I haven’t posted in a while, so I figured I should update y’all with what I’ve been up to. There will be a lot of pictures in this entry, but I can’t post them all, so if you want to see more, please check my Facebook! That’s right – I’m posting pictures to Facebook now.
You win, Internet.
My Most Recent Battle with a Cockroach
The war never ends on the Front that is My Apartmentlandia. I recently planted some landmines (read: cockroach bait), but there is no guarantee that they will encounter them.
Two days ago, Kim and I went out to dinner. We came back and watched some hilarious YouTube videos (haha, yes, that’s seriously what we did, and it was awesome). We mostly watched “Alex Reads Twilight,” which is a hilarious series in which a 20-year-old guy records himself reading and reacting to Twilight. He does some great editing, so it’s not like you’re sitting there bored, and some of his comments are brilliant.
Here’s the link to the first video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L253VLwH3w It’s a must-watch for people who like to hate Twilight. It was also satisfying from a writer’s point of view, because a few times, he talks about how Meyer is has a degree in English and still can’t write to save her life. (“What are you doing?” he asks, several times. “What are you doing, Stephenie Meyer?”)
After Kim left, I went to take a shower, BUT THERE WAS A HUGE COCKROACH HANGING OUT RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR.
I mentioned on Facebook maybe a week ago that I found another roach—this one was it. It is a massive roach.
I couldn’t very well shower with that thing skulking about, so I trapped it under a cup. It moved really fast, and it was on the wall, but I finally caught it.
On the wall.
Me: “Shoot. Now what am I supposed to do with you?”
I scooted it down the wall inside the cup and propped the cup up with the stool from my bathroom to hold the cockroach while I searched for some paper to slide under the cup. Eventually, I managed to keep the cockroach inside the cup with a piece of paper, and I hid the whole deal under a chair in the kitchen.
Because I still can’t deal with roaches.
Last time, I was a loser and just waited until the trapped roaches died, and then I threw them out. I read on the internet that sometimes roaches play ‘possum, but those ones were pretty damn dead.
The next day, the roach was still alive in the morning, and when I got home from work, I went to check if it was dead yet. It looked dead, but to check, I wiggled the cup around a little. The roach moved, quickly, and unfortunately, I tipped the cup more than I meant to. It maybe kind of sort of scared me when it moved so suddenly.
And it escaped.
Me: “OH NO COME BACK HERE WHERE ARE YOU GOING YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DIE.”
It was surely making fun of me. Faking dead and then moving so fast…
It disappeared—and when I looked, I found that I apparently have a hole in my sliding door. So it was probably INSIDE MY DOOR.
Ugh. I couldn’t do anything about it at that point, so I went to sleep, hearing skittering noises inside the door all night as I tried to sleep. (Remember that I’m sleeping in my living room right now, because it’s the only room with air conditioning.)
Then today, I went to take a shower again, and the same goddamn roach was in the same goddamn place as before.
Me: “You are not very smart.”
So, I captured it again. AND THUS ENDS THE BATTLE OF THE SHOWER ROOM.
But the wars wages on.
As Andy would say, “Dwight may have won the battle, but I will win… the next battle.”
Comiket is like Anime Expo, only in Japan. (NO WAII—AN ANIME CONVENTION IN JAPAN?)
I went with Kim and a few ALTs from Asahi, which is in northern Chiba. They were Alyson, Jillian, and Becca. We piled into Kim’s car and drove to the bus stop, and then took an hour and a half bus ride to Tokyo.
The bus ride was really gorgeous, and at one point, we were on the Aqualine, which is a road that goes over Tokyo Bay. WHOA!
When we finally reached Tokyo, I may have gotten over-excited about some Tokyo graffiti. Haha!
We took a few trains to get to the area where the convention was held. It was VERY HOT outside. I was very lucky I brought my water bottle. When we arrived at the convention location (I don’t really know what the place was called), we bought some food at a convenience store. We were all very hungry, because we all woke up at 6:00 AM and had not eaten yet. Then we followed a huge crowd to the cosplay area.
Let me add—it was also very crowded. It was like Disneyland on a bad day.
Apparently, Japan anime conventions are different when it comes to cosplaying. Kim said that cosplayers weren’t allowed to walk around—they had to stay in an area outside where they could mill about and take pictures. It was strange, not seeing people in costume walking around, but when we got to the cosplay area, it was CRAZY. I don’t have any pictures, but Kim took a lot with a camera from work, because her coworkers wanted to see pictures of cosplayers. If I ever get them, I will add them to this post and let you know that I updated it.
You are supposed to ask the cosplayers if you can take a picture of them, and it didn’t appear that you were allowed to take a picture with them, which I always think is more fun… Like when I got to take a picture with the Cowboy Bebop cosplayers at Fanime.
We wandered around the convention for a while, which was really interesting. Apparently, I’m not very up-to-date on my anime. I didn’t recognize anything. This convention was more about the anime coming out—there were a lot of advertisements—not so much about anime itself, like conventions in the U.S. It was probably more exciting for people who are into contemporary anime. Unfortunately, I’m into ‘90s anime. Maybe early 2000s.
After going, though, and finding a few new anime, I’m going to try to watch some. I tried to watch this one anime that has gotten very popular recently. It’s called Fairy Tail. I actually recognized the art right away—I thought, “Wait, this is the same guy who did Rave.” And I was right! They even reused an old character, which is pretty common in anime. (For those of you who know Rave and/or Fairy Tail, it’s Plue.)
