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It's never sunny when I have a day off.  Today it's all windy and grey outside.  The crows have moved back into the neighbourhood the past week or so, and are giving their throats quite the workout.  I recall being on Skype with my parents last year and them asking what the noise was.  So I turned my webcam round and showed them the monster squatting on the phoneline outside my window.  Evil things they are...

I want March to finish as soon as possible.  I was looking at a post I made from the beginning of the month and though it was only 3 weeks ago, it seems like an age.  Roll on April, which includes two weeks of holidays.

Later today I'm going to Roppongi with a few people to have a celebratory (as in "Yey! You passed your Japanese test!")  Indian lunch.  I can't wait to eat a proper curry.  I plan to eat so much I won't need to eat dinner, which works quite well, as there's nothing for dinner in the fridge...

There was the jazz gig on Friday night where I got a little too tipsy and danced with a 21 year-old trumpet player.  It was a bit like dancing with a tree.  I then had weird dreams which included my sister having  a transparent stomach so we could all see the baby, who had black hair and blue eyes.  Then there were some rather lovely blonde-haired, pierced and tattooed twins who looked a little like Eric Northman, but dammit, my neighbour woke me up before anything interesting happened.  Speaking of the neighbour, his number of OCD door rattlings increased yesterday to 12 repetitions, and then he came back two minutes later and did it all over again.  At 5.30am. 

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As I write two men are on my balcony, heavy-breathing and wielding power-drills.  This would be something horror-like if I weren't sitting here lazily eating rice and miso soup and wondering what I'm going to do about getting hold of the third season of Supernatural.  There's a 3 season box set going on Amazon for £27, which with shipping will be closer to £40.  Hmmm... I'd download it, but I've got 6Gb on my hardrive and the whole series is 5Gb or so.  This dilemma has arisen because I indulged myself last night by watching the last three episodes of Season 2.  I started off with the Djinn episode, and then thought I 'd watch Part 1 of "All Hell Breaks Loose", and well, I couldn't leave it hanging like that, could I?  So, I might treat myself...though I should probably buy more shampoo, and perhaps some food, before I do that.

I didn't get round to getting any food shopping done this week, though it has turned out rather well, as my stockpiling habit is paying off.  It's quite impressive what can actually be achieved with some two-week old tomatos, a carrot, some spinach and a pot of tomato sauce I wisely froze that last time I made a batch.  I now have sag aloo sauce for the weekend (if I remember to buy potatos), kidney bean chilli for today and Saturday, and a pot of carrot salad.  Yay.  And I also have 3000yen, which I haven't spent yet.   Hurrah.

The men are dropping things and muttering "Are?" to themselves.

So, onto the ghosts thing.  In the last week or so I've had three very vivid ghost dreamsReally vivid.  Last night, needless to say, I also had a ghost dream in which I was in a house with the ghost of a child who later became a serial killer in adult life.  Is it even possible in ghost-lore for your soul to revert back to childhood?  We we walking about the house, and then dug up the bones of various animals this little girl had been killing for years.  I blame the stupid amount of horror I've been imbibing lately:  Supernatural in inhuman quantities, stories by Joe Hill, My Bloody Valentine 3D.

I should actually mention the latter, purely for comedy value.  Kate and I went to see MBV in 3D in Ikebukuro.  We got weird 3D glasses and popcorn and settled down to watch the film.  Only, as soon as it started we realised it was dubbed in Japanese... At first I was a little disappointed, but actually I probably managed to work out about 50% of what was being said.  Of course, being so well-versed in horror films means you can pretty much lip-synch the dialogue, or infer what's going on anyway, so I'm not crediting my Japanese skills for this one.  Anyway, it was all a bit silly and predictable, but thoroughly enjoyable.  Perhaps I'm a little odd for finding it funny when someone's eye is leaning out over the audience on the end of a pickaxe...

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Yesterday night I read this article on the BBC . Then just as I was falling asleep I got the idea for a poem and thought "Shall I wake up, or see if I remember it in the morning?". I forced myself out of bed. Being unable to source my Moleskine (which was actually where I normally keep it) I scribbled at the base of a poem I'd printed off by Jean Sprackland. Somehow there are toy buses in there. Anyway, I haven't looked at it again today, I'll wait until later. Weird the way things creep into your head when your drifting off to sleep.

Having watched "Sweeney Todd" yesterday it was no surprise to dream about my brother killing people and hiding their bodies from my parents...

Snow Show

Dec. 30th, 2007 09:19 am
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I was hoping, somewhat stupidly, that I would be able to get through the next six weeks in Ina without snow boots. But I just looked out the window as the sky had that look about it, and sure enough but fat flakes of snow are washing about. So far nothing is sticking as we've had rain for the past two days. Having watched "30 Days of Night" last night I'm now anticipating a bloody rampage to take place, as blood looks so good against the snow.

Last night I was up late, finishing "Black Swan Green" and then having lots of head buzz, before sleep finally got me and I dreamt that Bob (Twin Peaks Bob) had possessed someone in a house and we were trying to protect ourselves from him. This is the second dream I've had about Bob since finishing the second series of Twin Peaks. I think I may need some TP icons...

Oh, and on the snow theme, I'm going to Nagano today. Tomorrow night we're meant to be going to the temple to ring the temple bell, but now I'm not so sure my footwear will be up to it. I may need to sacrifice the new work shoes for snow boots so I don't give myself brain damage when I next have to leave the apartment.
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Goddammit, I hate it when I'm writing and yet my brain is not cooperating. It's almost worst than not writing anything at all. A while ago I wrote a story based around an early Porcupine Tree song. I guess this is a bit like writing from dreams - the imagery is good but there's nothing there. So I've been mulling this over for the past few weeks, wondering where it's going to go. Yesterday I sat down for 15 minutes before work and scribbled out three opening paragraphs. Nothing there, but this morning when I looked at them again and came up with a whole plot, motivation etc thinger and created a creepy mountain town to set it all in. This morning's efforts I'm quite pleased with, but as for this evening's efforts, I've lost the (metaphorical) plot again. I just seem to be telling the story, but not actually writing it. So, back to where I left off this morning. Still, that's 750 words, which is a good writing day.

In other news I've had two particularly vivid dreams these last two nights. Wednesday night saw me having to give a talk about Stephen Fry's "The Ode Less Travelled", so I spent most of my time worrying because I hadn't finished the book and didn't know how to go about explaining the mathematics of a sestina. To add to the panic, Stephen Fry turned up in the bookshop cafe I was giving the talk in and was signing autographs for the Japanese shop staff.

Last night's dream was most clearly influenced by [ profile] greygirlbeast's story "In the Water Works" from American Supernatural Tales which I picked up in Nagoya on Sunday. I was forcing myself out of the bookshop as I passed it, and almost put it back down until I clocked the story as one I hadn't read. The dream was about people who had to enter an alternate reality once they reached a certain age (different for each person). I clearly recall the end of the dream where a teenage boy is being attacked by black tentacles coming out from beneath his bed and bookcase. He locks himself in the wardrobe, but there is a struggle inside and the doors swing back open to reveal an empty space, only ruffled clothes hanging there.

Which reminds me, wasn't there some kids film about creatures that came out from under your bed and dragged you into some kind of demon world? I have a clear image of someone being dragged underneath their bed...

I also read David J Schow's "Last Call For the Sons of Shock" which I was mightily amused by, and Joyce Carol Oates' "Demon" which was odd, and then grisly. Excellent Halloween reading material.

Australia pics can be seen soon...
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I was visited by an Incubus on Friday night, and no, it was, in fact, quite frightening.

So a week of disturbed sleep was compounded this morning but being awoken by the town sirens going at 6am. What they were alerting us to, I've no idea. I got out my dictionary to find out what was being said, but had no joy. Half and hour later as I was finally starting to to the edge of my resentful wakefulness the blasted thing went off again. So I gave up, made a cup of tea and read [ profile] greygirlbeast's "Bradbury Weather" instead.

I blame the incubus invasion on red wine and watching Hugh Jackman in a dumbass movie. I had little in the way of expectations when I sat down to watch "Kate and Leopold" (it was showing on the Movie Plus channel and I was bored and not in the mood for anything cerebral). My only point in watching (aside from thinking Hugh Jackman is pretty, though particularly in Wolverine mode) was to see whether the film would tick all the plot boxes for a love story. Which it did. Shame that none of the science behind finding cracks in time wasn't explained, but I guess that's far too much for the target audience to take in.

So last night I went to my favourite bar. I had been requested to go out to karaoke with Joe and few others but have taken a thorough dislike to singing in snack bars lately, so headed for the comfort of Yongo Yongo. It's not that I don't enjoy the singing. I am just quite bored with the number of requests I get to sing songs. People always make suggestions and I feel obliged to acquiesce. In some cases, people don't even ask me, they just give me a microphone when a song comes on and say: "Dozo". My annoyance at this behaviour is furthered by the fact that this is most often done with songs I hate - Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On", Mariah Carey's "Hero". I've come to an agreement with Joe that the next time this happens I will inform the bar of my hatred of these songs, and give the mic to Joe, who will go on to sing on my behalf. That'll learn 'em.

Joe and I went back to Yongo Yongo for a private "mini-mini-live" with Mi-chan, back from a gig last night in Roppongi. Kumi brought her son Koki, who is 9 years old, but not much past a year old in mental terms (I can never keep up with what the "PC" term for this is). He was utterly ecstatic to meet Joe and insisted on crawling across us to get a hug. He was mesmerised by the guitar and enjoyed banging away on the bongos too. He's a very happy, if slightly anxious, kid and is good fun, though I guess extremely tiring to look after as he needs constant attention. So Koki munched on kombu onigiri while Mama cooked up a huge feast - egg and eggplant pizza, nama-haru maki, bagels, salad, accompanied by beer and wine.

As a result I'm been feeling distinctly off-planet this afternoon. However, I'm going to correct the situation with more red wine and a viewing of "Before Sunset", one of my favourite films, which I had the joy of tracking down in Tsutaya today.

Maybe I might get to sleep properly tonight...
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Oh damn you brain!

My second night of insomnia. Not really bad insomnia, just the inability to fall asleep for hours and hours. Lying in bed trying to empty my head of irritating thoughts, but more just kept popping in. I did eventually get to sleep, but have been staggering about this morning trying to get my eyes to work.

Strange dreams too, though not really memorable.

I had a wicked dream on Monday night though, and given I had been drinking red wine until 3am I'm amazed it was so vivid. I was at a party sitting on a square cream sofa with a table in the middle. People around me were talking to each other. A guy comes over and sits next to me. He has long dark curly hair and a top hat. It's Slash. (!). We start chatting like we've known each other for ages and I mention Velvet Revolver, but he's not happy with the band at the moment. Anyway, we carry on talking for a bit.

I wake up at the party later that night. It's dark and I need a wee so I walk through the dark room to find the toilet.* On the way I find Slash asleep. His feet are propped up on the table and his head and shoulders are on the ground, as though he's been leaning back in a chair, but the chair has been taken away.

I told Lucas at school this dream. He said:

"Normally when someone tells you they had a cool dream it isn't at all. But dreaming about Slash? That's cool."

The lovely Lucas finished yesterday and is heading off to Thailand for a month before heading home to Canada. A shame he was only with us so briefly as I enjoyed having someone to discuss literature with. We get a sub-teacher today for two weeks and then our new teacher arrives from the US on July 14th. I felt this was a good date, what with it being Bastille day, but then I couldn't figure out why... So school is almost functioning again. Sometime I'll tell you all the woes of being the only permanent member or staff at school, or maybe I won't. We just need a new manager (doing paperwork in Kanji is impossible for me) and the place might be up and running again.

Haircut at the weekend. Much needed. I even managed to book it in Japanese. And I wasn't drunk. Next week I'm teaching double-comparatives to my super-advanced student. I gave her an example on Tuesday night as a taster: "The more beer I drink, the better my Japanese becomes."


*It occured to me that if I was telling this story to Gideon he would start punning on Slash, and needing a slash.
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Last night I dreamt that I was going to become a man.

I was in my doctor's surgery in Stoke Poges, and was very much on guard as I didn't want anyone to know why I was there. I went into the doctor's room and sat down. Without even any preliminaries she plonked down on the desk in front of me a tall black flask full of testosterone, a bottle of pills, some pamphlets and a few other things that have only vague shapes. She said: " People will start to notice very soon, but you just have to tell them what happened to you and they'll understand why you want to be a man." At this point I started panicking. I suddenly realised that I didn't want a beard, and that I would have to deal with an unknown amount of abuse from people because of my changing body. In the back of my mind I wanted to ask about when I'd get my cock, but the doctor left the room abruptly. I sat in the chair for what seemed like ages and then and thought about "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". Then I put all my goodies in a black plastic bag and left.

This must come from a reading "Orlando", and an article in "Dreamflesh" about the taboo of female body hair.

In other news, I bought a bicycle this morning. It's a black folding mountain bike, and is extremely heavy - but good to ride. I felt great joy as I cycled off from Watahan in the morning sunshine with the breeze blowing through my hair. I will have to plan some weekend adventures now.

This caps a rather lovely weekend. I went out on Saturday night with Kumi to see a few local bands, all of whom were great - rock n roll, more balladic proggy stuff, and a funk-rock band to finish. I had a peculiar conversation with the bassist of the second band - peculiar because I could actually understand what he was saying, even if I was unable to reply to any great extent with my crap Japanese. We discussed music (as you do with musicians) including Dream Theater's bassist John Myung.

On Sunday we had planned a picnic, but the weather was a bit dodgy so Kumi and I decided we'd go bowling instead. We took Masaya and Makoto with us. I suck at bowling. We ended up in the park having a picnic after all, as we couldn't find anywhere to eat the McDonald's (bad bad Laura!) we'd bought for lunch. Masaya encouraged me and Makoto to talk in our respective second languages, which is always quite amusing, as Makoto's English is as good as my Japanese, so we just end up giggling with embarassment. Meanwhile, Kumi searched for a six-leaf clover, having found a five-leaf clover during the week. After that we played billiards, at which I am a lot better. It was a good day, which I finished off with a long bath and then "The Lost Boys".

I have to go to Tokyo this Friday for a meeting. 4 hours of meeting, 8 hours of travelling. I'm trying to make it more worthwhile by planning a magazine haul in Shinjuku's Tower Records.
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Shame I missed this the first time round:

Neil Gaiman Once Step Closer to Sainthood

I thought I'd log on this morning and then go do something else. I got distracted.

Weird weird dreams last night, quite scary in places, and at one point I forced myself awake because I didn't want to see what was being pointed at. Will have to write this all down before I go swimming in 40 minutes.
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I forgot to mention the two dreams I had this week. In the first one I dreamt that I was flying a dark blue Mini. It had extendable wings and had to reach 200mph to take off, which was quite fun. I flew around England for a bit.

Then, in the next dream, I was driving an old-style Mini with my grand-dad sitting in the back seat. I was driving very erratically and almost got hit by another car.

Dreams about flying are fantastic. This is the second dream in which I recall flying and the feeling of it is amazing. It reminds me of when I was a kid and really wanted to be able to fly (yes, like the Worst Witch - purple tights, cat and all), and would get really frustrated because I didn't know what it was like.

In other news, my catfish, Slinky, is now over 12 inches long and quickly outgrowing his tank. My Mum mentioned that they are going to try and find him a new home as there's no room for him if he continues to grow. He must be about 10 years old now. If you know anyone who can house a cannibal catfish let me know.
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This weekend, so far, has been a particularly productive one.

Saturday night saw us go out with a group of students for what they called the "High Calorie Party". This involved going to one of the more expensive yaki-niku restaurants in town, eating meat and drinking beer. Well, I ate, vegetables, salad, tofu and kimchi, and drank beer. Afterwards we went to a huge snack bar where I avoided being the first one to sing karaoke for once (the night's songs included: S.O.S -ABBA, Angel - Eurythmics, and Stay - Lisa Loeb). During my rendition of Angel I was brought to near hysterics by the sight of one of the my students and the other NET grooving along to the song in an Austin Powers stylee.

On Sunday morning I got up at 9am, made tea and toast for Saori, who had stayed over, and then staggered back to bed until 1pm. Then, after waking myself up and eating, I sat down and wrote a short story. It's been popping into my head repeatedly recently and I started making further notes on it last week. Yesterday it wanted to come out, so down I sat and it wrote itself. I have the final section to work on today and then that's the first draft done. It's quite an interesting story for me as it is written in the present tense, not something I usually do, and it's written backwards, so the start is at the end, again, not something I usually do. I found that I automatically slip into writing in the past tense so I very often had to stop myself and change sentences. It gives the story much more sense of immediacy, which is what I want for this one - a sense of confusion, that you don't understand what is happening until the very end. Then to work on the next draft and type it up.

After that I watched the "Devil's Rejects" and started downloading "Pan's Labyrinth".

[On an aside, I blasted my way through all 18 episodes of "Heroes" and and now can't wait to see the next ones. Why, oh why didn't I pace myself, as I was warned about the season break! Next to download is the second series of "Life on Mars" which is about the only show I've been missing from England.]

So far today I've been swimming, after having to shake off dreams about flying around England in a Mini Cooper (which was excellent fun) and watching motorcycle races across the Arctic. I now need to do some shopping, work on the story, do some Japanese practice and head out to meet my private student. And may I add that my student and I meet in family restaurants and cafes, NOT his apartment, and that he was passed on to me by his previous teacher who vouched for his sanity. So don't worry.


Mar. 30th, 2007 03:47 pm
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Some days I get really ratty for no reason. Today would be one of those days, but for the fact that I have a good reason. Three hours sleep. My own fault I guess. I just have to get through the next 6 hours and then I can go home, get into bed and read the latest issue of "Sirenia Digest" before going to sleep.

I haven`t had any good dreams lately. At least, not memorable ones. Where have they gone?

Must find some way of cheering myself up. I think there`s a Lindt chocolate bunny in my bag...

And I would kill for a Cadbury`s Cream Egg right now.

And someone to cuddle.
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I've been having a messy time in my head the last few nights. Normally my dreams have some sort of plot to them, some sort of 'dream-sense' anyway. It has just been random things. I've been writing them down each day, and interestingly the process of writing all these random dreams down is bringing old ones out. Stuff I know I have dreamed in the past but could not remember to write down. This doesn't normally happen. In fact, the memory of one just hit me. I'm going to write it down...

And I think the spelling in my ico is wrong. I've just noticed... yup, it's wrong. Dammit.

5 minutes later - All better. "Oishii" means 'tasty' in Japanese btw.
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After the near all-nighter of Saturday and only five hours sleep, I managed a personal sleep record of 11 hours on Sunday night, waking up feeling quite lovely yesterday. Today is when my brain gets back at me for it. "How dare you remain unconscious for so long?" it said at about 4am. I lay in bed for a good hour with a line going round in my head which I'm going to have to use in a story now. I then finally gave in, wrote the line down, and got up to finish reading [ profile] docbrite's "D*U*C*K" which I started yesterday afternoon. I fell back asleep at some point and was barraged by strange dreams. I over-slept by an hour and now feel pretty nasty.

The dreams are all bitty and keep coming in and out of focus, so I think I'm going to have to write them down over the course of the day as they come to me. It's a good thing Tuesday's are pretty easy teaching days, particularly if my 8pm cancels and I get to go home at 6pm. Which reminds me, I think I have a kids class today. Nuts.
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I remembered part of the other dream. I can see a fish devouring a fish while being thrown about by a heron on the roof of the kitchen in Stoke Poges. Not sure about the rest.

I've come home to find all the junk from my apartment gone. Yasuko said she and the garbage man had great fun throwing heavy things from the second floor into the back of the lorry. Shame I was teaching, I would have like to smash up some stuff. So now I'm mean to be putting things away so I don't have to do too much tomorrow morning, except clean. I forsook my Saturday night 'fish and chips' to come home and finish off the contents of the fridge. Plus, my lip is pulsing still so I don't feel like going out in public much. I went to the chemist this morning and managed to understand that in order to get any Zovirax I would need to see a doctor for a prescription. Which means going to a hospital to see a doctor, which means trying to figure out what to say in Japanese as I can't drag Yasuko along everytime I need some serious talking done on my behalf. By the time that would happen the BLIMP would have probably (hopefully,please please please) have calmed down and started to heal.

I feel quite rotten and want to go to bed, but I have to tidy up, and damn, there's still another beer to drink in the fridge.
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I woke up at 4.30am and sat in the dark trying to figure out what was keeping me awake. Did I need a wee? Was I thirsty? Was I cold? No, the BLIMP on my bottom lip was pulsing viciously and keeping me awake. I think this is the second worst cold sore I've ever had. I looked in the mirror this morning to be met with this cream-yellowed mass of weeping flesh beating its little watery heart at me. I look like I've been punched in the gob. Yesterday and today I felt like imitating an ill cat - sitting very still in a warm corner in the hope that whatever is wrong with you will sort itself out. I have memories of Blodin and his putrid smelling ulcers. I'm not that bad, I assure you. Still, a bag to hide in would be good. Not only do I look like I've been punched in the gob, I look like a syphilitic miscreant who's been punched in the gob.

So, I lay in bed for a good couple of hours observing the random thoughts going through my head. Much time was spent thinking about the packing I need to do this morning, and what needs to be put out for the garbage men who are taking my huge stack of unwanted futons today. Then I started thinking about a story by [ profile] greygirlbeast I was reading before I went to bed. "Lady Rat and Fur" I kept thinking.

Around dawn (so about 6am) I feel back asleep to have strange dreams about going to some sort of rave/burlesque festival with Helen. Somewhere along the way I lost her and ended up in a tent trying to steal things. Then the tent was closed and I had to spend the night trying ot get out. I found a doorway which led to a beach where I could see the sun rising over the mountains on the horizon. Somewhere along the way I was sprayed by a muck spreader and then had to have a bath in a sink - I can only assume I shrank myself to do so. In the morning Helen and Sean came looking for me. Helen was looking lovely in a bright red bobbed wig, while Sean had a big red top hat and coat tails on. There was also another dream, but like so many delirious sleep memories, they evaporate. It was a strange one, I can still taste it on my brain.

Apparently it's going to snow this afternoon. The high today is 4 degrees, the low 0, though that's just my apartment...

NOTE: When you spell check greygirlbeast LJ comes up with crackliest. He he he.
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So how strange is this - Christian from Monster Movie was in my dream last night. He turned up at my house in his best man's suit (he was best man at Helen and Sean's wedding) wanting to buy weed off of me. I had to make up some excuse to my parents about how 'stuff' meant that he owed me money. Meanwhile my brother was going mental on some new drug called Radium-C (radioactive yes), naked in the hallway.

Thought you'd like to know about that.
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Have death breath from garlicy bruschetta - will keep the beasts away at work tomorrow!

Have been reading H P Lovecraft today and now think that I could have made some better points in my Pro Jekt article but too late now. Actually, I was remarking on the number of dreams that Lovecraft turned into stories, which made me realise that I haven't had a memorable dream in ages. In fact, the last one was about getting on a plane, so not too topical then.

I'm making a rock-goth-metal compilation to take away with me. Anyone any ideas?


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