobiotic Dub Cafe (!) for dinner.

The cake above was from school. They tried to find me the blackest cake they could. It was so rich it took me 3 hours to eat it.*

Last night I sat in a bar until 10pm babbling in Japanese and drinking free red wine (it is my birthday after all). Then I came home and watched "Day Watch" and "The Fountain". The former was...OK. I didn't enjoy it as much as "Night Watch", possibly because I've read the book and know the story, and possibly because it didn't have quite the same character that the first one had. The SFX were excellent, as expected, but it just sagged a little. "The Fountain", despite a few flaws, was great. The three-story lines were treated a little messily, I felt, and we didn't really have much opportunity to really get to know the characters. However, it was visually stunning, especially the scenes in space and travelling through the nebula. I'm being bad and ripping it so I can watch it again (he he)!

The rain is gearing back up to full downpour again. I wonder if I'll get to the station without getting soaked??

Thanks to all of you who emailed, Facebooked or sent me birthday wishes in the post. It's nice to know I'm not forgotten. :)

* I hasten to add that I didn't eat the WHOLE thing! It took me three hours to eat one fat slice.
blacklilly: (Default)
As my friend Rachel says, "It's not that bad, you could be living in England".

An interesting article on how single people in England can barely afford to live. Sounds quite close to home for me.

Also, an amusing article on txt spk and how it may not be destroying the English language after all.

It's 31 degrees today in Tokyo. It's humid. I'm hungover and have had about 4 hours sleep. I can't stop sweating. My fan is going, but I may have to finally give in to using the aircon. In 5 months I've only used it twice because putting on more clothes is cheaper. There was a very loud storm the other night which rumbled through my dreams.

It's my birthday on Tuesday. I don't know what to buy myself for a present - gym membership, an external hard drive...

I may go back to sleep for a while...
blacklilly: (Default)

I've posted some photos from my birthday party on Flickr. Hit the Flickr link to see them.

In other news, I was unexpectedly bedridden yesterday with some sort of stomach bug. I couldn't even keep water down so spent the day sucking ice cubes and watching the X Files and Firefly in a bid to distract my mind from my churning stomach and stinking headache. Round about 10pm I started to feel better so managed to read a bit of "Bleak House" - the chapter where Krook spontaneously combusts.

The night was broken into stages were I woke up gasping for water but had to restrain myself attaching my mouth to the faucet, so sucked on more ice cubes. This morning I've had two glasses of water and two cups of soba tea and am feeling no ill effects. I have a Japanese lesson this afternoon so I'm hoping to keep it together. I had also planned to take Joe for birthday Ben and Jerries before helping him get a bike.

I've been having bizarre food cravings the whole time I've been sick - mochi, salmon and cucumber sandwiches, veggie toad in the hole with caramelised onion gravy. But I'm going to eat dry toast instead. I had planned to make Malaysian quail egg sambal tonight, but will save it for later in the week.

I also have a trip to Osaka for a meeting on Wednesday. Three hours on the bus, one hour on the shinkansen and another hour of faffing about and getting lost.

More later.


Jul. 9th, 2007 10:42 pm
blacklilly: (Default)
My birthday weekend has been pretty nice. On Saturday night Kumi organised a little party at a place called Bar-7 - or Bar Nana - where we drank lots of beer, ate birthday cake and played darts. Then we wandered off into the night to karaoke, where I serenaded everyone with "Wuthering Heights". Then off to Dei-ai for further drinking until 5am.

On my actual birthday I woke up far too early. Andrew and I went to West Village where we met up with a couple of my students and had lunch followed by Crazy Parfait - 18 inches of ice cream. Tabezukare deshita! I had a brief chat with Gideon by phone, which was nice. Then Yasuko picked me up and took me to her place for sushi.

Today Mikio took me to Okaya to see Pirates of the Caribbean. It was dubbed. In Japanese. But I still thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I only understood about 10% of what was said. Then we stopped off at a restuarant where a friend of his works. I was flagging by 6.30pm so he dropped me home. I'm still flagging but I'm too hot to sleep yet.

Pictures to follow next week!

blacklilly: (Default)
I am now 22 British Years Old. Well, yesterday actually. Got up late, ate chocolate cake for breakfast and opened presents. Got nice Clinique Make-up, Ghost perfume and Estee Lauder (spelling?) nail varnish in harlot and vampy reds! Also got lots of book tokens to fund habit. Lou bought me Hell's Angels by Hunter S Thompson (so cunningly hinted at on my wishlist) - Thank you LOU! Jenny bought me some choccies and some glittery purple eyeshadow! Gideon was going to add to my Living Dead Dolls collection but instead got me a cuddly Sully toy. I was particularly amused by one birthday card which must have been hunted for high and low as it actually says " Goth Chick" on it. Well spotted.

One of the agencies phoned me and asked if I wanted to work. I thought about it. I said no and watched an ER double-bill instead. Oh, which reminds me - did anyone tape the last epidsode of CSI? HILARY ask Tom if he's got it and if I can borrow it?

Went to Reading last night and drank lots of cocktails in TGI's. Then went to the Turtle and drank a bit more. Then we went to the Fez Club. The last time I went there it was still the Alley Cat, so the chintz (and the gross underage-ness)frightened me a bit. Drank some more; Naomi got molested by some bloke who was staring at us in TGI's, went to the Turtle and eventually got home at 3.30am.

I've got a job for Thursday and Friday. That bastard advertising agency didn't want me. Apparantly there were more qualified people than me. Do they have Phd's in gophering then? Damn them.

One of our many TV gave up the ghost on Saturday. This was most distressing to everyone as it was the one in the dining room so everyone has to eat in silence now. He he he! Strange how the loss of one TV in a house of four can cause so much grief.

Anyway, I'm going to spend some imaginary money now.


blacklilly: (Default)

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