(Oh hell, I’ll show you a picture of Plue.)
One thing that really bothered me while I was there was the sexualization of young girls. Really young girls. Maybe they were actually supposed to be eighteen, but they did not look it. That kind of thing has always bothered me, but it was strange to see it in such abundance… It was really disturbing. That was only in one (or two) parts of the convention though, and we left those areas pretty quickly.
After wandering around the convention almost until it closed (it closed at 5:00 PM! Wut?), we went to an Italian restaurant that actually served pretty good Italian food. I didn’t take a picture, but Jillian did, so I stole hers.
Then we went across the city to Animate, a nine-story (or 8-story?) anime/manga/DVD/omiyage store. It was pretty intense! I thought the floors would never end. I bought some kick-ass chopsticks that look like swords, but I refrained from buying any anime or manga or DVDs. I’m sure that self-restraint won’t last for long, though.
It was getting late, so we headed back to the train station to take a train back home. On the way there, I saw an El Torito! I was just complaining about how much I missed Mexican food—when SUDDENLY. (Well, El Torito passes for Mexican food, anyway.)
I was so excited that I took a picture.
I also took a picture of an Avengers poster I saw in the train station.
Kim and I were going a different direction than the others, so we split up. The trains don’t run very late to Tomiura, so we were worried that we weren’t going to be able to catch our train back.
Turns out that worry was legitimate.
Seriously—Tokyo Station is the Worst. Station. Ever.
We headed toward the train we were supposed to take—only to realize that we had two minutes to get there, and it was all the way across the station. We didn’t catch it.
So Kim checked her phone for another train we could take, and we ran back across the station to catch that one—only to miss it.
I think we did this one more time, but maybe we were just frustrated and it felt like so many times, but eventually, Kim’s phone died. We finally went to a help counter and asked how we could get to Tomiura. The man gave us two separate possible trains. The first one was all the way across the station AGAIN, and we missed it, but we managed to get on the last train—which was also ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STATION. It was seriously a ten minute walk.
We booked it, practically running across the station, and we made it with a few minutes to spare. Thank God. That was frustrating.
We had to transfer to another train when we arrived in Chiba, and we ended up running into Alyson, Jillian, and Becca—so we should have taken the train with them in the first place, probably. Oh well.
It was a nice train ride, despite all that. Kim and I talked a lot and got to know each other a little better, which is why we’ve hung out a lot over the last few weeks.
When we arrived in Tomiura, we started to walk back to her car—which was still at the bus station—but it was really dark, and we weren’t positive about how to walk there. We walked in circles a little, and finally we just walked to my house and looked up the location. I drove for the first time that night, to drive Kim to her car.
It worked out okay, but I was terrified because I had not driven yet, and it was night. But since then, it’s been all right. I was glad to have someone with me, in any case.
Bad Ass Coffee—August 19th
For those of you who lived in Santa Cruz—do you remember Bad Ass Coffee? It was where that Joe’s place is now in downtown Santa Cruz. I think it only lasted until the end of my Freshman year though.
The reason I bring it up: there is a Bad Ass Coffee in Tateyama!
Kim called me and asked if I wanted to go to Book Off and this coffee place that she heard about, so she picked me up and we drove to Tateyama. When she pulled up, I saw the sign and totally had a moment of utter joy.
Me: “There was one of those in Santa Cruz!”
I took hella pictures, because I thought it was hilarious that there was a Bad Ass Coffee in Japan. It was all Hawaii-themed and squished behind a gas station and car dealership, next to a Laundromat (which is probably the only reason it will survive, unlike in Santa Cruz, which has much better coffee places).
We ate lunch (sort of; it was probably almost 2:00), and then we went to Book Off, where I found some Harry Potter books in Japanese! I thought that since I pretty much have those books memorized, I should buy one and try to read it. But for some reason, I thought I might already have one at my apartment, so I didn’t buy any.
It turns out that I was right—I have the first book!
The Book Off was pretty great, and I got super stoked when I found a rare anime—The Irresponsible Captain Tylor! I was stoked. (Double use of the word shows how stoked I was.) I discovered the series at Fanime, where I watched a few episodes in the nostalgia room, and I really want to keep watching it. It’s hilarious, and it’s an oldie. For those of you that like Speed Racer (I’m looking at you, family), I highly recommend it. I don’t know if they have an English dub for it, but I think it’s worth a watch anyway. It’s hard to find, though.
I have a lot more to post about, but it’s getting late, so I will update again this weekend and finish off with everything that has happened to me so far—so we’ll finally be up-to-date on my doings.
But what about you? I haven’t heard from anyone in a while. Let me know what y’all are up to in comments! I want to know!
Cast of Characters
Kim as… someone I’ve mentioned a lot in these blog posts, because we hang out a lot! She lives in Tomiura and works at City Hall, which is across the street from my middle school. She is really sweet and totally willing to help me whenever I bring my mail to her and ask, frantically, “What is this? What does this say? WHAT DO, WHAT DO, KIM?”
The Irresponsible Captain Tylor: A great anime from 1993. I highly recommend it! It’s actually pre-Evangelion—whoa! Anime existed before Evangelion?
Troll Face: An internet meme that you see in this entry pasted over the cockroach picture. It’s… hard to explain, if you don’t know what an internet troll is. It’s just part of internet culture. It’s probably not important. If you really want to know, I can try to explain it…
I’m going to close with a picture that someone in my Japanese class posted on Facebook: