26december1999.htmlTEXTttxtߵI 26DECEMBER1999
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Report From Japan - 26DE99

Here's a fairly unexciting report from the Land of the Rising Moon Which I Saw Coming Up Last Night Over the Nearby Mountains Outside the Window Which Was So Distracting I Had to Interrupt the Lesson I Was Teaching Just to Make My Student (I Only Had One at the Time) Watch Through the Window With Me for About 3 Minutes as it Outlined the Sillouette of the Mountain-Top Antenna Tower Perfectly. I alaways forget. Is it that or the "Land of the Rising Sun?" Whatever.

Anyway, I still manage to ride my bike the 40 minutes to the gym and back 4 days a week even though it can get a little chilly in the morning sometimes. I only work out for about 30 minutes which is enough to do 4 excercises and to try to get the gym staff to commit to take me skiing. I should have that all organized by next month. Since that whole project was going slow, I upped the ante by forgetting my shorts one day. There was no way I was going to ride home and back so I asked at the front desk and they hooked me up with a pair of loaner shorts from - oh about 1979. They gave me the largest pair they had, but they were still so tight, most people probably mistook them for Spandex. The legs were not even long enough to cover the legs of my underwear (briefs - okay not briefs but underwear) so I had to keep stuffing them back up one of the places where the sun don't shine. The color was of course a hideous purple which 1979 must have borrowed from 1984. When I walked into the gym, I had the same feeling of manic embarassement that hit me one day in kindergarten when the other kids made it perfectly clear that it's NOT okay for boys to steal a hit of their mothers perfume before school - and - NO - toddler chicks DON'T dig a guys feminine side! The weird thing was that maybe Japanese women do. Those foul shorts just may be responsible for an upcoming date with the lovely Naomi who spotted me at the bench press. Hoo-Ha!

I know nobody cool ever talks about the weather so this and another sentence shoud take care of it. It's been warm, but two days ago we got our first serious snow with accumulation of about 6 inches (a nearby Canadian tells me that is about 15 cm - whatever that means).

When the ground is dry, I still rollerblade a lot. Uphill is SOOOOO much easier than down. Please tell me if you know of a way to rollerskate downhill that doesn't involve bloody skid marks on the asphalt (just kidding Mom. I didn't really hurt myself - again. Everyone else - I'm not kidding! I'm starting to look like Edward Norton in Fight Club).

Speaking of movies, I sure watch a lot of them - theater side, my current choice is Fight Club and on video, check out Dead Man with Johnny Depp. I never really thought much of Depp until Euan told me he was his favorite actor. Before that, he was just the guy from 21 Jump Street. It turns out, he's done a bunch of movies and a bunch are good. It's a sort of violent western in black and white with an instrumental Niel Young soundtrack. It gets 4 out of 5 big GWs for uniqueness (GW GW GW GW).

Philly Cheesesteaks - yeah that's what I miss. So last week I spent over 2000 yen to get the ingriedients for a couple. The good news is that you can get very thinly sliced steak at the supermarket and that's the most important part of a cheessteak. Soft bread is a goal for next time as is the degree to which the cheese is melted into the steak. Ohhhh. Maybe I'll make it a twice monthly tradition. Did I say Ohhhh already?

I shaved my head again, because I think I was beginning to get a few less startled stairs from my students and passers by.

Our area boss has just been replaced with someone who is apparently more human. It won't effect my life much, but now I'll have to look outside the work environment for someone to hate.

I'm not engaged in any great adventure of geography at the moment, so all you get is gym shorts and cheesestaeks. I hope this inspires you to criticise my judgement, and ask me why I didn't tell you more about____________. I will - of course tell you whatever you want to know about ___________, whatever that may be for you - if you write me.

Happy Coming of Age Day

GW [23DE99]


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