Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On Anxiety and Guilty Explanations

It’s been a long time since I last posted, but I haven’t stopped writing. I just don’t have any single topic completed yet, so nothing’s ready. I often feel like I don’t have the time to finish the fragments I’ve been starting, but that’s not true. It’s just that my job is so psychologically exhausting that I don’t have the energy. I’m consumed constantly, always thinking about my lesson plans. It’s sort of like I do stupid, unproductive things to fill up my spare time because it allows me to keep work constantly at the back of my mind while I can still feel like I’m recuperating. I wish I could clean or learn how to cook Colin fabulous dinners instead. Really, I wish I could write. I think I end up throwing myself completely into whatever I do, even if it isn’t as challenging as what I’m currently doing. I’m not someone who can divide her attentions. My only real break is when I get seriously plastered, and even that isn’t so satisfying. On Friday, I was having strange drunken sleep in which I was aware of my surroundings, but interpreting them incorrectly. I just kept turning words over and over in my head for hours as if I was trying to teach them. Lamp. Lamp. L-A-M-P. Every now and then I would snap out of it and tell myself I wasn’t teaching, I needed to relax. But as soon as I started to drift again, it would be back to the same thing.

I’m still not sure how stable my current employment is, or how capable I am of doing it. Today I had a six-year-old boy suddenly start throwing a tantrum like I’ve never seen in the middle of the lesson. Well, I have seen tantrums like that. It was just surprising that it happened in front of me in a teaching context, so suddenly and violently. I don’t think I click with those kids. Every class is different. The pre-schoolers are still cute, except the boobies girl has graduated to trying to grab at my crotch. Lovely. At least she hasn’t had a posse help her with that venture. The three and four-year-old class has this weird inside joke among them in which they call Saori and me either “Ojiichan” or “Obaachan”, which means, respectively, a diminutive way to say “grandfather” and “grandmother” or “old man” and “old woman”. They think it’s hilarious. I’m definitely “Ojiichan” way more than “Obaachan”. A common exchange goes like this:

(In my blog, whenever you see [brackets] it means that whatever within them was originally said in Japanese and has been translated. Except, of course, the word “brackets”.)

Kids: Ojiichan!

Me: No, Cassie. My name is Cassie.

Kids: Ojiichan?

Me: Cassie.

Kids: Rokkustaa? [Rockstar]

Me: Yes, Rockstar. Good.

Speaking of rockstars, Colin and I were treated as such when we went to Yoshiko's house for dinner last night. Or, rather, pretty pretty princesses. It was the first time Colin met Yoshiko, Sayaka, and her four daughters. Her kids, who are twelve, nine, eight, and six, have been grilling me about whether Colin is yasashii or kakkoii ([nice/easy] and [super hot]). They were impressed by anything I said I about him. They’re actually impressed by almost anything I do, so I guess it’s all along the same lines. Anyway, they were incredibly wound up having us there and leapt/climbed all over us and had us do things like touch the ceiling. After dinner, Hiromi, Yoshiko's cousin who I met before joined us, which was fun. She’s a hairdresser and has a crazy long mullet with red streaks in it. She’s really outgoing and seems quite the opposite of Yoshiko. We talked about a new bar in Shi-town, and she said she hadn’t gone to it because there are a few steps leading up to the door, and she’s afraid she’ll fall on the way out, if you know what I mean. All the while, the kids were running behind our chairs and messing with us. They were doing my hair and Colin’s for hours, off and on. They kept putting this little crown on me and saying that I was a princess, and they would continually rave about how beautiful I was. It’s weird, in Japan I think they just see pale skin, blue eyes, and brown hair and think it’s gorgeous, regardless of the composition. I was looking really bad last night. I was exhausted and inexplicably sick again, after having been fine for nearly two weeks. My hair was a mess, and even more of a mess after it had been extensively fondled by sticky child-fingers. Let’s just say I didn’t look good, yet they were still raving. They did crazy things to Colin’s hair and called him a princess too. After a few hours we made a royal exit.

I didn’t intend this post to be so long, but there it is. I still have so much more to say. I think I’ll just leave you with two examples of why Japan is creepy/racist/wonderful:

The Wind, Together, is Absent: A Musical

Hint: Be sure to enlarge the image of the poster, and keep an eye on the lower right hand corner.

Fish Child Sauce


Blogger Rebecca said...

Jesus, is that face paint? Best Margaret Mitchell adaptation ever.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Hi Honey! Being exhausted and anxious with such a challenging new job is not at all unusual. I was exhausted when I first started full time work and I was just a salesclerk at Harzfelds! I remember talking to the other women about how in the heck one keeps house and does anything else, too. I was drinking more then, too. It got to be more of a hastle than it was worth eventually.

I do think you are naturally beautiful, and could be a rockstar princess! It's not just the skin and hair!!!

I am on my way to Tulsa for Tess's kerring into the main mare book. I have a cold--yuck. I will write more when I get there, I think. It has been nuts around here, trying to get the houses ready for occupation, etc. Thanks so much for posting! Lots of love, Mom

10:50 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm back home. Got internet again, maybe I can work on the Mac again so we can videochat.

Took dogs on a run around Cedar Lake with Paula. It was nuts. Three doggies, Frankie, Mika, and Chloe, on long leads, running here and there into weeds around each other, and occasionally around me, winding us up in dogleash. We managed to miss a number of cyclists and joggers by presision swinging to the left as they approached. I can't believe we did it so well that we actually missed everyone!!! OOPS, Chloe is up and barking, and Ivy is sympathetic Woofing while stil lying down on my office wood floor.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

May it be known that Herbert and I will both permanently have that creepy pasta song in our heads, haha. He already knew it though actually...

12:56 PM  

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